Post-Doctoral Associate in Synthetic Biology

Apply now Job no: 529283
Work type: Post Doc Associate
Location: Main Campus (Gainesville, FL)
Categories: Biology/Life Science, Education/Training/Instructional Design
Department:16900000 - LS-BIOLOGY

Classification Title:

Post Doctoral Associate

Job Description:

A Post-doctoral Associate position in the field of Synthetic Biology is available in a project on Bottom-Up Engineering of a Synthetic Living System led by Dr. Zhanar Abil in the Department of Biology at the University of Florida. We have a position available in our group to work on (1) Engineering and Evolution of Self-Replicating Transcription and Translation apparatuses and (2) Elucidation of a Minimal Genetic Decoding System Capable of Self-Regeneration, Self-Amplification, and Evolution.

Our current research endeavors primarily focus on engineering cell-free processes that mimic the cyclically catalytic nature of living organisms. To achieve this, we will engineer in vitro autocatalytic gene circuits run by a customized cell-free transcription-translation system in cell-like artificial compartments. We will study their collective biopolymer synthesis, evolutionary dynamics, adaptability, and ability to be integrated into more complex networks. Our research will provide valuable insight on essential biogenic processes, such as biogenesis of ribosomes, translation factors, and energy regeneration complexes, which are difficult research subjects in vivo.

The Abil lab opened in the Fall of 2023. We have access to state-of-the-art shared instruments for synthetic biology projects. We strive to establish an inclusive, supportive, and scientifically vigorous environment for all our members. The post-doctoral associate will contribute heavily to the establishment of the lab’s culture and infrastructure, pioneering new projects, mentoring students, and will be able to advance his/her career on multiple fronts in research.

Qualified postdoctoral candidates must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in chemical or biomolecular engineering, systems or synthetic biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, or adjacent fields. We are looking for individuals with experience in molecular biology techniques and synthetic biology tools, especially in cell-free systems.

A strong publication record demonstrating research productivity and showcasing the ability to independently design and conduct experiments is essential. The position requires excellent written and verbal communication skills to effectively communicate research findings, collaborate with colleagues, and mentor junior team members.

This position will be initially awarded for one year, and, contingent upon strong performance and conduct and availability of funds, may be renewed for up to one/two/three years.

University of Florida: Over the past 10 years, the State of Florida invested over 1.5 billion dollars to advance the University of Florida. UF research expenditures averaged over $950M per year over the last 3 years. As a result, UF ranked  6th in the country among public universities (US News and World Report 2023 rankings), and 1st among public institutions in the Wall Street Journal 2023 survey. The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, The SHANDS Hospital, and the College of Medicine, all in proximity, foster cross-college, highly interdisciplinary collaborations.

The City of Gainesville

Gainesville is a vibrant city with a low cost of living, diverse population, excellent public schools, Division I NCAA sports, and no state income tax. The area is known for its nature parks, bike trails, sporting events, museums, mild winters, and warm summers. Being centrally located makes Gainesville easily situated for day trip to beautiful beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and to theme parks including Disney World, and other cities include Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa. Learn more about what Gainesville has to offer at Visit Gainesville.

Expected Salary:

The salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience, and the compensation includes a full benefits package.

Minimum Requirements:
  • Ph.D. or equivalent degree in chemical or biomolecular engineering, systems or synthetic biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, or adjacent fields
  • Expertise in molecular biology techniques and synthetic biology tools, especially in cell-free systems
  • Relevant publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Preferred Qualifications:

One or more of these qualifications are highly desired:

  • Expertise in protein or nucleic acid engineering
  • Expertise in directed evolution or experimental evolution
  • Experience with next-generation sequencing data analysis, bioinformatics
  • Expertise in microscopy and/or flow cytometry
  • Expertise in proteomics or transcriptomics
  • Ability to mentor junior team members, write grant proposals, and scientific articles.
Special Instructions to Applicants:

For full consideration, applications must be submitted online. Click on Apply Now at the top of this posting.

A complete application includes (1) a letter of application of no more than 2 pages summarizing the applicant's qualifications, interests, suitability for the position, and career objectives, (2) a complete curriculum vitae, (3) a list of at least three references. After initial review, letters of recommendation will be requested from the references for selected applicants.

As a part of our review, we look for a full CV which includes all professional appointments/engagements, all post-secondary education, and all publications from post-secondary education and all respective dates.

Applications will be reviewed immediately, and the position will remain open until filled.

All candidates for employment are subject to a pre-employment screening which includes a review of criminal records, reference checks, and verification of education.

The selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an educational institution outside of the United States require evaluation by a professional credentialing service provider approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), which can be found at

The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. Searches are conducted in accordance with Florida's Sunshine Law. If an accommodation due to disability is needed in order to apply for this position, please call (352) 392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at (800) 955-8771 (TDD).

Health Assessment Required: No


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