Staff Scientist - Rice

Job description

Hyde Park Campus

20146 Biochem/Mol Bio

About the Unit
The Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMB) studies how biomolecules operate and interact to drive the complex and diverse behaviors of living systems. The questions that we ask are broad and multifaceted, and as a result, our trainees are well equipped for future academic and industrial careers in biochemistry and biophysics. Our research encompasses all areas of modern biochemistry, including structural biology, biophysics, and biomolecular engineering and design. Our Department is distinguished by its intellectual rigor and collaborative style. Interdisciplinary interactions are further facilitated by our presence in the Gordon Center for Integrative Sciences, which brings together a large and diverse group of biological and physical scientists to pursue common research goals.

Job Information

Job Summary:

The Staff Scientist will engage in elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which bacterial mobile genetic elements move within and between genomes.



  • Perform fundamental research focused on the structure and mechanism of the self-loading helicases encoded by mobile genetic elements from the SaPI and SCC families.
  • Work includes: (1) cloning relevant proteins from staphylococcal genomic DNA, over-expressing them in E. coli and purifying them to homogeneity, (2) developing and applying appropriate in vitro assays for helicase loading, helicase activity, and protein-DNA complex formation (3) carrying out structural characterization of these protein-DNA complexes, using x-ray crystallography and electron microscopy and (4) analyzing the results in terms of their implications for staphylococcal molecular biology and helping to devise follow-up experiments in staphylococci.
  • Ensure timeliness and accuracy of the results and of written reports.
  • Organize and prioritize work performed in the laboratory.
  • Expedite the completion of projects and ensure that appropriate turn-around goals are met.
  • Perform troubleshooting of problems with procedures, methods and protocols in all aspects of protein production and crystallography.

  • Help train others in the lab, particularly new trainees in protein production, biochemistry, structural biology, and staphylococcal molecular biology.
  • Help monitor and assure that appropriate, safe and effective procedures are followed, and that proper documentation of plasmids and bacterial strains is logged in a shared database.
  • Give presentations to the group members as well as at educational workshops of the department.

  • Participate in preparation and writing of grant applications and reports and (co)-author research manuscripts.

  • Knowledge in relevant scientific field required.
  • Knowledge of research techniques or methods required.
  • Knowledge of regulatory policies and procedures required.
  • Analytical skills required.
  • Problem-solving skills required.
  • Attention to detail required.
  • Organizational skills required.
  • Verbal and written communication skills required.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team required.
  • Proficiency with staphylococcal molecular biology.

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience and Certifications:

  • Doctoral degree (PhD, MD, or MD/PhD) Biochemistry or Molecular Microbiology required.

  • A minimum of 4 years in an academic research laboratory.
  • Experience in protein production, biochemistry, structural biology, and staphylococcal microbiology, including chromatography, structural data collection, refinement and structure solution, biochemical experiments involving protein-DNA interactions, and genetic manipulation of E. coli and staphylococci .

Technical Knowledge or Skills:
  • Knowledge of structural biology-related software including CCP4, Phenix, HKL2000, Pymol, relion.
  • Knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet/database, communications, and molecular graphics software.

Required Documents:
  • Resume
  • 3 Reference Contact

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualification

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

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Full time

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Job No:
Posted: 5/17/2018
Application Due: 7/16/2018
Work Type: