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Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Biochemistry, Cellular & Molecular Biology

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN

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Post-Doctoral Position Alexandre Lab 2021

Biochemistry/Cellular & Molecular Biology

A postdoctoral position is available starting January 1, 2022 to study of the regulation of free-living nitrogen fixation with bacterial chemotaxis signaling in the soil bacterium Azospirillum brasilense.  The research will be conducted in the Alexandre lab that is located in the new Ken and Blaire Mossman Building on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The Alexandre’s lab has recently showed that bacterial chemotaxis signaling proteins regulate the expression of nitrogen fixation in the beneficial plant-colonizing and bio-inoculant diazotroph, Azospirillum brasilense.  The research focus aims at characterizing molecular mechanisms coupling bacterial chemotaxis to nitrogen fixation. Specific focus areas of investigation include 1) how do chemotaxis signaling arrays composition mediate expression of nitrogen fixation, 2) how do metabolism cues coordinate chemotaxis and nitrogen fixation and, 3) the interplay between metabolism, nitrogen fixation and root surface colonization. The laboratory uses microbial genetics and physiology, biochemistry and live cell fluorescence microscopy to address these questions.


Candidate is expected to design and carry out independent research, write fellowship applications (if applicable), present research at local, national and international meetings and publish papers. Candidate must be self-motivated, has a strong aptitude for research, and the ability to quickly learn new areas of research and carry out experiments in a new system. The candidate’s primary responsibility will be to conduct research. Good organizational and computer skills and the ability to work independently as well as part of a team are necessary. The candidate will have the opportunity to mentor junior lab members, including undergraduate and graduate students.

Minimum Required Education and Experience:

  • PhD degree in Biological Sciences, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or a related field
  • A record of peer-reviewed publications
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills
Minimum Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Willing and abilities to work on non-model bacterial organisms; and at least one of the following skills
  • Excellent working knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Excellent working knowledge of bacterial genetics and physiology
  • Excellent working knowledge of regulation of bacterial nitrogen fixation and/or chemotaxis signaling and/or regulation of bacterial gene expression
Preferred Education and Experience

    Experience on genetics and physiology of alphaproteobacteria including Azospirillum or other diazotrophsExperience on characterizing protein-protein interaction networks using pull-down, proteomics, bacterial-two hybrid assays etc.Experience on cloning, mutant construction and characterization in alphaproteobacterial, non-model organisms
Additional Information

    Interested candidates should upload curriculum vitae, a brief statement of research interests (one page or less), and contact information for three references to application.Department contact: Dr. Gladys Alexandre at [email protected], with “Postdoc position on Chemotaxis and Nitrogen fixation” in the subject line.Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled

Job: Research Professional
Primary Location: US-Tennessee-knoxville
Organization: Biochem/Cell & Molec Biology
Schedule: Full-time
Job Posting: Apr 7, 2022, 6:50:44 PM


Working at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is one of the nation’s oldest and most storied public universities. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee’s flagship land-grant institution includes the statewide Institute of Agriculture and the Space Institute in Tullahoma. The university embodies excellence in teaching, discovery, scholarship, research, creative activity, outreach, and engagement. Known as the Volunteers, we lead with a spirit of selflessness, empathy, and courage, and strive to be champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion

UT Knoxville is a Research 1 university with 11 academic colleges and more than 900 programs of study. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, our academic programs are repeatedly ranked top in their class. The university co-manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the country’s most prominent national lab, driving innovation in advanced manufacturing and materials, national security, and more. We are closely connected with our communities through outreach and extension efforts across Tennessee and through partnerships with non-profits, corporations, and industries—regionally, nationally, and around the globe.

The city of Knoxville is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The modern, thriving community is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and hundreds of miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. Situated along the banks of the Tennessee River, our beautiful features an eclectic music scene, internationally recognized festivals, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of diverse cultural activities. Knoxville is located within a day’s drive of Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a population of more than 850,000 people. The region houses many leading corporations and organizations, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pilot/Flying J, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Regal Cinemas, along with HGTV, Food Network, and other networks owned by Discovery Inc.

As a member of the UT family, you will be surrounded by top-notch faculty, staff, and students from around the world. You will be part of a diverse campus community that is passionate about changing the world and cheering for the Vols on game day.

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