Biochemist Project Scientist


Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's ( ) Division has an opening for a Biochemist Project Scientist to join the team!

In this exciting role, you will work on a project focused on characterizing and disrupting shell permeability to provide a novel strategy for the design of anti-microbials. Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are organelles composed entirely of protein that enable bacteria to use diverse substrates in nutritionally poor environments, thereby contributing to the fitness of the pathogens in host tissues. They are composed of a selectively permeable protein shell that encapsulates catabolic enzymes. The shell is the defining feature of all types of bacterial microcompartments, providing the diffusion barrier that typically enables the concentration of substrates in the vicinity of the encapsulated enzymes, sequesters toxic intermediates or protects oxygen sensitive enzymes from the bulk cytosol. How these shells, composed of multiple types of paralogs, self-assemble and the structural basis of the selective permeability of a protein shell are fundamental biological questions with important practical implications. The research will involve protein/enzyme biochemistry, specifically functional characterization of BMC shell permeability, with the long-term objective of using the findings in the development of therapeutics. Closely related projects are at various experimental stages. You will collaborate with other group members on a range of fundamental and applied studies of BMCs.

What You Will Do:

Carry out creative research with tenacity and of the highest quality standards. This includes experimental design, trouble shooting, interpretation of data and the ability to situate results in the context of disarming pathogens by disabling BMC-based metabolism.

Use and develop new strategies to directly measure shell permeability.

Prepare manuscripts for publication and assist with the development of funding proposals and patents.

Overexpression and purification and characterization of proteins/enzymes.

Genetic manipulation of microorganisms.

Conduct and perform collaborative research and effectively interact with a broad range of colleagues.

Organize and present reports to collaborators and sponsors.

Participate in group meetings and seminars.

Work with other members of the group and collaborators under the supervision of senior members of the group and the P.I.

Analyze and interpret the results and write papers describing the results.

Maintain an accurate and detailed scientific logbook of all experiments performed; ensure that others could duplicate results.

What is Required:

5 years of relevant experience beyond the highest degree in biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics, or a related field.

Experience in one or more of the following: synthetic biology or bioengineering, protein design, high-throughput approaches to cloning and imaging, enzymology, or biophysical characterization of macromolecular complexes.

Experience in gene cloning, protein expression, purification, and characterization.

Ability to interact collaboratively among a variety of disciplines.

Strong background in molecular biology and/or biochemistry.

Ability to work independently with an understanding of the theoretical basis of the methods used.

Knowledge of bioinformatics approaches that complement the benchwork.

Skill in designing experiments and their controls and ability to coach junior members of the group in developing their experimental plans.

Desired Qualifications:

Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics, or a related field.


This is a full time, 1 year, term appointment that may be renewed to a maximum of five years.

This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.

Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Learn about us!

Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology

Mission: Linking genome biology to ecosystem dynamics.

Vision: Sustainable solutions to energy and environmental challenges developed through mechanistic understanding of ecosystem dynamics.

Approach: We develop systems-level models using integrated molecular observation and controlled manipulation of model organisms and defined biomes to design and test interventions that promote beneficial outcomes.

Berkeley Lab

(LBNL) addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Working at Berkeley Lab has many rewards including a competitive compensation program, excellent health and welfare programs, a retirement program that is second to none, and outstanding development opportunities. To view information about the many rewards that are offered at Berkeley Lab- .

Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. Berkeley Lab is in compliance with the under 41 CFR 60-1.4. Click to view the poster and supplement: "Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups presently considering scientific research careers.

Berkeley Lab


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