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Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Synthetic Biology (UTIA)

Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at University of Tennessee

Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN, USA
Posted on Friday, May 24, 2024
Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Synthetic Biology (UTIA) - 240000012H


Postdoctoral Research Associates in Synthetic Biology

(Multiple Positions)

The Center for Agricultural Synthetic Biology is a post-doctoral research associate to work in the laboratories of Dr. Scott C. Lenaghan and Dr. C. Neal Stewart, Jr. at the University of Tennessee.

The projects are currently funded by DARPA, DOE, USDA, and NSF awards and cover a variety of areas with a primary emphasis on pushing the limits of synthetic biology with regards to advanced gene regulation and biosensor development in plants and protozoal parasites. The projects are highly interdisciplinary and prior experience with plants or protozoa is not required, as yeast and bacterial systems are commonly used to validate components and drive innovation in more complex systems.

Applicants will focus on utilizing synthetic and molecular biology approaches to solve real-world challenges facing the energy, medical, agricultural, and biotechnology sectors. As the projects are high-risk, high-reward, and focused on achieving aggressive milestones, applicants must be capable of thinking ‘outside the box’ and meeting designated deadlines.



Applicants must have a PhD in molecular biology, cell biology, biotechnology, biomedical engineering or a related-field. Candidates who are in process of obtaining the degree may be considered but degree must be conferred by Summer 2024 with official transcript provided as verification.

Post-doctoral applicants must have demonstrated experience (publications) in molecular biology, cell biology, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, bioengineering or a related-field to be considered for this position. Preference will be given to applicants with strong publication records, considerable drive and motivation, and excellent problem-solving skills.

Due to the diversity of projects, applicants should specify in the cover letter their preferred research direction from the descriptions below:

  1. Engineering logic circuits in plants to control heterologous gene expression for a variety of applications
  2. Assembly of large synthetic DNA molecules for metabolic engineering in non-model species
  3. Development of high-throughput, automated cell culture and analysis systems for protozoal pathogens
  4. Development of plant or cross-kingdom biosensors for environmental monitoring in the built environment
  5. Plant metabolic engineering for the production of high-value compounds in duckweed

The Lenaghan and Stewart labs and the Center for Agricultural Synthetic Biology at UT provide outstanding research facilities and a highly stimulating interdisciplinary research environment including a large team of postdocs, technicians, and graduate and undergraduate students.

Positions are full-time with benefits and available immediately for one-to-two years (depending on the immediate best-fit project) with a possibility of renewal for up to four years based on performance and continued funding. Salary is based on experience and qualifications according to UT policy.


Research Professional

Primary Location



Food Science Research


Campus/Institute Institute of Agriculture

Job Posting

May 23, 2024, 2:47:58 PM