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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Neutron Scattering Studies of Biological Macromolecules


NIST Center for Neutron Research

opportunity location
50.61.01.B2000 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Joseph Edward Curtis 301.975.3959


Neutron scattering is used to study the structure of macromolecules in solution and to investigate their interactions with various binding agents such as ligands, nucleotides, and salts. One of the main advantages of the neutron technique is that the neutrons interact directly with the nuclei of molecules, in contrast to electromagnetic probes (e.g., light, x rays, and electrons), which interact with the atomic electrons. Thus, neutrons are very sensitive to the positions of the light elements (e.g., hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen), which are of central importance to all biological systems, In addition, hydrogen and deuterium have different neutron scattering strengths, so the isotopic substitution of D for H is routinely used to change the scattering from a system without affecting its biochemistry.

Both small-angle neutron scattering and neutron reflectivity techniques are used at the NIST Center for Neutron Research to study the structure of biological systems. Small-angle scattering is well suited for measuring bulk systems such as proteins, protein/DNA complexes, viruses, and vesicles, either dissolved or suspended in solution. Neutron reflectivity is best suited for measuring lamellar systems including lipid bilayers and multilayers, or biological and biomimetic membranes, which are often supported on a planar substrate.


key words
Binding (biochemical); Lipid bilayers; Membrane proteins; Neutron scattering; Protein solutions; Protein-DNA complexes; Small-angle neutron scattering;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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