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RAP opportunity at Naval Research Laboratory     NRL

Nanomaterial-enhanced bacterial synthetic biology


Naval Research Laboratory, DC, Center for Bio/Molecular Science & Engineering

opportunity location
64.15.09.C0843 Washington, DC 203755321


name email phone
Tanya Tschirhart 202-404-6049


A postdoctoral position is available on a project at the intersection of nanomaterials and bacterial synthetic biology. The goal of the project is to interface bacterial cells with bioconjugated nanoparticles (eg. AuNPs, quantum dots) to enable remote control of gene expression, enhanced metabolism and bioproduction, and enhanced cell robustness. This is a highly multidisciplinary project – involving nanoparticle synthesis and bioconjugation, bacterial synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, bacterial-NP interfacing and characterization with biological, chemical, and physical techniques.

The successful candidate will possess a skill set including proficiency in the following: bacterial metabolic engineering and synthetic biology (especially for gene regulation and signaling), metabolic characterization of bacteria, molecular biology, and bacterial cell culture. Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams is necessary. Experience with at least one of the following is highly desirable: bacterial optogenetics, bacterial-electronic interfacing (electrogenetics or extracellular electron transfer), cell-device interfacing or interfacing of bacterial cells with nanoparticles.

The candidate will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and must be self-motivated, well-organized and possess excellent written and oral communication skills. This postdoctoral position is available through a competitive process with the National Research Council Associateship Program. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is required. Qualified candidates should contact Tanya Tschirhart at The Naval Research Laboratory is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Bird LJ, Kundu BB, Tschirhart T, Corts AD, Su L, Gralnick JA, Ajo-Franklin CM, Glaven SM. “Engineering Wired Life: Synthetic Biology for Electroactive Bacteria”. ACS Synthetic Biology. 2021 Oct 12.  doi:10.1021/acssynbio.1c00335.

Terrell J, Tschirhart T, Jahnke J, Stephens K, Liu Y, Dong H, Hurley MM, Pozo M, McKay R, Tsao CY, Wu HC Vora GJ, Payne G, Stratis-Cullum D, Bentley B. “Coupling electrode-immobilized bacteria with redox signaling for a bioelectronics communication loop “. Nat Nanotechnol. 2021 Mar 29. doi: 10.1038/s41565-021-00878-4. 

key words
synthetic biology; nanomaterials; biohybrid systems; bio-nano interface; bioelectronics


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$94,199.00 $3,000.00
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