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[ccp4bb] Postdoctoral Position at NIH to Study Structures and Mechanisms of Cellular and Viral Noncoding RNAs and RNPs

A postdoctoral position is available in the Structural Biology of Noncoding RNAs and Ribonucleoproteins Section, Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), NIDDK, in NIH’s vibrant main campus in Bethesda, MD near Washington DC. The lab addresses a widening gap between the accelerated discovery and functional description of the noncoding transcriptome, and the lack of structural and mechanistic understanding of complex noncoding RNAs and RNPs. We seek a new member to join our diverse group to study gene-regulatory riboswitches, highly structured viral RNAs, long noncoding RNAs and their RNP complexes. See https://www-mslmb.niddk.nih.gov/zhang/zhanglab.html for details.


The lab is part of the Earl Stadtman Investigator program for high-risk, high-impact research at the NIH intramural program consisting of 1100 labs. The lab has dedicated access to complete suites of state-of-the-art equipment in structural biology (Mosquito, Dragonfly, Rock Imager, Akta Pures, FSEC, etc., and regular synchrotron access for X-ray crystallography; Titan Krios and Glacios for single-particle Cryo-EM; SAXS, AFM, NMR, etc), cutting-edge biochemistry, biophysics (ITC, DSC, SPR, BLI, AUC, DLS, SEC-MALS, CD, fluorescence, thermophoresis, iSCAMS, etc), fermentation, advanced mass spec, genomics and sequencing, and proteomics core facilities with hands-on training or service by PhD-level staff scientists.


We apply innovative technologies to study RNA and RNP structure, dynamics, and interactions, such as rational RNA design and engineering, RNA cryo-EM, XFEL, ultrafast SAXS/WAXS, single-molecule fluorescence, crosslinking-mass spec., etc. Ongoing projects include structural and mechanistic elucidations of the T-box riboswitches in bacteria and Gcn2 kinase in eukaryotes in cellular stress responses. A second area addresses how numerous viral and host structured noncoding RNAs differentially manipulate immune protein activities such as PKR. For details refer to recent publications:


Suddala K.C & Zhang, J. (2019) High-affinity recognition of specific tRNAs by an mRNA anticodon-binding groove, Nat. Struct. & Mol. Biol., 26, 1114–1122.


Li S. et al., & Zhang, J. (2019) Structural basis of amino acid surveillance by higher-order tRNA-mRNA interactions, Nat. Struct. & Mol. Biol., 26, 1094–1105.


Hood, I.V. et al., & Zhang, J. (2019). Crystal structure of an Adenovirus Virus-Associated RNA, Nat. Commun. 10:2871


Incoming fellows are also encouraged to bring your own ideas that you could develop into research programs that you can then take to your independent PI positions. The NIH, NIDDK, and LMB are committed to the continued education and career development of trainees through numerous courses and workshops offered by OITE, FAES, and NIDDK.


Requirements: Interested candidates must have received (or be expecting) a Ph.D. or M.D. within the past five years in molecular biology, structural biology, biochemistry, cell biology, or a related discipline, have excellent oral and written communication skills, and be strongly self-motivated to participate in and design innovative and rigorous research projects. Prior experiences in structural biology are not required.


To apply: Please email a cover letter indicating preferred start date, CV, a brief summary of research interests, accomplishments, and career goals, and names and contact information for at least three references to: Dr. Jinwei Zhang, Email: jinwei.zhang@nih.gov. The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs. DHHS/NIH is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Dec, 20, 2019.


Thank you,



Jinwei Zhang
Laboratory of Molecular Biology
50 South Drive, Room 4503
Bethesda, MD 20892
Tel: 301-402-4703



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