Virginia Tech

Blacksburg , VA
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Postdoctoral Associate CY

Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA Full-time
Posted on September 8, 2019


The Tholl Lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech is hiring a post-doctoral research associate to study the biosynthetic evolution of terpene pheromones and defense metabolites in insects. Research in the Tholl lab is focused on the metabolism, function and molecular evolution of small molecules in chemical interactions of organisms (

The successful candidate will work on a 2-year project funded by the US National Science Foundation to investigate the molecular evolution of enzymes required for de novo biosynthesis of terpene chemical cues in insects. The applicant will lead experiments with collaborators at SRI International, Rutgers University, and Virginia Tech to construct protein mutational pathways and develop amino acid residue network models required for the emergence of terpene synthase enzyme activity. The project includes the synthesis of large-scale mutant libraries for molecular breeding and functional characterization of enzyme variants.

We are looking for a talented and motivated candidate with a PhD degree in molecular biology, biochemistry, entomology or a related field. An excellent scientific track record and strong organizational and troubleshooting skills are an asset. In addition, good English skills, both written and oral, experience in mentoring student researchers, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in science are desired.

We offer a competitive salary and access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and services including instrumentation and facilities in metabolite and protein mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, and next generation sequencing. The candidate will join an excellent scientific community across several departments (Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Entomology) and experience a vibrant university environment in the heart of the Appalachian Blue Ridge Mountains.

To apply, go to: CV, list of publications, contact details of 3 references and a short statement of your research interests and motivation (max. 1 page). Suitable candidates will be interviewed by Skype and/or invitation for a seminar. The position is immediately available with a preferred negotiable start date between August and December 2019. 

More information: Virginia Tech is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action university. Dorothea Tholl, Institute of Biological Sciences, 409 Latham Hall, 220 Ag Quad Lane, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA, phone: +1 540 231 4567