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Open Positions
Postdoctoral Scholars 2021

Up to two postdoctoral scholar positions are available to conduct research in the Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering Unit headed by Prof. Yohei Yokobayashi at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST). OIST is an international graduate university with the majority of researchers, students, and faculty coming from outside Japan, and English is used as the official business language.

Our group moved to OIST in 2015 from University of California, Davis and is focusing on engineering nucleic acids that function in various cells and in test tubes. In addition to basic research on functional nucleic acids, we are also working with collaborators in academia and industry to develop biological and biomedical applications of engineered nucleic acids (e.g. gene therapy).

LOCATION:

1919]1 Tancha, Onna]son, Okinawa, Japan 904-0495

RESPONSIBILITIES:

The postdoctoral scholar is expected to engage in research, disseminate the research results as publications and conference presentations, and contribute to laboratory maintenance. The candidate is expected to work on one of the following topics.

1. Mammalian synthetic biology: Development and applications of functional RNA devices such as aptamers, aptazymes, and riboswitches that function in mammalian cells and animal models. The candidate should be able to adapt a variety of methods and technologies from the literature, and to develop new methods and design strategies as necessary. The candidate should be knowledgeable and experienced enough to develop research plans relevant to applications of synthetic RNA devices in gene therapy, cell therapy, or regenerative medicine. Prior experience with techniques such mammalian cell culture, construction of viral vectors, genome editing, and animal handling, or sufficient experience to acquire such skills, is required. The postdoc may also work part-time on collaboration projects with industry.

References
Mustafina et al., ACS Synth Biol 2020
Takahashi & Yokobayashi, ACS Synth Biol 2019
Yokobayashi, Curr Opin Chem Biol 2019
Kobori et al., Nucleic Acids Res 2015

2. Cell-free synthetic biology: Development and applications of functional DNA and/or RNA devices such as aptamers, aptazymes, and riboswitches that function in cell-free (test tube) and/or artificial cells (e.g. liposomes). The candidate should have strong experience in molecular biology, biochemistry, or chemical biology. While prior experience is not mandatory, the candidate is likely to use microfluidics and directed evolution techniques. The postdoc may also work part-time on collaboration projects with industry.

References
Dwidar et al., J Am Chem Soc 2019
Kobori et al., Nucleic Acids Res 2019

QUALIFICATIONS:

Candidate should have a Ph.D. in a relevant field. Sufficient written and oral communication skills in English to function in an international research environment are required. We seek self-motivated, hard-working, and creative junior researchers who are willing to take on challenging projects.

TERM:

Full-time, fixed term appointment for 2 years, with the possibility of renewal.

STARTING DATE:

As soon as possible (negotiable)

COMPENSATION:

In accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulation.

BENEFITS:

- Relocation cost to Okinawa is fully covered. Housing and commuting allowances.

- Annual paid leaves and summer holidays.>

- Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid), welfare pension insurance, workerfs accident compensation insurance.

- Extensive support for international scholars to adapt to life in Okinawa, including assistance with relocation, childcare, and healthcare.

SUBMISSION DOCUMENTS:

Please submit the following documents in English or Japanese in PDF files to recruit.nace@oist.jp.

1. Cover letter.

2. Curriculum Vitae along with the contact information for two or more references.

3. Brief summary of current and previous research.

APPLICATION DUE:

Applications are accepted until the positions are filled.

EMAIL ADDRESS:

recruit.nace@oist.jp