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Postdoctoral Scholar 2018

Beautifully situated on the subtropical island of Okinawa, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) is a young and growing university with no departments, eliminating artificial barriers between people working in different fields, but many nationalities, with students and faculty being attracted from all over the world. OIST is an international research university where English is used as the official language of business and instruction, and majority of students, researchers, and faculty are from outside Japan.

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 OIST. (Photo credit: OIST)


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


The postdoctoral scholar is expected to engage in research, disseminate the research results in publications and conference presentations, and contribute to laboratory maintenance. The types of research that the candidates are expected to work on are as follows.

1) Development of RNA aptamers and RNA devices. The candidate is expected to focus on discovery and design of various functional RNAs such as aptamers, aptazymes, and riboswitches for synthetic biology applications. 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. Prior experience with techniques such as in vitro selection/screening, high-throughput screening, or directed evolution, or sufficient experimental skills to perform such experiments are required. Hands-on experience or working knowledge in deep sequencing (NGS), and basic programming skills to process sequencing data are also desirable.

We are actively developing new design and analytical strategies for RNA (and DNA) devices by harnessing the power of deep sequencing (see the references below). OIST is equipped with powerful Illumina and PacBio sequencers supported by dedicated staff, as well as high-performance computer clusters. Candidates who can take full advantage of these resources will be given preference.

Kobori et al., Nucleic Acid Res 2015
Kobori & Yokobayashi, Angew Chem Int Ed 2016
Kobori et al., ACS Synth Biol 2017
Dhamodharan et al., ACS Chem Biol 2017
Nomura et al., Chem Commun 2017
Kobori & Yokobayashi, ACS Synth Biol 2018

2) Other exceptionally well qualified candidates with diverse backgrounds in chemistry or life sciences, experimental or computational, who are interested in applying their expertise to "design" functional nucleic acids (DNA, RNA, and artificial nucleic acids) will be considered. The candiate should be self-motivated and creative. The possible start date of this position depends on the balance of existing expertise in our unit as well as availability of space.


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.


Full-time, fixed term appointment for 1 year, with the possibility of renewal. Contract initially with a 3-month probationary period (inclusive).


April 2018 or later (negotiable)


In accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulation.


- Relocation, housing and commuting allowances

- Annual paid leave and summer holidays

- Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid), welfare pension insurance, workerfs accident compensation insurance

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


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


Applications are accepted until the positions are filled.




-@OIST Graduate University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff. The University strongly encourages women and minority candidates to apply.

-@Information provided by applicants or references will be kept confidential, documents will not be returned. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications.

-@Further details about the Institute can be viewed on our website.