Keegstra Postdoctoral Researcher – Microbial Synthetic Biology

Position Type

We present a unique and exciting opportunity for a postdoctoral researcher to leverage the power of bacterial genetics/synthetic biology to help meet our national need for renewable energy. The postdoc will develop genetic and synthetic biology tools for several bioenergy-relevant α-Proteobacteria (e.g., Zymomonas, Rhodobacter, and Novosphingobium), and will have a primary mentor in Jason Peters—who has developed state of the art CRISPR tools for bacterial functional genomics—and a secondary mentor in Tim Donohue—an established investigator with extensive experience in metabolic lifestyles and systems biology of α-Proteobacteria. The position is part of the GLBRC—a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary Center focused on the sustainable conversion of plant material (e.g., switchgrass) into fuels and products using engineered microbes. The GLBRC has significant resources and capabilities (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, etc.) provided by researchers who participate in the Center and through collaborations with other DOE-funded centers (e.g., the Joint Genome Institute). Both of the mentors’ labs are at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a research powerhouse (ranked 6th in the nation in research funding) with a world renowned strength in microbiology (ranked 1st in microbiology, >90 microbiology-associated faculty on campus). Madison—the capital of Wisconsin—is a beautiful, thriving city with numerous cultural attractions paired with an easy, affordable lifestyle (ranked 3rd best place to live in the country, and 47% and 30% lower cost of living than San Francisco and Boston, respectively).

The position is for up to two years, appointed yearly based on funding and performance, with an initial salary of $60,000/year, standard UW-Madison benefits, and funds for research expenses and travel. Candidates must have received their PhD degree within three years of the start of this position and must not have been previously associated with the GLBRC. The postdoc is expected to take an active role in the GLBRC community by facilitating integrative work and leading Center activities.

Required Degree:
Doctorate – Microbiology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Systems Biology, Synthetic Biology, or related fields.

Minimum Requirements:
Applicants must hold a PhD in a field related to Microbiology, Genetics, Systems Biology, or Synthetic Biology.

Desired Qualifications:
Strong candidates will have knowledge of and skills in microbiology, genetics and molecular biology. Experience in the genetic manipulation of model and non-model bacteria and/or synthetic biology, systems biology and bioinformatics are highly desirable.

Required Application Materials and Application Instructions:
Candidates should provide:

  1. A letter summarizing research experience and interests;
  2. A current CV; and
  3. Contact information for three references.

Please direct completed applications to Jason Peters (

Deadline to Apply