The Division of Science also offers postdoctoral opportunities.
Four Postdoctoral Researchers
We seek four postdocs to join a multidisciplinary, tightly integrated team of five investigators (Ben Rogers, Seth Fraden, Mike Hagan, Greg Grason, and Bing Xu) within the Brandeis Bioinspired Soft Materials Research Center (MRSEC) to design and synthesize new DNA-origami building blocks, elucidate the mechanisms of their assembly into self-limiting architectures, and model the assembly pathways using theory and computer simulation. Our team of students, postdocs and faculty will work together across groups and disciplines to achieve our goals. This position offers ample opportunities for professional development, including participating in exciting cutting-edge science, gaining mentoring experience, and initiating your own research directions.
The team will build upon recent successes in developing a versatile class of DNA-origami building blocks to elucidate the fundamental physical principles for engineering components that self-assemble into large, but finite-size, superstructures. The self-assembly of size-controlled architectures is prevalent in living systems. The adaptive functions of biological materials, including viral shells, cytoskeletal filaments, and photonic nanostructures of bird feathers arise from the regulated finite size of self-assembled architectures. In this project, we will advance two complementary paradigms for bottom-up assembly of size-controlled architectures: one uses curved building blocks that assemble into self-closing structures; the other uses ill fitting blocks that accumulate distortions upon assembly to form structures with open boundaries.
This research addresses many fundamental questions in self-assembly: How do shapes, interactions, and flexibilities of building blocks control the assembly size? How can self-limiting assembly be adapted to distinct morphologies, like ropes, fibers, sheets or shells? Are there fundamental or practical limits to the sizes of controllably assembled structures? By answering these questions and more, we aim to develop engineering principles to create size-controlled architectures with high yield.
(1, 2) Design and self-assembly of DNA-origami building blocks.
Qualifications: Experience in experimental soft-matter physics or DNA nanotechnology.
Tasks: Design and characterize DNA-origami building blocks and their subsequent higher-order assemblies. Individual building blocks will be characterized with electron microscopy (EM), including single-particle cryoEM. Assemblies will be characterized using EM, optical microscopy, and light scattering. The goal is to understand mechanisms by which components self-assemble into large, but finite-size, superstructures.
Supervisors: Profs. Rogers and Fraden (Brandeis).
(3) Joint experimental & computational studies of DNA-origami assembly pathways.
Qualifications: Experience in computational physics and experimental soft matter. Applicants are sought with interests in fields such as soft matter, thermodynamics, and materials science.
Tasks: Work jointly with Profs. Rogers and Hagan to perform experiments and computer simulations to elucidate the dynamical pathways of DNA-origami assembly. Develop theoretical predictions of target assemblies and design rules, and test those predictions in experiment.
Supervisors: Profs. Rogers and Hagan.
(4) Computational modeling of protein-filament assembly.
Qualifications: Experience in atomistic simulations and enhanced sampling methods. Additional desirable skills include data-driven approaches, and/or implementation of large-scale parallelized/GPU-enabled simulations.
Tasks: Simulate assembly of finite-sized filaments assembled from protein subunits in the lab of Bing Xu. Experience in collaborating with experimentalists and working with protein structures (e.g. electron microscopy data) are strongly encouraged.
Supervisors: Profs. Hagan, Grason, Rogers, and Xu (Brandeis).
Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. Brandeis University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer M/W/D/V.
Start Date: October 2022.
Location: Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA
Submit applications to MRSECpostdoc@brandeis.edu and specify the position you are applying for.
For more information see our individual group websites:
Assistant Professor in Chemistry
Brandeis University invites applications for an Assistant Professor in the interdisciplinary research areas of chemical/biological materials science and soft matter. We seek candidates to join the Chemistry department interested in broad collaborations with a vision towards integrated sciences in which materials science overlaps with other disciplines. Brandeis University offers a unique opportunity to participate in a diverse interdisciplinary program, the NSF-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), focused on biologically inspired materials. Candidates are expected to contribute to undergraduate and graduate teaching programs in Chemistry while engaging in forefront soft matter research. A non-exhaustive list of research areas are materials chemistry, self-assembling systems, active matter, protein engineering, and synthetic biology.
First consideration will be given to applications received by November 1, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. The start date is flexible with a target of Fall 2023, pending budgetary approval. Applicants should submit a detailed curriculum vitae, a statement of teaching interests and a research plan, and a statement of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion submitted to AcademicJobsOnline at: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/22305.
A research-intensive liberal arts university, Brandeis fosters highly collaborative science both within and between departments. Brandeis is in the process of constructing a new science complex that will house the Chemistry department and is conducting multiple searches that will strengthen cross-disciplinary studies across the sciences. The suburban campus in Waltham, MA, part of the high-tech corridor along I-95, and is close to the academic and biotechnology centers of Boston and Cambridge.
At Brandeis, we believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential components of academic excellence. Brandeis University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that is committed to creating equitable access and opportunities for applicants to all employment positions. Because diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of Brandeis’ history and mission, we value and are seeking candidates with a variety of social identities, including those that have been underrepresented in higher education, who possess skills that spark innovation, and who, through their scholarly pursuits, teaching, and/or service experiences, bring expertise in building, engaging and sustaining a pluralistic, unified, and just campus community. To prepare your diversity statement, please use the guidelines provided by UCSC. The statement will be evaluated by the UCSC rubric.