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CurtisLab is Hiring! Seeking Intense, Multidisciplinary Postdoc Summer 2017

posted May 30, 2017, 1:43 PM by Wayne Curtis   [ updated May 30, 2017, 1:43 PM ]
The CurtisLab ( is seeking a postdoctoral researcher (PSU job #71758) to work on a highly transdisciplinary project aimed at protecting mature plants in the field using insects to deliver beneficial genes via viral vectors. Working with the Project Director (Dr. Curtis), this postdoc will play a key role in the generation of virus/insect/plant systems designed to facilitate both viral uptake by insects and beneficial gene delivery to plants to improve the plants’ response to stressors. This post-doctoral experience offers a unique opportunity to learn from a research program that spans plant molecular biology, micro-RNA technologies, drought stress physiology, and even insect genetic engineering and viral epidemiological modeling. The applicant must have experience with cloning, where plant transformation and regeneration would be good experience, but are secondary to organizational and communication skills, multi-tasking, and being excited about working in a very intense research environment. If you are a 9-5 molecular biologist, please do not apply.

The project provides for interaction with a diversity of ongoing projects within the CurtisLab and collaborations that include an NSF/Gates-funded project on African food security, algae biofuels, wastewater treatment technology, Neuorospora circadian metabolic flux study, and a host of exploratory undergraduate research projects such as cyanobacterial transformation and multi-organism (consortium) bioprocessing. This highly diverse laboratory environment emphasizes cross-training in diverse skills such as electronics prototyping, equipment fabrication (machining), and lab automation (Arduino and open source interfacing and programming).

The laboratory team typically includes a dozen highly motivated undergraduates, many of whom devote 3-4 years to honors thesis work that supports the primary research projects, providing ample opportunity for breadth of learning and publication.

Interested applicants, should fill out the online application ( If you do not get a response within three days, send a simple note to with “Insect Allies Post-doc” in the heading. The application website allows you to provide a URL as an option for providing resume, manuscripts in preparation, etc. (anything you feel is relevant). I will be asking for three letters of recommendation from those being seriously considered (though you do not need to have that information in hand to initiate the inquiry). The application process will include:
  • An initial phase to touch base to assess your expertise and compatibility with the project;
  • Acknowledgement and request for more details (names/contacts for recommendation, manuscript drafts not available online);
  • A video-chat interview.
The laboratory website ( offers a wide range of information describing our research and philosophy of utilizing the latest web tools (and focus on ‘Open Source’ and ‘Maker Mentality’).

This project will begin in Summer 2017. Therefore, we are excited to identify our next research team leader as soon as possible.

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