Post-doctoral Position in Biofuels Genetic & Bioprocess Engineering

Post date: Dec 17, 2010 9:19:51 PM

Post-doctoral Research Position in

Biofuels Genetic & Bioprocess Engineering

A post-doctoral position is immediately available to work on a collaborative ARPA-E sponsored research project on the genetic engineering of hydrocarbon synthesis into Rhodobacter in the Curtis Laboratory ( in the department of Chemical Engineering. The project is a collaboration with the laboratories of Joe Chappell in Agricultural Biotechnology ( at the University of Kentucky and the Logan Laboratory in Civil & Environmental Engineering ( at Penn State. The post-doc will transform Rhodobacter with genes that have been isolated from an alga that produces branched C34 isoprene hydrocarbons. This complements an ongoing collaboration between the Chappell and Curtis labs where this biosynthetic pathway of Botryococcus braunii is being elucidated and transformed into other photosynthetic hosts ( The genetic engineering will build upon our ongoing research that is developing Rhodobacter as a membrane protein expression platform ( as well as patented low-cost plastic lined bioreactor technology that is being developed for both environmental applications and lignocellulosic biomass fermentation where it is critical to achieve low production costs (www.curtislab/research-projects/environmental). An important component of the research will include working with a graduate student to refine a process economic model that will examine alternative process scenarios including direct delivery of electrons in a fuel-cell configuration, or use of low-cost plastic bag bioreactors in an autotrophic growth mode where H2, O2 and CO2 gasses are stoichiometrically consumed. The candidate should have experience in molecular biology techniques and interest/experience in economic feasibility analysis.

To apply for this postdoctoral position, inquire with CV and a statement of interest to Dr. Wayne Curtis ( copied to Please include “Rhodobacter Postdoc” in the subject of the email to help identify the email.

Additional Information about Penn State

Penn State Research: In 2009, Penn State ranked ninth nationally in science, engineering R&D spending. Expenditures on science and engineering R&D in 2008-09 totaled about $753 million, up by 7 percent fro m the year before.

Penn State Surroundings: State College is ranked in the top twenty of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s “Fifty Smart Places to Live.” The community is also consistently rated among the safest in the nation. The town surrounding Penn State (State College, PA) is a classic college town. There are hundreds of thousands acres of State Parks and Forest Lands surrounding Penn State (Mt. Biking, Hiking, Fishing … within 10 miles of campus)

Penn State Campus: The University Park campus itself hosts more than 50,000 students and employs 22,000 people. The Nittany Lion football team, a Big Ten Conference member, draws throngs to the 107,282-seat Beaver Stadium on campus. Among several other highly popular facilities are the 16,000-seat Bryce Jordan Center, an entertainment arena, and the Center for the Performing Arts, one of Pennsylvania’s major cultural resources. Off campus, the Penn State Downtown Theater hosts a broad array of national and international performing acts in music, theater, comedy, and more.

Click here to download the flier.