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Postdoctoral Scholar-Health Sciences Research Institute

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar
Salary range: See Table 23 for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $ 64,480 to $77,327.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Open until filled
Position duration: 2 years

Application Window

Open date: January 22, 2024

Most recent review date: Thursday, Feb 8, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Friday, Aug 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

A postdoctoral position is available at the University of California, Merced to study the molecular mechanisms for DNA recognition, scanning and nucleosome engagement by pioneer transcription factors and their role in cell fate decisions. The project addresses the investigation of DNA recognition processes by pioneer transcription factors that function as master regulators of cell fate with a focus on the mechanisms of DNA protein interactions, DNA scanning, protein conformation and DNA shape changes induced by binding, as well as their
mechanical effects on chromatin. The research will primarily involve protein biochemistry combined with advanced single-molecule biophysical methods, including ultrafast smFRET spectroscopy, force spectroscopy via optical tweezers, and correlative confocal fluorescence microscopy to investigate protein-DNA interaction dynamics. A recent preprint on the research involved can be read at

Experimental biophysics studies will be complemented with computer simulations and high-throughput DNA-binding selection assays and genome editing studies of Candida albicans as model system to investigate the significance of the mechanisms we identify biophysically in controlling a simple in vivo model of cell fate.

The successful candidate will be part of a team of postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students that is one of the world leaders in protein biophysics research (more information at The lab is currently embarked in multiple basic research projects that aim at understanding a variety of biological problems related to the conformational dynamics of proteins, including, the molecular biophysics of the control of gene expression, the experimental and theoretical investigation of the mechanisms of protein folding through the detection of folding transition paths (e.g. see, and the analysis of folding coupled to binding of intrinsically disordered proteins (e.g. see In addition, the lab is embarked in the development of new protein-based technologies including genetically encoded high-performance fluorescence biosensors, allosterically controlled macromolecular assemblies, and protein decoy fluorescence diagnostics methods.

The postdoctoral researcher is expected to stay abreast of recent publications in the field, carry out research independently, implement and develop research ideas and write research articles. The postdoctoral scholar is also expected to assist with mentoring graduate students and undergraduate students who will work on the project, and help in properly maintaining the spectroscopic and optical equipment in the lab. This is a two-year appointment will possible extension based on satisfactory performance.


Basic qualifications

PhD, MD (or foreign equivalent) in Bioengineering or related field.
Excellent organization, writing, presentation, and communication skills.
Ability to conduct independent research.

Preferred qualifications

Previous training and established track record in experimental protein biophysics and/or biochemistry/protein chemistry.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Statement of Research

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)
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About UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced is committed to interdisciplinary excellence in research and teaching as well as to diversity, equity and inclusion. Ranked as one of the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

The University of California, Merced is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

Please refer to the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy and the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy.

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements. This includes the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs:

Job location

Merced, CA