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Technical Professional in Plant Systems Biology (Temporary)

Date: Jun 13, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8428 


*This is a temporary 12-month position.*



The Biosciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is focused on advancing science and technology to better understand complex biological systems and their relationship with the environment. BSD has expertise and special facilities in genomics, computational biology, microbiology, microbial ecology, biophysics and structural biology, and plant sciences. Research experiments include large scale laboratory, greenhouse and field experimental data acquisition, management, organization and analysis to derive insight and hypotheses suitable for further experimental validation and to improve researchers’ ability to further advance understanding of biological systems.

The Plant Systems Biology Group in the Biosciences Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is seeking a plant molecular biologist to work on functional characterization of genes and pathways involved in some key processes of plant growth and development and interactions with microbes. A candidate with expertise in plant molecular biology, molecular genetics and biochemistry is required to study the regulation of plant secondary cell wall biosynthesis and the molecular mechanism underlying plant-microbe interactions. The candidate is expected to maintain detailed and accurate records, analyze quantitative data, and communicate results to the scientific community via presentations and publications. Prior experience working with Populus plants will be an added advantage.


Major Duties / Responsibilities

  • Generate Arabidopsis and Populus transgenic plants
  • Express and purify recombinant proteins
  • Perform protein-protein interaction assays
  • Perform protein-DNA binding assays
  • Perform protein phosphorylation assays
  • Perform plant inoculation assays with bacteria and fungi
  • Perform Arabidopsis and Populus protoplast transient expression assays
  • Present research progress in project meetings and national/international conferences
  • Publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Maintain detailed and accurate records
  • Acquire and analyze data in keeping with project scheduling
  • Take a position of leadership for day-to-day laboratory operations while addressing all of ORNL’s environmental health and safety requirements
  • Self-assess experimental research skill set and identify weakness and secure learning resources to address these issues
  • Ensure compliance with environmental, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


 Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in plant biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, or a related field is required. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in working with Populus plants
  • Experience in Populus plant transformation
  • Expertise in protein-protein interactions
  • Expertise in protein-DNA interactions (i.e., transcriptional regulation)
  • Effective writing and presentation skills, demonstrated by a strong publication record
  • Desire to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team 


For additional information about the specific tasks associated with this position, please contact Dr. Jay Chen (email:


This position is a temporary 12-month, full-time assignment, contingent on successful performance and continued funding.


You should apply directly through the ORNL careers website. Applications cannot be accepted through email or any other means.


UT-Battelle is an inclusive environment where diversity is valued and individuals and teams inspire one another to contribute fully to the organization's success. ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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