NASA Ames Hiring Research Fellows for Synthetic Biology Lab

A P3 Navy aircraft with Hangar One at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. (Copyright 2009: Douglas Messier)

Synthetic Biology Innovation Laboratory

NASA Ames Research Center has an established track record in biotechnology and fundamental biology research, with applications in astrobiology, radiation biology, biosensors, biofuels, bionanotechnology, human health, and bioregenerative life support. Ames is seeking to infuse synthetic biology into these and other applications.

Two positions are available for Research Fellows in the newly established Synthetic Biology Innovation Laboratory, a cross-disciplinary research group formed to create new technologies that meet NASA needs.

Fellows will be expected to develop research projects in collaboration with NASA scientists, engineers, and outside experts with the intention of demonstrating, publishing, and/or patenting relevant new technologies and applying them to NASA missions. Research will create both enabling technologies for space exploration and foundational tools to make biological systems easier to engineer. Projects taking advantage of flight opportunities on the International Space Station and aboard small satellites are encouraged. Fellows may also participate in mentoring a student team to take part in the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM).

Applicants should have a Ph.D., substantial experience in molecular biology, and a strong drive to bring synthetic biology concepts to space exploration. Applications will include one-page outlines of two potential NASA relevant research projects, one high risk and one low risk. Technology areas include, but are not limited to: biomaterials, biosensors, long term habitation, closed loop life support, food and fuel production, high value chemicals, biological in situ resource utilization (ISRU), and biomining as well as air, water, and waste processing.

Appointments will be for two years with the potential for two one-year extensions. Stipend will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Please apply online at website: follow the link for research fellows. Applications must be received by January 21, 2011.