Postdoctoral Fellows - Cutting-edge cryogenic electron microscopy

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Job Description

Opportunity. We are seeking multiple postdoctoral researchers to join the Center for Structural Biology (CSB), Center for Cancer Research (CCR), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Frederick MD. The CSB Branch of the NCI’s intramural research institute seeks to develop and apply high-end structural biology techniques to address fundamental questions of disease mechanisms and to create better treatments. Currently, the groups of Dr. Susan Lea and Dr. Hans Elmlund are seeking to recruit up to 5 postdoctoral fellows interested in pushing single particle cryo-EM towards routine structure solution of small macromolecules, including both RNAs and membrane proteins.

Two Coders. Two posts require the skills needed to make substantial contributions to the development of novel image processing algorithms and the code base that underlies their implementation. A background in image processing and / or code development would be ideal. The candidates will be working in a creative collaborative team developing and applying novel computational solutions for analyzing high-dimensional noisy image data.

Three Biochemists. Three posts require structurally interested, skilled biochemists with proven skills in preparation of challenging samples for biophysical analyses. An interest in macromolecular structure and prior experience with one of the major structural methods will be an advantage but is not required. Prior experience with preparation of structured RNAs or membrane proteins for structural experiments is required.

About CSB. The research in CSB is supported by the collaborative and interdisciplinary NIH intramural program, which includes more than 1100 labs and provides state-of-the-art equipment in structural biology, biochemistry, and biophysics. We have excellent access to high-end electron microscopes (Titan Krios/Cold FEG/Selectris/Falcon 4, Arctica/BioQuantum/K3 and Aquilos II CryoFIB) and smaller screening electron microscopes available at the Frederick campus. These core facilities are supported by Ph.D.-level staff and we offer hands-on training. In addition, NIH is committed to the continuing education and career development of its research staff through numerous courses and workshops offered by NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE) and the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES). There are also opportunities for intramural career transition funding (K grants).

What we offer. CSB offers a competitive salary and comprehensive health insurance. Posts will be available for between 3 and 7 years and are ideally suited to those in the final stages of completion of a Ph.D. The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs. These positions are subject to background investigations.

Qualifications and Job Details

Degree Required
Ph.D. or equivalent
Job Location
Appointment Type
Training Position (Stipend commensurate with experience)
Work Schedule
Full-time (In-Person)
US Citizenship not required - (ie, permanent resident, visa)

Required and Preferred Skills

Required Skills
  • You have a strong track record of publications demonstrating the ability to carry projects through to completion.
  • You enjoy working in a collaborative interdisciplinary environment to solve difficult problems.
  • You are keen to use your skills to develop and / or apply structural methodologies that may be applied to accelerate discovery across multiple disciplines and make a significant impact on biomedical research world-wide.
  • You are highly motivated to participate in rigorous and innovative research programs.
  • You possess an excellent work ethic and team spirit, can work independently and efficiently and collaborate closely with members of the group, and other labs on joint projects.
  • You have a proven record of collaborative research.

About the NCI Center for Cancer Research

The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is home to nearly 250 basic and clinical research groups located on two campuses just outside of Washington, D.C. CCR is part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and makes up the largest component of the research effort at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Centrally supported by long-term funding and a culture of complete intellectual freedom, CCR scientists are able to pursue the most important and challenging problems in cancer research. We collaborate with academic and commercial partners and advocacy groups across the world in efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and HIV/AIDS. The CCR research portfolio covers the full spectrum of biological and biomedical research. Our work ranges from basic to translational and clinical, and our clinical trials are conducted in the NIH Clinical Center, the world’s largest hospital dedicated to clinical research that offers a robust infrastructure to support CCR’s patients on an estimated 250 open studies. The success of CCR is grounded in an exceptionally strong discovery research program that provides the foundation for the seamless translation of insights from bench to bedside. Read more about CCR, the benefits of working at CCR and hear from our staff on their CCR experiences.


Frederick is the second largest city in Maryland but retains a “small town” feel, surrounded by mountain views with a vibrant Main Street community. The city offers outstanding schools, a balanced and thriving economy and a highly educated workforce.

How to Apply
  • CV/Resume
  • Statement of Research Goals
  • 2 References
  • Cover Letter
  • Summary of Research Experience
Additional Application Information

Applicants should send a cover letter indicating preferred starting date, a brief description (1-2 pages) of past research, CV, and contact information for at least two references via email to either Susan or Hans:

More information be found at:

Applications are open until the positions are filled.

Contact Information
Contact Name
Hans Elmlund
E-mail Address
DHHS, NIH and NCI are equal opportunity employers. The NCI and CCR are deeply committed to diversity of thought, equity and inclusion and encourage applications from qualified women, underrepresented minorities and individuals with disabilities.