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OCE Postdoctoral Fellow – Computational Biology, Canberra


  • Positive real-world IMPACT
  • Reputation for excellence
  • Offering outstanding career development and professional support

The Position:

Enzymes are crucial components of the agricultural, medical, and industrial biotechnologies, and they play a critical role in protein biochemistry research conducted at CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences (CES). Wild-type enzymes sourced from nature are often found not to be fit for intended purposes, requiring significant modifications by modern protein engineering technologies before being incorporated into commercial processes and products. These technologies are already powerful, but their successful application is often stymied by the problem of unpredictable negative intramolecular epistasis.

The Bioinformatics & Phylogenomics team at CES, led by Lars Jermiin, is leading a collaboration (with Colin Scott and John Oakeshott (CES) and Dan Tawfik (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)) aimed at developing novel computational methods to predict patterns of intramolecular interactions reliably in enzymes of interest, which would significantly improve our ability to rationally redesign enzymes. In this context, CSIRO is offering an exciting opportunity for a three-year OCE Postdoctoral Fellowship in computational biology within the Bioinformatics & Phylogenomics team.

In this position, you will have primary responsibility for the development of a theoretical framework for the analysis of intramolecular epistasis and the implementation and evaluation of computational methods to exploit semi-automatically the vast amounts of sequence data already available to identify residues within enzymes that may have co-evolved.

CSIRO offers all postdoctoral fellows a development plan, tailored to your experience and interests, to further your career in science. Part of the plan includes formal and on-the-job training, with mentoring also an option. You will have access to CSIRO's extensive research facilities as well as the opportunity to collaborate with postdoctoral and research scientists in other CSIRO Divisions.

Specifically you will:

  • Develop, implement, and test methods to measure and predict intramolecular epistasis in proteins.
  • Apply the computational methods in research on protein structure-function relationships.
  • Participate in the identification of further opportunities arising from research and initiate new lines of research.
  • Assist in the planning and preparation of research proposals and carry out investigations.

Location: Black Mountain, Canberra, Australia
Salary: $75K - $82K plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Ref no: ACT12/00960
Tenure: 3 year term appointment

To be successful you will have:

  • A PhD, or will shortly satisfy the requirements for this degree, in Computational Biology or related field (e.g., Molecular Evolution, Bioinformatics, or Biostatistics), with no more than three years of relevant postdoctoral experience.
  • Research experience in relevant areas of Computational Science and software development (e.g., C++, C, Java).
  • Experience in identifying, developing and/or pursuing novel research approaches

About CSIRO: Australia is founding its future on science and innovation. Its national science agency, CSIRO is a powerhouse of ideas, technologies and skills for building prosperity, growth, health and sustainability. It serves governments, industries, business and communities across the nation. Find out more!

About CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences:
CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences is a globally significant centre for sustainability science. It brings together many of CSIRO’s ecologists, social scientists, agricultural scientists, environmental biotechnologists, systems experts and urban scientists. It applies a multidisciplinary scientific approach to help ensure the sustainability of Australia’s agricultural and forestry systems, built environments, biodiversity, and rural and urban communities and industries. To find out more, go to

Applications Close 31 May 2012

Find out more!  For further information and instructions on how to lodge your application, please visit our website at CSIRO Careers, choose "Job Search" and insert Reference Number ACT12/00960 where indicated.

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