Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Job posting: NIH postdoctoral position in chemistry

From the inbox:
A postdoctoral position is immediately available in the laboratory of Daniel Appella, Senior Investigator in the Intramural Research Program at NIDDK, NIH. The objective of our research is to use chemically designed Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNAs) to uncover novel facets of biology (for background, see: Nature Communications, 2014, 5, 5079 and J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 12296). In this position, training will be provided on synthetic preparation and purification of PNA as well as the application of PNA to multivalent scaffolds and RNA detection. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (or a closely related discipline) and possess a strong desire to work at the interface of chemistry and biology.  Interested candidates should send a C.V. (listing three references) and cover letter to Daniel Appella (appellad@niddk.nih.gov) no later than June 1, 2016.
Best wishes to those interested. 


  1. I know Dan from the time I spent at the NIH, and he is a good man. Really, I would highly recommend working with this person and he has plenty of contacts with people in academia from his time at Northwestern. There are great opportunities there if you really take advantage of the environment.

    A few recommendations: Try and get a research fellow position instead of an IRTA post-doc, this is really important if you have student loans because you can sign up for the loan repayment as a fellow. If you see how the work in his lab works with a disparate area that you want to combine, ask for time to learn the techniques in another lab for 3-6 months so you can combine the work and direct it in another area. Get involved with the fellows committee (FelCom). Get roommates, that area is expensive and you want to save money. Get your K99 if you are going to academia.

    Good luck

  2. I probably should post under my real name, sometimes I do, but today I won't. You know what's sad is, I'd totally be great for this. Foldamers? Oh yeah, done that. Bench organic, synthesis, lots of crazy NMR, I so do that. Well, did that. Sandwich assays? Development, validation, data analysis? Oh man, I've done that too. Look at those beautiful binding curves there, in that Nature paper. I never made Nature myself, but I love making those sort of figures. Is that Igor Pro? I love Igor.

    Yeah in fact my entire publication history basically screams oh yes, this, this project!

    Just going to have a fantasy here, sorry if you don't like it, I fully expect to be flamed by a Happy Camper. Maybe I could make a strong application, and it might be a great fun time for me. I've even got family in the area I could crash with while I find my own place. It could be very, very good, yes.

    And a few years of despair and occasional joy in the hood, at the spectrometer, the misery of review and the exultation of publication and then the PI decides he wants to move on to a more fashionable area - for this sort of foldamer & recognition thing tends to go in and out of fashion every few years, I can see it now from my perspective - and says 'Aren't you ready to move on?' And I'll say 'gee boss do you know anyone who is hiring?' and he'll say 'you know, there's always opportunities for the GOOD people to find' and I'll just send out 400 resumes and bomb 2 or 3 interviews, perhaps, maybe be a 'close finalist' for some godawful QC position.

    For this wasn't a Real Job, it never was, just another postdoctoral project. As fun as foldamers/biomimetic oligomers and cool new assays involving them are to work on, there are probably no Real Jobs there. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, there just isn't enough in this subfield to support many people.

    For you see, I already did 8 years of postdoctoral work and that ended about 4 years ago, I haven't been back in the lab since. I went 'townie' and now I teach chemistry at a high school and have a great time doing that, and I play in a rock band and have a great time doing that too. I'm going to go to sleep now, and I'll wake up tomorrow and the children will have Lab Day and do some stoich and then do a reaction and we will use fun words like 'coagulate', and then I will go to band practice. Fantasy over.

    A shame though. It does sound fun. Research IS fun. But we don't all make it. I do feel a heartfelt twinge though.

    Shields up, Happy Campers, flame away! But seriously real affection for the topic and I hope it pays off big and somebody gets The Job.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20