13. June 2014 - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Postdoctoral Research Associate - Accelerated Acetylcholinesterase Reactivators
Postdoctoral Research Associate - Accelerated Acetylcholinesterase Reactivators
13. June 2014 - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Postdoctoral Research Associate - Accelerated Acetylcholinesterase Reactivators
Postdoctoral Research Associate - Accelerated Acetylcholinesterase Reactivators
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA


The Biology and Soft Matter Division of the Neutron Sciences Directorate of ORNL runs world-class scientific neutron crystallography and neutron scattering programs. The Biology and Soft Matter Division, in partnership with collaborators at the University of California-San Diego and the University of Utah, has an immediate opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to participate in an NIH-funded collaborative translational project directed to developing a new generation of accelerated oxime reactivators of nerve agent and pesticide organophosphate(OP)-inhibited human acetylcholinesterase (hAChE). The successful candidate will investigate the structure and function of hAChE, and identify structurally imposed limiting factors in oxime reactivation of the enzyme inhibited by OP. The postdoctoral researcher will join the research team that uses a multidisciplinary approach combining biochemistry, X-ray and neutron crystallography, small-angle scattering (SAXS, TR-SAXS, SANS), neutron spectroscopy and computational modeling (QM/MM/MD) to understand how slow molecular motions, protonation and ionization states in the mechanism of oxime reactivation of OP-inhibited hAChE influence and in effect limit antidotes’ efficacy.

Description of Institution

The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States’ highest flux reactor based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator based neutron source. Together these facilities operate 27 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists. HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation. To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to: http://neutrons.ornl.gov.

Job description

Major Duties/Responsibilities

  • Responsible for protein purification, protein-ligand complexes preparation, crystal growth, and X-ray and neutron crystallographic studies.
  • Assist in sample preparation for SANS and neutron spectroscopic measurements, and with data collection.
  • Assist with collaborative neutron crystallographic projects of ORNL neutron diffractometers MaNDi and IMAGINE at the 25% level of effort, including data collection, processing, structure refinement/analysis.
  • Responsible for publishing papers based on this research and assist with publishing collaborative manuscripts.
  • Present results at national and international conferences.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.
  • Physical requirements for this job include the use of hand and eye protection gear, kneeling, sitting for extended periods of time, extensive work at chemical laboratories, and possible exposure to ionization radiation normally associated with operation of neutron scattering instruments for scientific research.
Requested Profile

Qualifications Required

A Ph.D. in biochemistry, biophysics or a related discipline completed within the last 5 years is required. Research experience with biochemical methods for production, purification and crystallization of proteins, and X-ray crystallography is required. Candidates should be self-motivated, have good interpersonal, communication and presentation skills and a demonstrated ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels. The ability to work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team is a critical asset.

Employment is contingent upon the results of a pre-employment physical exam and drug screen which must be administered and cleared before employment can begin.

Qualifications Desired:

Experience with either small-angle scattering (SAXS or SANS) and the analysis of scattering data, or neutron macromolecular crystallography is desirable. Knowledge of mechanistic biochemistry is highly desirable. The aspiration to learn is highly desirable.


Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position. A minimum of 2 letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to Please include the title of the position in the subject line.

Applicants must have received their PhD within five years of this application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment.

How 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), Excel(.xls, .xlsx), PowerPoint(.ppt, .pptx), Adobe(.pdf), Rich Text Format(.rtf), HTML and text files(.txt) up to 2MB 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

Notice: If the position requires a Security Clearance, reviews and tests for the absence of any illegal drug as defined in 10 CFR 707.4 will be conducted by the employer and a background investigation by the Federal government may be required to obtain an access authorization prior to employment and subsequent reinvestigations may be required.

If the position is covered by the Counterintelligence Evaluation Program regulations at 10 CFR 709, a counterintelligence evaluation may include a counterintelligence-scope polygraph examination.

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.

31. July 2014
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