Staff Scientist Structural Biology

University of Oklahoma

Oklahoma, OK

ID: 7114789 (Ref.No. ta223015)
Posted: October 26, 2022
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job Description


The Laboratory of Biomolecular Structure and Function (LBSF) at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) seeks an experienced crystallographer to run the daily operations of the LBSF. The LBSF is part of a suite of core labs supported in part by the OUHSC Vice President of Research. The LBSF is also part of the Biomolecular Structure Core (BSC) for the Oklahoma Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Structural Biology (OCSB). The OCSB has been the focal point of Oklahoma's structural biology community for ten years and was just awarded its phase III funding for five years. The community includes 50 labs at three major research institutions. The position is at the staff scientist level. The position is expected to be long-term (> 5 years), pending the continued grant-funding success of the users of the LBSF. The candidate will be responsible for working with PIs to advance their structural biology projects. These efforts will include routine technical operations, developing new protocols to overcome challenging problems, and training the staff of user labs in protein purification, crystallization, data collection, and structure determination. The candidate has to have the ability to do all of the tasks in the crystal structure workflow and will often have to do this work alone when the user lab lacks available workers. The ideal candidate for this position will have a PhD and ten years of experience in macromolecular crystallography. The candidate will not be expected to write grant applications. Pluses in a candidate's background include experience with instrument repair, membrane protein purification, membrane protein crystallization, Cyro-EM, or other structural biology methods.


  • Non-tenured, specified term scientific position
  • Responsible for the management of a research laboratory
  • Conducts research, provides support to various research activities, and trains laboratory staff
  • Ensures all employees follow laboratory safety regulations and laboratory policies and procedures
  • Develops and implements laboratory operational policies and procedures
  • Develops and implements strategic goals for the lab and presents to Principal Investigator
  • Develops and oversees new projects to include but not limited to program analysis and possible sources of potential sponsored funding
  • Independently conducts research projects, constructs tests or assist with construction of tests, and collaborates with other researchers
  • Compiles data and prepares research manuscripts for publication in peer reviewed journals
  • Conducts literature searches in order to stay current with ongoing research in a specific field or project
  • Collects data and conducts analyses by interpreting, drawing conclusions and documenting the data
  • Presents research results to other researchers, committees, faculty, and at scientific meetings
  • Supervises laboratory personnel
  • Responsible for hiring, terminating, training, conducting performance evaluations, disciplining, delegating, and monitoring employee’s work
  • Tracks time by project for monthly effort reports and billing of services rendered
  • Maintains a well-organized notebook and associated databases
  • Available to users during the core lab's work hours
  • Has ability to work alone for extended periods
  • Checks crystallization trays on a set schedule
  • Provides regular verbal and short written reports on progress to users
  • Participates in leading local workshops on various technical aspects of structural biology
  • Provides training to users of the lab's instruments and maintains the lab's instruments
  • Keeps chemical inventory updated
  • May have teaching responsibilities
  • May apply for grants or contracts
  • Performs related duties as needed to successfully fulfill the functions of the position

Job Requirements


Education: Ph.D. or M.D.

Experience: 36 months Postdoctoral Research Fellow experience


  • Advanced knowledge of their scientific field
  • Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify alternative solutions or conclusions
  • Ability to compile and analyze data
  • Ability to establish and maintain working relationships with individuals, agencies, and other entities to encourage cooperative strategies or develop information and interpret findings
  • Excellent verbal and written skills in order to prepare technical and research papers, grant applications, and publish and communicate findings to peers and at conferences
  • Advanced working knowledge of computers to store, process and analyze data
  • Must be detail oriented
  • Ability to handle stressful situations and meet deadlines
  • Ability to troubleshoot problems by reasoning with physical biochemical knowledge
  • Assembly of growth media and buffers from scratch
  • Plasmid DNA purification
  • Molecular cloning with T4 Ligase
  • Recombinant protein overexpression with ability to manually prepare gels
  • Protein purification (affinity chromatography and size-exclusion column chromatography at a minimum)
  • Experience to run a crystallization robot is a plus
  • Manual assembly of crystal optimization reservoir solutions for crystal optimization crystals
  • Design of experiments approaches to crystal optimization experiments is a plus
  • Collecting diffraction data at room temperature
  • Optimizing cryo-protection conditions
  • Collecting diffraction data with a home source is a plus
  • Collecting diffraction data remotely with synchrotron radiation
  • Processing diffraction data
  • Structure determination and refinement
  • Preparing images for publication
  • Writing the relevant methods and results sections of a manuscript

Working Conditions:

  • Physical: Standing for prolonged periods. Manual dexterity. Reaching, bending, stooping, and handling laboratory equipment.
  • Environmental: Laboratory Environment. Exposure to chemicals, biohazardous materials, carcinogens, blood borne pathogens, and other biohazards.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement: The University of Oklahoma, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes, but is not limited to, admissions, employment, financial aid, housing, services in educational programs or activities, and health care services that the University operates or provides.  

Diversity Statement: The University of Oklahoma is committed to achieving a diverse, equitable, and inclusive university community by recognizing each person's unique contributions, background, and perspectives. The University of Oklahoma strives to cultivate a sense of belonging and emotional support for all, recognizing that fostering an inclusive environment for all is vital in the pursuit of academic and inclusive excellence in all aspects of our institutional mission.