Staff Scientist, SMD

Rochester, NY


Under the supervision of Professor Eric Phizicky, the Staff Scientist will conduct research in the Phizicky lab on on the biology of tRNA modifications and tRNA decay pathways in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the distantly related fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe . The research employs cutting edge techniques in molecular biology, genetics, genomics, and biochemistry to understand problems in tRNA biology, most recently revealing interactions between the biology of modifications and three other major cellular pathways, including a widely conserved cellular stress response pathway. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in molecular biology, biochemical methods associated with tRNA analysis, and some knowledge of genetics.


Execution of experiments :

  • Carry out experiments, including growth and analysis of wild type and mutant strains for differences in growth properties in different conditions; analysis of tRNA levels, modification status, and charging status using biochemical methods; use of molecular biology to manipulate the genome of yeast strains to monitor changes in tRNA biology; isolation and analysis of genetic suppressors of S. pombe or S. cerevisiae mutants affecting tRNA biology.

  • Construction and analysis of plasmids for altering the chromosome or expression of genes in S. pombe or S. cerevisiae.

  • Transformation of S. pombe or S. cerevisiae to delete genes, or to introduce specific mutations, followed by analysis of growth properties and tRNA biology.

  • Develop methods to analyze different biological or biochemical properties.

  • Participate in trouble shooting as needed; work with PI or staff/students to solve problems using internal resources or external expertise.

Design experiments :

  • Design experiments based on previous results in the lab and those in the literature.

  • Read the past and current literature to maintain a base of knowledge in the field.

  • Design plasmids to manipulate genes and or gene expression in S. pombe or S. cerevisiae , and to analyze the results.

  • Design experiments for analyzing properties of tRNAs.

  • Design experiments to analyze how suppressors overcome growth limitations of strains with defects in tRNA biology.

Participate in writing manuscripts :

  • Analyze data and present it in a format appropriate for publication.

  • Work with the PI to write and submit manuscripts for publication.

  • Write standard operating protocols to conduct research including: purpose of study, design of experiments, lists of materials and methods, and a timeline of activities.

  • Respond to peer reviews as necessary with experiments and/or text changes to answer concerns.

Interpret experimental data, draw conclusions, and communicate results :

  • After conducting experiments, analyze data, and draw relevant conclusions based on the current system or analogous ones.

  • Communicate experimental results to PI and/or other team members.

  • Assess the importance of findings in relation to the overall project, including recommendation of follow-up studies or a new series of experiments

  • Prepare written reports with sufficient detail to allow reproduction of results by other team members or individuals outside the University (i.e., reproducibility and transparency).

  • Generate appropriate figures suitable for publications and grants.

Attend seminars/meetings/career development activities:

  • Facilitate, participate, and attend lab meetings.

  • Attend departmental seminars or specialized training activities sponsored by the University, Department, instrument manufacturers, or professional societies.

  • Attend and present new data at research conference(s).

Training or Assisting Others :

  • Advise others in the lab on methodology that they need to execute experiments and/or to interpret results.

Other projects and job duties as assigned:

  • Participate in purchasing, equipment maintenance, and laboratory maintenance as needed, including preparation of regulatory documentation required for performance of research.

  • Chemical inventory and safety considerations of specialized reagents.

  • University safety training for biological, chemical, and radiation hazards.

  • Other specialized University training.

Other duties as assigned.


  • Doctoral degree with major course work in the field of assignment and 2 years of relevant postdoctoral training required.

  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics, or a closely related field preferred.

  • 2 years or more of post-doctoral or equivalent experience in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics or a related field required

The University of Rochester is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion to advance the University’s mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Ever Better. In support of our values and those of our society, the University is committed to not discriminating on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship status, or any other status protected by law. This commitment extends to the administration of our policies, admissions, employment, access, and recruitment of candidates from underrepresented populations, veterans, and persons with disabilities consistent with these values and government contractor Affirmative Action obligations.

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Pay Range

Pay Range: $ 59,197 - $82,888 Annually

The referenced pay range represents the minimum and maximum compensation for this job. Individual annual salaries/hourly rates will be set within the job’s compensation range, and will be determined by considering factors including, but not limited to, market data, education, experience, qualifications, expertise of the individual, and internal equity considerations.

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Location: School of Medicine & Dentistry
Full/Part Time: Full-Time