Postdoctoral Research Associate - Mass Spectrometry of Living Plant and Microbial Systems

Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Discussed upon interview.
Feb 26, 2019
Mar 28, 2019
Field of specialization
Job Type



We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will focus developing a new multimodal imaging platform integrating novel and existing mass spectrometry and laser spectroscopy capabilities to resolve 3D spatiotemporal chemical information in the bulk and at the interface in biological systems in situ.  This system will enable molecular-level understanding of the complex metabolomics, signaling pathways, and rhizospheric processes in living systems with a designed spatiotemporal resolution of μm-to-mm and s-to-min.  This position resides in the Mass Spectrometry and Laser Spectroscopy Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), it will involve extensive collaboration with biologist and plant scientists in the Biosciences Division at ORNL.


As part of our research team, you will focus on using atmospheric pressure liquid extraction mass spectrometry imaging techniques to probe chemical localization and molecular transport through complex biosystems in real time. This work includes technique development and validation on model and real-world systems. These mass spectrometry tools will be combined with non-linear optical microscopy imaging methods as the program advances to provide dynamic chemical maps in complex biosystems for the first time. 


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 


Develop new analytical approaches for atmospheric pressure liquid extraction mass spectrometry and apply them to study living biosystems Develop new methods to understand how signaling pathways and rhisospheric responses influence biosystem transport and function Participate in development of new research directions Present and report research results at meetings and conferences and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner Work with ORNL staff and other postdoctoral research associates and students to accomplish the research goals Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics Basic Qualifications:


A PhD in Chemistry or a related field completed within the last five years. Preferred Qualifications:


Experience with mass spectrometry, with special emphasis on mass spectrometry imaging, ion source development, method development, atmospheric pressure mass spectrometry Experience in development of new analytical tools for biological systems Experience in mass spectral data analysis (Matlab, Origin, PCA, etc.) Experience with biological systems and biochemistry Experience with microfluidics An excellent record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience Motivated and safety conscious Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory   Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs Special Requirement:


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position.  Three 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.


Benefits at ORNL:  UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.      Relocation:  Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.


For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


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.