Post Doctoral Research Fellowship - Protein Biochemistry/Bio-organic Chemistry/Enzymology

Apply now Job no: 497674
Work type: Non-Classified/Professional
Location: Boise, ID
Categories: Research, College of Arts & Sciences

About Us:

Boise State University, powered by creativity and innovation, stands uniquely positioned in the Northwest as a metropolitan research university of distinction. Learn more about Boise State and the City of Boise at

Boise State University is building an inclusive community of faculty and staff whose unique skills, cultural contributions, work history, and perspectives create a rich and rewarding academic experience for our students. Research demonstrates that people thrive when they feel welcome, respected, and inspired. We seek applicants who are committed to helping us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. Applications from members of historically marginalized groups, including women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), those with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those who have served in the military, and members of other underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged.

Job Summary/Basic Function:

Serves in a temporary position that enables an individual with their Ph.D. to continue their training as a researcher and gain skills and experience that will prepare them for their research career in academia or elsewhere. As a postdoc, the position can perform mostly independent research, collaborate on a multi-scholar research initiative, or even may have lead responsibility for discrete components of a larger research project or program, all while under the general direction of a senior or principal researcher

Department Overview:

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in Chemistry. The department's vision is to “Promote student success through excellence in chemistry.” We realize this vision by providing exceptional student research experiences and a curriculum that includes developing critical thinking skills, independent research projects, instrumentation training, exceptional laboratory practices, and mastery of scientific writing.

As a Carnegie R2 ranked institution (Ph.D. granting, high research activity), we are dedicated to increasing high-impact research. Our faculty members conduct research in areas such as drug discovery, medicinal chemistry & medical devices, cosmochemistry, prebiotic chemistry, archaeological science, computational chemistry, enzymology and enzyme mechanisms, RNA and protein chemistry, and polymer chemistry. Our faculty members participate and mentor Ph.D. graduate students in transdisciplinary programs including Materials Science and Engineering, Biomolecular Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Computing, and Systems Engineering (planned).

We are committed to a cultural goal of “Work in a department that embraces a team spirit of cooperation and respect for all.” Please visit this website to learn about our department and faculty:

Level Scope:

After earning a Ph.D., the next step in the academic or research career path is often a postdoc. A postdoc is a continuation of a researcher’s training that enables them to further their professional development and start to transition from student to independent researcher. Postdocs also often take additional leadership or teaching responsibilities in their laboratory or department. These positions are usually two to three years and it is not unusual for a researcher to do more than one postdoc.

Essential Functions:

The laboratory of Professor Rajesh Nagarajan in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Boise State University seeks to fill a Postdoctoral Research Associate position in the area of bioorganic chemistry and/or protein biochemistry. Projects will involve a) expressing and purifying proteins involved in bacterial quorum sensing b) conducting enzyme assays to characterize proteins involved in secondary metabolism c) developing chemical probes to measure chain-flipping rates (fast kinetics) in acyl carrier proteins, and d) synthesizing and evaluate small-molecule inhibitors for quorum sensing signal synthase enzymes. This postdoctoral position will provide opportunities for the candidate to gain experience in mechanistic enzymology, conduct steady-state and pre-steady state (fast) enzyme kinetics, protein expression and purification, small molecule synthesis, chemoenzymatic synthesis, genetic code expansion tools, bioinformatics tools and hands-on experience with modern biophysical instruments. The postdoctoral candidate will have the opportunity to work with a wide range of instruments in the Nagarajan Laboratory that include the Bio-Rad NGC FPLC, Thermo Scientific Ultimate 3000 HPLC, Agilent 1260 Bio-inert HPLC, Applied Photophysics SX20 Stopped Flow fluorometer, Fluromax-4C spectrofluorometer, BioTek plate readers, etc. The candidate will also have access to state-of-the-art instrumentation including the Bruker Maxis Q-TOF Mass Spectrometer, Bruker 600 MHz NMR instrument, MALDI Mass spectrometer with imaging capabilities, Agilent 6470 Triple Quadrupole LC-MS systems, a variety of plate readers, isothermal calorimeters, microscopes from the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, Biological Sciences Department, and the Boise State Biomolecular Research Center. The outcome of these projects is expected to yield mechanistic insights into developing novel antimicrobials targeting bacterial virulence. Please contact Dr. Rajesh Nagarajan ( with additional questions about the position.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:
  • The selected candidate must be able to meet eligibility requirements for work in the United States at the time the appointment is scheduled to begin and to continue working legally for the proposed term of the appointment.
  • Excellent teamwork and communication skills.
  • Scientific writing skills demonstrated through peer-reviewed publications.
  • Ability to acquire accurate, reproducible data.
  • Critical eye towards consistency, reproducibility, and the scientific method in general.
  • Excellent project and time management skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and mentoring skills.
  • Advocate for safety and ethics in the workplace.
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member.
  • Strong work ethic and commitment to becoming an independent scientist.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in scientific writing skills such as preparation of manuscripts.
Minimum Qualifications:
  • Requires a minimum of a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Biochemistry, or equivalent terminal degree in a relevant discipline.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in conducting enzyme assays and/or protein-binding assays.
  • Experience in small molecule synthesis.
  • Design and synthesis of small-molecule chemical probes.
  • Strong background in enzymology and mechanism of action studies.
  • Experience working with acyl carrier proteins or lipid biosynthesis pathways is a plus.
Salary and Benefits:

Salary commensurate with experience. Boise State University is committed to offering a benefits package that provides health and financial protection plans as well as resources to promote health and well-being. Our program provides flexibility so you can choose the benefits that are right for you and your family. Learn more about our benefit options at

Required Application Materials:

Interested applicants must submit a CV and a cover letter describing their background, past training, and skillsets that fit this position. After initial screening of application materials, appropriate candidates will be contacted for letters of reference.



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