Diedre Ribbens

Diedre Ribbens is a science writer, editor and communicator based in Minneapolis. She earned her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Connect with her on LinkedIn or by Email.).


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Find a plant science position

7/7/2017 11:39:44 AM

The training required for a career in plant science looks a lot different than the training for most careers molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics. Instead of spending hours in the mouse lab in a labyrinth of basement tunnels, plant biologists spend their time outside, exposed to the elements, studying crops. Or they spend time in a balmy greenhouse, meticulously tending to rows of plants for their experiments. However, underneath these obvious differences lie some similarities, such as a love of figuring out how a specific allele gives rise to a particular trait or how the amount of a particular chemical compound affects qualities such as growth and nutrition. If you’re interested in taking a step away from the bench and toward the great outdoors, check out some of the interesting plant-science careers highlighted below. The levels of experience level required for these positions range from none to doctoral training, so there’s a place in plant science no matter where you are in your educational and professional journey!

Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) seeks an agriculture science laboratory technician. This position is perfect for someone seeking an entry-level job in plant or agriculture science! Assist in running the instructional lab by ordering supplies and maintaining lab equipment and instruments. Perform demonstrations and experiments, training and overseeing the student lab assistants, and help enforce laboratory safety protocol. Requires a high school diploma plus additional college courses in agricultural science and one year of relevant work experience.

The University of Wyoming (Laramie, Wyo.) seeks a crop science research aide. This student will “assist faculty with laboratory, greenhouse and field experiments in the Department of Plant Sciences.” The student will have some ability to direct their work based on their interests. This is a great opportunity to learn plant culture, plant physiology, microbiology, and plant breeding. Requires some experience with science, preferably lab work and plant culture in a greenhouse setting.

Novozymes (Ames, Iowa) seeks a field-based scientist to work in the company’s technical service bioenergy division. This scientist will “work with an assigned group of ethanol plants to learn their processes and understand their challenges.” From these plants, products and services will be developed and delivered to the Novozyme portfolio. The scientist will work with growers and with Novozyme researchers. Requires four years of relevant experience, as well as a B.S. in chemical engineering, microbiology, biochemistry, or a related discipline.

North Carolina State University (Raleigh, N.C.) seeks a research assistant to work in the university’s crop and soil sciences department supporting the Official Variety Testing and Small Grain programs. This research assistant will generate specialty crop data and deliver this data to in-state growers. Requires a B.S. in agriculture or a biology-related field, as well as at least three years of experience.

Bennett Aerospace (Vicksburg, Miss.) seeks a research scientist to support the company’s projects with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Team. The scientist will “provide technical support and research to conduct genomic, genetic, and molecular biology studies related to specific environmental problems.” These studies require knowledge of molecular biology tasks related to genomics, including the ability to work with DNA and RNA from diverse plant and animal sources. This position requires a master’s degree and a combination of education and experience totaling five or more years. 

Pennsylvania State University (North East, Pa.) seeks a research assistant for the institution’s Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center. This part-time position requires collecting, evaluating and recording the effects of experimental treatments on grapevines. Techniques performed will include pH, titration and refractometer measurements. The research assistant will also spend time working in the greenhouse.

Temple University (Philadelphia) seeks a research assistant in the field of plant-pollinator interactions and plant population demography. This research assistant will conduct experiments in both the greenhouse and the field, analyzing plants by DNA extraction and subsequent PCR. Requires a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of six months’ related research experience.

California State University – Fresno (Fresno, Calif.) seeks applicants for a tenure-track faculty position in plant science. This position, listed at the assistant professor level, will be available for the 2018-2019 academic year and will reside in the Department of Plant Science in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. Primary teaching and research interests of the applicant should include agronomy related to cereal, forage and row crops. The professor will teach undergraduate and graduate courses in addition to conducting their own, independently-funded research. Requires a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in agronomy, crop science or an agricultural crop production discipline.

Looking for more jobs posts or for other tips on how to search for jobs? Check out the additional posts by searching your area of interest or geography on the ASBMB Careers Blog. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions. Leave a comment or reach out to ASBMB on Twitter or Facebook!

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Molecular and cellular biology research jobs

6/9/2017 5:40:14 PM

Molecular and cellular biology techniques are central to biological sciences research and are among the first techniques learned by students and trainees. Although some labs focus on basic discoveries within the molecular and cellular biology fields, others use the techniques to explore a diverse array of fields, including, for example, food science and pathology. Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or a fresh college graduate, you can find a job in which your molecular and cellular biology skills will allow you to shine.


The University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.) seeks a proteomics researcher in its laboratory medicine and pathology department. This two-year position will focus on the proteomic profile of diseased hearts to identify proteins linked to cardiac remodeling and heart failure. Using techniques such as mass spectrometry and microdissection, the researcher will design and run experiments, keep up with the literature, and contribute to manuscripts. Requires a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences or chemistry and one year of related work experience.

The University of California at Davis (Davis, Calif.) seeks a staff research associate to work with its Mouse Biology Program, “an academic teaching, research, service center and shared resource at UC Davis established to develop, study, and conduct education and training in genetic manipulation of the laboratory mouse.” The staff scientist will specifically work in the Murine IVF and Cryopreservation Laboratory to conduct various tasks associated with that laboratory’s function. Requires a bachelor’s degree and training in biology with an emphasis on animal sciences and fundamental cell biology. Additional experience working with mouse IVF is required.

Acumen Detection (Syracuse, N.Y.) seeks a molecular biology research scientist “to play a significant role in assay development for the detection of pathogens related to the dairy and food industries.” This scientist will collect and analyze data from assays they develop, collaborating with other scientists on projects and communicating their findings at weekly group meetings, scientific meetings, trade shows and more. Requires a master’s degree with three or more years’ experience, or a Ph.D. in molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry or a related field.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Anchorage, Alaska) seeks a microbiologist to work in its National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases/Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections/Arctic Investigations Program. This microbiologist will research microorganisms and other biological agents in the context of molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis. This person also will coordinate and run the lab space and serve as a subject matter expert on relevant research topics. Requires a degree in microbiology, biology, chemistry or basic medical science with at least one year of specialized research experience.

Bluebird Bio (Cambridge, Mass.) seeks a molecular biology and biochemistry scientist who can assist in the design and execution of assays documenting the biomarkers of genetic disease. This scientist will use techniques such as flow cytometry, Western blotting, qPCR and other routine molecular biology techniques to analyze samples. Additionally, the scientist will collaborate with academic researchers to evaluate and interpret collected data, as well as write technical reports and participate in quality control/assurance. Requires a Ph.D. in the biological sciences with applied experience in mammalian cell culture and phenotypic analysis of mouse models of disease.

The Salk Institute (La Jolla, Calif.) seeks a lab manager for its Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory. This lab seeks to use adenovirus to both understand and treat cancer. The lab manager “is responsible for managing day-to-day laboratory operations in a dynamic research environment.” This includes working with other laboratory personnel, ordering supplies, maintaining equipment, keeping a current electronic notebook using LabGuru, and managing lab databases. Requires a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minimum of five years of experience in research with molecular biology and tissue culture.

AbbVie (Redwood City, Calif.) seeks a molecular, cellular and biochemistry scientist to work with its immuno-oncology team. This scientist should have tumor/stromal cell biology experience and a willingness to study stromal cell biology, aimed at characterizing the cell types that make up the tumor microenvironment. Requires a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience or a master’s degree and three years of experience in cell biology, molecular biology, cancer biology, pharmacology or a related field.

MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas (Houston) seeks a principal institute research scientist in drug discovery, biology and translation. This scientist will work in the Center for Co-Clinical Trials to aid in its mission “to integrate biological insights with drug discovery expertise to accelerate the development of innovative targeted cancer therapeutics.” This scientist will have expertise in tumor biology and related areas and will lead the CCCT’s cross-functional research programs in drug discovery and development. Requires a Ph.D. or medical degree, as well as seven years of relevant lab research experience.

Looking for more jobs posts or for other tips on how to search for jobs? Check out the additional posts by searching your area of interest or geography on the ASBMB Careers Blog. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions. Leave a comment or reach out to ASBMB on Twitter or Facebook!

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Working for the government

5/19/2017 1:32:11 PM

Governmental research agencies can seem a bit like an alphabet soup of highly specialized research groups: the NIH, NIAID, NHLBI, CDC, HHS and more! Once you get past the acronyms, you’ll learn that there’s a breathtaking variety of research being conducted at our nation’s scientific research facilities. From basic science to patient-driven clinical research, you’ll be able to find something that interests you. To keep it simple, this week’s job listings focus on those available from the NIH and CDC – two of the top choices for many with biochemistry-related backgrounds.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is located in Bethesda, Md. The NIH funds all manner of medical research, both at a basic science level and at the translational or clinical level. Its mission is to “enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability” among Americans.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (Bethesda, Md.) seeks a staff clinician for its laboratory of clinical infectious diseases. This position, focused on mycology, will use “the most current immunologic and statistical genetic methods to understand the human response to fungal pathogens.” Working collaboratively with others in the group, the clinician will participate in designing patient-centered research protocols as well as analyzing data, disseminating results, and mentoring junior members of the group. Requires an M.D. or M.D./Ph.D.. Board eligibility in infectious disease preferred.

The NIH, together with the Lasker Foundation, seeks applications for the 2017 Lasker Clinical Research Scholars program. These scholars receive five to seven years of financial support to conduct research for the NIH Intramural Research Program, followed by an additional three years of support at an extramural research institution or continued support at the NIH Intramural Research Program. These scholars should be “exceptional clinical researchers in the early stages of their careers.” Requires a clinical doctoral degree (M.D., M.D./Ph.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., R.N./Ph.D. or equivalent) and a professional license to practice in the United States; completion of a post-residency clinical fellowship and demonstration of patient-oriented research preferred. Applications are due by Friday, Aug. 25.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (Bethesda, Md.) seeks a postdoctoral researcher with an interest in molecular immunology. The Lab of Molecular Immunology focuses on the cytokines that share the common cytokine receptor gamma chain, as mutations in this gene result in X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency in humans. This postdoctoral researcher should have received a Ph.D. and/or an M.D. degree, should possess a “reasonable level of independence,” and should have experience in immunology and/or molecular biology research.

The National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, Md.) Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) seeks a physician to serve as a staff clinician. This staff clinician will assist with the CGB mission to “advance the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of cancer and to translate this knowledge into effective, evidence-based medical management strategies.” This will include analyzing biological specimens collected from clinical studies and using information from these analyses to learn about the etiology of cancers in the specimens. Requires a medical degree and completed clinical fellowship training in genetics, medical hematology-oncology, or pediatric hematology-oncology.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a number of locations across the country. The CDC is tasked with monitoring and promoting good public health. It monitors potential public health threats, studies emerging diseases, and works with both domestic and international partners to implement public health studies and programs.

The CDC seeks a biologist in Atlanta. This position entails providing scientific advice, performing laboratory work, sharing health-related informational materials, designing and implementing studies, analyzing the impact of scientific issues to the public health community, and communicating results in a variety of venues (conferences, journals, etc.). Requires a bachelor’s degree in the sciences and at least one year of specialized experience related to the activities described above.

The CDC seeks a supervisory research medical officer in Morgantown, W.V. This officer will provide expertise on occupational respiratory diseases, oversee related research programs, conduct research activities, and supervise other researchers and technicians. Requires an M.D. or D.O. degree and a completed residency training program.

The CDC seeks a health scientist in New York City. This scientist will consult on health programs while conducting research aimed at monitoring public-health issues and their impact on the community at large. The scientist will analyze data and use statistics to answer questions of central importance to the CDC’s mission. Requires a four-year degree and at least one year of specialized experience in the field of public health research.

The CDC seeks epidemiologists for various locations. These positions require managing projects related to epidemiology, representing the CDC at various U.S. embassies, collecting and evaluating data, doing quality-control checks of collection and data-analysis methods, overseeing epidemiological work conducted by colleagues, serving as an expert in epidemiology, and complying with ethical science and human research guidelines. Requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field and at least one year of job-related specialized experience.

Looking for more jobs posts or for other tips on how to search for jobs? Check out the additional posts by searching your area of interest or geography on the ASBMB Careers Blog. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions. Leave a comment or reach out to ASBMB on Twitter or Facebook!