Postdoc Positions Available in CAS Key Lab of Synthetic Biology

Two 2-year postdoc positions are now open in Professor Guo-Ping Zhao’s group in CAS key laboratory of Synthetic Biology, SIPPE, SIBS, Shanghai, China. Research areas include (1) molecular mechanisms for coordinate regulation of nitrogen metabolism and secondary metabolism in actinomycetes, and (2) DNA assembly standards in Synthetic Biology.

In Zhao’s group, our study has been focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of regulation for secondary metabolites in actinomycetes. In particular, our group found decades ago, that addition of nitrate into the fermentation medium remarkably stimulates the yield of rifamycin in the bacterium Amycolatopsis mediterranei. This finding has been widely used in improving industrial fermentation ever since, and is called the “nitrate stimulating effect”. Subsequent physiological and biochemical studies revealed the pleotropic characteristics of this effect, and systematic studies have been carried out to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlining this “global regulation.” Along with this work, we are now trying to characterize the whole signal transduction pathway for nitrate-mediated global regulation. Therefore, applicants for this direction should be familiar in microbial transcriptional regulation and/or protein post-translational modification.

Meanwhile, we have recently developed the iBrick standard for DNA assembly. The iBrick standard employs two homing endonucleases of I-SceI and PI-PspI, which recognize long target sequences and produce non-palindromic compatible cohesive ends, and is suitable for manipulation of large DNA pieces. Because the long recognition sites of both enzymes are sparsely distributed in natural DNA sequences, generally no need is required in modification of the DNA sequences before brick construction, regardless of their lengths. However, in the present version, a 21-bp scar will be leaved between two bricks and further effort will be made to reduce the length of the scar. Therefore, applicant for this direction should be familiar in molecular biology and protein/enzyme engineering.

For all applicants, please send CV together with two recommendation letters to For more information, please visit or write to