Postdoctoral Scholar - Department of Physics - University of California, Berkeley
As part of the Holger Mueller Research Group, in the Department of Physics, at the University of California, we seek applications for postdoctoral researchers in the areas relevant to developing and using a laser-based phase plate for electron microscopy. Areas of previous experience might include experimental physics, biological electron microscopy, or innovative use of software for data collection and analysis in the area of cryo-EM and tomography.
Depending on the background of the applicant, the job responsibilities may include one or more of the following:
- Constructing, operating, and optimizing new laser hardware for laser-based phase contrast, increasing usability and reliability, minimizing imaging artifacts, or for realizing advanced imaging modalities;
- application of laser-based phase contrast and new imaging modalities that are enabled by the laser phase plate to biological problems, using cryo electron tomography, including identifying biological problems, preparing samples, and running data-taking campaigns;
- finding or developing optimized strategies to process data generated with the laser phase plate as well as developing new imaging and data analysis strategies to obtain atomic resolution readouts of the entire proteome.
We seek highly motivated candidates with past research success and interest in developing and applying instruments for the biological sciences. In particular, we are looking for candidates in three areas:
Laser physics, including infrared lasers, frequency stabilization, optical resonators, servo loops, the physics of optomechanics, laser-electron interactions, as well as mechanical construction of stable optical systems;
Biological electron microscopy, including prior experience such as use of a phase plate, biological sample preparation, single-particle cryo-EM, cryo-ET, and FIB milling;
Using, developing, and refining image processing as well as interactive software to automate the data-taking process; adding scripts to these software packages to address special requirements; writing software to allow new imaging modalities.
Experience in more than one of these areas is welcome, but not essential.
We have recently shown that laser-based, quantum-coherent manipulation of free elections can help overcome long-standing problems in cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM). Our Laser Phase Plate (LPP), together with advances in direct electron detectors, will make it possible to extract all information that is present in the electron beam at the standard quantum limit.
Funding has now arrived from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative for "Laser Phase Contrast in cryo-EM for Visual Proteomics at Atomic Resolution," to set up a moonshot electron microscope. This instrument will feature a new, dual LPP, a gun monochromator, aberration correction, an energy filter, and the latest direct detection camera, with a goal of near-atomic resolution imaging of the proteome. We are collaborating with Robert Glaser on microscope development; Eva Nogales, Jim Hurley, Elisabeth Villa, and David Drubin to try out their most challenging specimens; as well as with ThermoFisher Scientific to transfer the technology. The project is associated with Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) at Berkeley, which brings together physical scientists, engineers, and biologists into a collaborative research environment with shared resources and core research support facilities.
To apply, visit https://aprecruit.berkeley.edu/JPF03273