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Open Postdoctoral position, faculty mentor Dan Herschlag

Important Info

Faculty Sponsor (Last, First Name): 
Herschlag, Dan
Stanford Departments and Centers: 
Appointment Start Date: 
How to Submit Application Materials: 

Interested candidates should email the required application materials to herschla[at]

To understand biology, we need chemistry and physics as the physical and chemical properties of biomolecules enable and constrain what biology can do and how it has evolved. We are particularly interested in questions of: (i) how enzymes work; (ii) how RNA folds; (iii) how proteins recognize RNA; (iv) RNA/protein interactions in regulation and control; and (v) the evolution of molecules and molecular interactions. Our interdisciplinary approaches span and integrate physics, chemistry and biology, employ a wide range of techniques, and are question driven. We have new projects in each of the above areas as we:

• Pioneer high-throughput quantitative approaches to study enzymes—to address how an entire protein contributes to its function, how allosteric signals are propagated, how different human alleles affect function and/or stability, and ultimately how to design new enzymes (with Polly Fordyce);
• Work to understand the evolution of enzyme function and stability via functional, genome-scale analyses, and experimental evolutionary studies;
• Pioneer the determination of enzyme conformational ensembles—and linking these to function via novel “ensemble¬–function” studies;
• Develop a quantitative and predictive model for RNA tertiary folding thermodynamics and kinetics, building from the “RNA Reconstitution Model”;
• Provide the first quantitative and complete descriptions of the affinity and specificity of RNA binding proteins for all possible RNA sequences and structures (with Will Greenleaf);
• Pioneer Quantitative Cellular Biochemistry (QCB) to bring together the power of biochemistry and genomics to the study molecular interactions and function in cells, with the goal of providing quantitative and predictive models for molecular function and regulation in cells.
I view the postdoc as a time for continued growth toward independence with advice and mentorship to facilitate that growth. Research interests should overlap, in a broad sense, with those of the lab, and candidates are encouraged to describe scientific questions of interest, possible approaches to address those questions, and potential outcomes and impact, as such descriptions provide an excellent starting point for discussions.

Required Qualifications: 

Doctoral degree

Required Application Materials: 
  • Statement of research interests and professional goals
  • Curriculum vitae
  • List of publications
  • Contact information for three references


Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.