Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Extreme Biophysics: High Pressure Studies of Food Biopolymers
NIST Center for Neutron Research
Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.
During high pressure processing (HPP), food is subjected to relatively extreme conditions to inactivate pathogens, improve food properties (nutritional value, texture, color, digestibility), or assist other processes such as freezing, extractions or shucking. Pressure affects all biopolymers, including proteins that, beyond their nutritional value, impart the structural basis for various functional properties of foods. HPP can also be important for pharmaceuticals, so proteins important for therapeutics may also be studied.
Neutrons are uniquely able to probe samples inside pressure vessels, without disturbing their chemical composition nor inducing damage. Our research group uses a broad range of expertise to elucidate complex structures, formed by interactions between food proteins and ligands with anti-oxidant properties in solutions and gels. We use Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) and complementary scattering techniques (light, X-ray), combined with fluorescence and other spectroscopies. This research offers opportunities in a number of world-class scientific facilities, and access to high performance computer clusters for multilevel coarse grain and atomistic simulations to build models that fit the experimental data. The laboratory welcomes biologists, chemists, physicists, and engineers excited about performing interdisciplinary research.
high pressure processing; biopolymers; small-angle neutron scattering; food science; pharmaceuticals
Open to U.S. citizens
Open to Postdoctoral applicants