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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Reproducible Multispecies Microbial Cultures


Material Measurement Laboratory, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division

RO# Location
50.64.41.B8207 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Forry, Samuel P. 301.975.5246
Jackson, Scott Ashley 301.975.5460


Advancing technical capabilities (e.g., next gen sequencing) have revealed that microbial life abounds everywhere in the world, and it is now well recognized that microbes almost exclusively coexist in complex multispecies communities, typically comprised of 10^2-10^3 distinct species exhibiting myriad dynamic, competitive, antagonistic, and commensal interactions (microbiomes). While most of these microbes are generally beneficial and even necessary (e.g., gut microbes that aid digestion; nitrogen fixing microbes in soil), problems can arise when the naturally occurring ecologies are disrupted (e.g., algal blooms in the ocean; cavity formation on teeth). Nevertheless, community structure and dynamics are difficult to reproduce in the laboratory or even characterize experimentally. We are interested in using reproducible multispecies microbial biofilms of known composition (≈5-20 species) to characterize dynamic microbial behaviors (e.g., biofilm maturation and dispersal, quorum signaling, metabolism) and evaluate new and emerging measurement strategies for characterizing microbial communities (e.g., sequencing, shotgun metagenomics, mass spectrometry). Since this project is highly interdisciplinary, we are seeking applicants from many diverse fields including microbiology, chemistry, engineering, and analytical instrumentation.


Microbial communities; Microbiome; Biofilm; Sequencing; Metagenomics; Mass spectrometry; Metabolomics;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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