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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Omics and Bioinformatics for Microbiomes and Materials


Materials & Manufacturing, RX/Soft Matter Materials

RO# Location
13.25.04.C0339 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337817


name email phone
Vanessa Ann Varaljay 937-904-9495


Microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, can inhabit AF aircraft and fuel tank materials. These microorganisms can survive on and even thrive on the coatings and biofuels present in these environments. The AF has isolated and identified the many microorganisms comprising the microbiomes of these environments. Employing -omics tools, such as genomics (DNA), transcriptomics (RNA), or proteomics (protein) would elucidate what enzymes these microorganisms harbor and produce under certain conditions (e.g., Under high temperatures or nutrient limitations). The use of multi-omics tools results in large amounts of data which are analyzed using sophisticated computational tools and software and on high computing clusters. This research opportunity will focus on integrating state-of-the-art –omics and bioinformatics of selected AF microorganisms to predict their activities and subsequently engineer their enzymes and pathways for materials production using synthetic biology. This research opportunity will aim to use AI/ML for improved enzyme and pathway prediction for production of biologically-derived materials.

Literature references: 

Hung, C.S., D.E. Barlow, V.A. Varaljay, C.A. Drake, A.L. Crouch, J.N. Russell, Jr., L.J. Nadeau, W.J. Crookes-Goodson, J.C. Biffinger. The biodegradation of polyester and polyester polyurethane coatings using Papiliotrema laurentii. 2019. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 139: 34-3.

Stamps, B.W., C-S Hung, C.A. Drake, V.A. Varaljay, S. Zingarelli, B.S. Stevenson, and W.J. Crookes-Goodson. Finished genome of a polyurethane degrading Pseudomonas isolate. 2018. Genome Announcements. 6(9):e00084-18.


Bioinformatics; Omics; Microbiome; Materials; Synthetic Biology


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


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$76,542.00 $4,000.00

$3,000 Supplement for Doctorates in Engineering & Computer Science

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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