Genomics and Cell Biology

Research Scientist Position in Synthetic Biology, NASA Ames Research Center

By Keith Cowing
May 7, 2011

Applications are invited for an experienced research scientist to join NASA Ames in
defining the field of Space Synthetic Biology. Applications are being accepted through Friday, May 27, 2011.

Building on decades of cutting edge scientific achievements, NASA Ames Research Center is creating a new, interdisciplinary, research effort to use synthetic biology as an enabling technology to explore our solar system.

As a recognized expert and leader, you will establish a Center for Space Synthetic Biology and play a key role in defining the field. You will direct start-up funds (subject to appropriation) intended to fund your salary, lab equipment, graduate students, and post-doctoral students, and grow research capabilities to build this center into a world-renowned establishment. You will recruit and lead research teams, compete for grants, and collaborate with others within and outside of NASA. You will provide strategic consulting to NASA management in defining the research directions and priorities for applying Synthetic Biology to achieve the goals and objectives of the Agency. Your research strategy and partnerships will leverage investments in research and technology by industry, foundations, universities, and other agencies. You will serve as a key agency interface to the Synthetic Biology community to further NASA’s programmatic goals and objectives.

The Center for Space Synthetic Biology at NASA Ames Research center is being created to harness biology in reliable, robust, engineered systems to support NASA’s exploration and science missions, to improve life on Earth, and to help shape NASA’s future. With the promise of engineered biology on Earth within reach, NASA’s Center for Space Synthetic Biology aims to develop advanced concepts for Synthetic Biology applications in space.

Your research will create advances in one or more of the following areas: advanced materials; biological life support and in situ resource utilization; radiation and gravitational biology countermeasures; human health; advanced sensing; food production; fuel production; thermal management; understanding the origins and evolution of life and possible alternative biochemistries, physical limits and evolution of organic life. Useful skills include molecular dynamics simulations of biological systems, multi-scale modeling and coarse-graining techniques, modeling of metabolism and methods of bioinformatics. Willingness to broaden scientific interests to the analysis of genomic and metabolic data from future biologically oriented missions and ground based studies is desired.

At NASA, your research could change the world and enable exploration of new ones.

US Citizenship is required.

Interested applicants should apply directly to USAJobs to vacancy number AR11B0066 at

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.