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Postdoctoral Associate - Beyene Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
United States, Maryland, Chevy Chase
4000 Jones Bridge Road (Show on map)
April 01, 2023
Primary Work Address: 19700 Helix Drive, Ashburn, VA, 20147 Current HHMI Employees, click here to apply via your Workday account.


The Beyene lab is interested in developing optical biosensors for neurotransmitters and neuromodulators that have quantal detection capabilities, high spatial resolution, and excellent signal-to-noise ratio. To accomplish this, the lab works at the intersection of materials chemistry, fluorescence microscopy, and molecular biology.

After developing and validating new technologies, the lab endeavors to address outstanding neurobiology questions that are accessible using our tools but are otherwise elusive when approached with conventional methods of inquiry.

For more information about the Beyene lab, please visit

About the role:

The lab is looking for postdoctoral scholars with an interest or expertise in molecular and cellular neurobiology of monoamine neuromodulatory systems, including dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and/or serotonergic neurons.

The lab has developed novel optical assays that enable imaging of neurochemical release from monoamine neuromodulatory neurons with single synapse resolution and quantal sensitivity. These assays facilitate investigation of the architecture, molecular mechanisms and protein complexes involved in neuromodulatory chemical synapses.

The projects are rooted in cellular and molecular neuroscience but are designed to bridge the gap with systems neuroscience by generating hypotheses that can be tested in vivo. Some of the projects are at various states of maturity and would benefit from a motivated team member to push them over the finish line.

Candidates with an excellent record of research achievement and experience in molecular biology, slice and/or culture electrophysiology, in vitro/in vivo imaging are particularly encouraged to apply. Exposure to and training in additional techniques, including ultrastructure imaging using electron and/or expansion microscopy, immunofluorescence and super resolution techniques, single cell RNA seq and related disciplines may be required over the course of these projects.

About the lab:

Our lab is part of the Molecular Tools and Imaging (MTI) research area at Janelia. MTI's mission in Janelia is the development and deployment of tools and technologies that facilitate investigations into various facets of biology. Our lab is interested in making optical biosensors (nanosensors) that can help us visualize the release and diffusion of a class of neurochemicals released from neurons, called neuromodulators (biogenic amines in particular). Within MTI, we work collaboratively with teams that have expertise in protein engineering, molecular biology, microscopy, imaging and image analysis.

What we provide:

  • A competitive compensation package, with comprehensive health and welfare benefits.

  • One on one mentorship relationship with the group leader/lab head

  • Mentoring relationship with senior scientists and/or group leaders at Janelia outside of Beyene lab

  • Generous travel opportunities to scientific conferences

What you'll do:

  • Handle two or more independent research projects studying the molecular basis and regulatory mechanisms of neuromodulator release from chemical synapses, with emphasis on monoamines

  • Develop and test hypotheses that bridge the lab's capabilities in molecular and cellular neurobiology with systems scale neuroscience research

  • Train on and work collaboratively with research techniques that involve primary neuron culture, acute slices electrophysiology, and in vivo imaging

  • Design and validate genetic perturbation studies involving single genes or cluster of genes

  • Immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry

  • Widefield, confocal and super-resolution imaging

  • Single cell RNA sequencing

  • Freedom to pursue creative ideas that leverage your previous experience and current/future interests.

What you bring:

  • Ph.D. in neuroscience, biology or related fields in the life or physical sciences

  • Passion and perseverance to carry out high impact discovery science

  • Willingness to work collaboratively in a small lab atmosphere

  • Experience in microscopy, imaging, and image analysis

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet).

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job's principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word "may," the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are "essential functions" of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Associate 00s are compensated at a rate of $68,672.00 annually at HHMI's Janelia Research Campus.

HHMI's salary structure is developed based on relevant job market data. HHMI considers a candidate's education, previous experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity when making job offers.

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