[3dem] 4 of 4 positions at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (Auer Group) &
mauer at lbl.gov
Mon Apr 14 14:05:05 PDT 2008
Decription: Electron tomography and correlative Raman microscopy of
plant cell walls in the context of the UC Berkeley Energy Biosciences
Institute (EBI; www.energybiosciencesinstitute.org)
The successful postdoctoral researcher will employ cryo and RT
electron tomography of high-pressure frozen, freeze-substituted and
resin-embedded plant samples, microwave processed plant samples, as
well as high-pressure frozen and cryo-sectioned plant samples (as part
of a collaborative effort with Kent McDonald and Ken Downing). The
goal of this project, lead by the Auer group, is to obtain a realistic
model of plant cell walls via direct 3D ultrastructural imaging as
well as correlative Raman microscopy (in close collaborattion with the
Liphardt group), which will allow to determine the chemical
composition. Imaging information will be mined by advanced automated
segmentation and image analysis procedures in collaboration with a
computational science group (Parvin group). Apart from its scientific
merit, this project offers the opportunity to become part of a
multiscale, multimodal correlative imaging effort and work with world
experts in cryo-sample preparation, (cryo)-EM 3D imaging, correlative
Raman and PALM imaging and image analysis and modeling.
Apart from the specific project described above, this team serves as
the sole TEM sample preparation and TEM imaging program for the entire
EBI, and over its time course is likely to engage in a number of
interesting collaborative projects, including plant-pathogen
interactions and enzymatic degradation. The EBI is a unique
environment: while being an academic center with a focus on basic
sciences, there exists close interactions with the oil company BP,
which adds a different dimension to this research and is highly
educational, as the work carried out by EBI has the potential to
directly impact the global energy market.
· Ph.D. in Physics, Biophysics, Plant Biology, Biophysical Chemistry
or a related field of science.
· Experience with electron microscopic sample preparation and
imaging. Experience with high-pressure freezing, immuno-affinity or
tag-based labeling would be a plus, but is not essential.
· Strong written and oral communication skills, and a high degree of
organization would be desirable, but highly creative (and less
organized) candidates would also be welcome.
· Demonstrated ability to work autonomously and obtain results.
· Ability to work in a team environment and effectively interact with
a broad range of colleagues.
The Auer Team:
The successful candidates will join an enthusiastic group consisting
of three undergraduate students, three graduate students, one postdoc,
two project scientists, and two senior research associates (senior
technicians). The team enjoys conducting a broad agenda of bioimaging
research with a focus on high-end electron microscopy on a variety of
disease-, bioremediation- and bioenergy/biofuel-relevant projects,
ranging from the molecular understanding of hearing, over breast
cancer model systems to microbial communities (biofilms) and plants/
plant cell walls, with an emphasis on lignocellulosic biofuels.
The Auer lab conducts research in the field of modern electron
microscopy, including cryo-electron tomography, tomography of resin-
embedded samples, 2D and 3D imaging of high-pressure frozen samples,
as well as novel tag-based labeling approaches and correlative
multiscale multimodal imaging. While 2D and 3D electron microscopy of
high-pressure-frozen, freeze-substituted and resin-embedded samples
remains our methodological priorities, we also have active projects on
cryo-tomography of frozen-hydrated samples, on biochemistry (including
mass spectrometry), cell biology and related fields. We are also
conducting SEM experiments and are exploring the potential of dual-
beam FIB|/SEM to study the 3D organization of resin-embedded samples.
We are increasingly interested in performing correlative optical and
electron microscopy studies, and are currently trying to carry out
correlative 16S rRNA FISH/EM studies of microbial communities as well
as a combination of superresolution light microscopy (PALM) and Raman
Microscopy with electron microscopy. Some of our efforts are in close
collaboration with the Liphardt group at UC Berkeley, who has
substantial experience and expertise in optical imaging.
The Auer group is involved in the Department of Energy - Gemomes to
Life (DOE-GTL) PCAP and VIMMS programs on bioremediation
(pcap.lbl.gov) where the focus lies on the visualization of microbial
biofilms and the development of SNAP-based labeling approaches. In
addition, the Auer group oversees all imaging and biophysical
characterization efforts of the Joint BioEnergy Institute
(www.jbei.org), and all sophisticated sample preparation and electron
microscopy efforts of the BP-sponsored UC Berkeley/UIUC/LBNL's Energy
Biosciences Institutes (EBI) (www.energybiosciencesinstitute.org).
JBEI is one of three DOE-sponsored BioEnergy Research Centers, and the
only one with a significant imaging component. Its overall mission is
to reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oil by overcoming
significant hurdles of economic ethanol/biofuel production from plant
biomass (not food crops) such as the recalcitrance of lignocellulosic
The UC Berkeley EBI is a academic research institute with a goal
similar to JBEI. Our group leads an effort by 5 groups (Auer, Downing,
Liphardt, McDonald, Parvin) to come up with a realistic model of the
plant cell wall, based on correlative Raman/EM tomography imaging and
sophisticated image analysis.
The Auer group - in close collaboration with the Liphardy lab - is
leading Lawrence Berkeley Lab's initiative of a multiscale, multimodal
integrated imaging center. The establishment of such a center has
become the top priority of LBNL as part of its 10-year strategic
vision for DOE. The Auer and Liphardt labs have received seeds funds
for this endeavor and expect continuous growth of this activity in the
Please send e-mail with a brief description of interests and relevant
work experience and a resume to Manfred Auer at mauer at lbl.gov. We look
forward to hearing from you.
Manfred Auer, Ph.D.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road, Mail Stop Donner
Berkeley, CA 94720
mauer at lbl.gov
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