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Shannon uncertainty equation: H equals the negative sum
from i equals 1 to M of P sub i log 2 p sub i bits per
symbol. human donor splice site sequence logo

Postdoctoral Positions in Molecular Information Theory: Nanotechnology

tiny gumball machine Shannon channel capacity equation: C equals W log base 2
of P over N plus 1 bits per second.
National Institutes of Health written in a circle around
the logo of NIH.
Dr. Thomas D. Schneider
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer Institute at Frederick
Gene Regulation and Chromosome Biology Laboratory
Molecular Information Theory Group
Frederick, MD, USA
National Cancer Institute logo
Department of Health and Human ServicesDHHS

The position is now closed. Thank you for your interest.

Before sending me an email, please note the Application Instructions.
After reading this material, you can apply on-line by clicking here.

The position is for a postdoc to do molecular biology experiments at the lab bench to work on one or more of our four patented or patent pending nanotechnology projects:

Molecular Computer

Fis Flip Flop - two adjacent Fis protein binding sites
  compete for Fis protein binding
Molecular computer circuit diagram for a NOR gate

Molecular Engine

An arrow bent in a full circle.
nanotechnology: molecular rotating engine

Molecular Sequencing

right handed DNA molecule with striped atoms that
  looks like delicious candy
Diagram for two dye sequencing method

MedusaTM Sequencing

diagram showing the Medusa(TM) sequencer
MedusaTM Sequencing is currently the project du jour, meaning that it is the one that will be worked on by the person who fills this position.

Rod-Tether Nanoprobes

Diagram showing an open and closed nanoprobe.

The position, for any of these projects, is for doing bench experiments (as opposed to computer experiments) so

The main requirement is: skill and experience with standard molecular biology methods, especially cloning and protein purification.
I'm looking for someone who is enthusiastic, energetic and a self-driven go-getter who is inventive, independent thinking, has initiative and has a driving curiosity. Although some aspects of these projects derive from advanced molecular information theory, it is not necessary to have a mathematics background beyond calculus. You must have a PhD and fit the other requirements of NIH as described below.

Although our projects are often heavily intertwined with computer work, unfortunately I do not have the resources to consider people interested in doing only computer work and so only people who have a molecular biology background will be considered.

There will, however, be opportunities to learn the mathematics and computer tools of molecular information theory. For further information about other projects in this lab please explore our web site.

Initial Application Instructions

Please review the nanotech materials described above carefully. After reading, if you are still interested in the position, please contact me by email: In your first email, please respond to the following questions:

  1. Which project(s) interest you the most?
  2. How would you approach work on these nanotechnology problems?
  3. In addition to the patent information, which other papers from this lab have you read?
  4. Where did you initially find the job posting? (Please give the URL.)

Note: So that I am able to read and store your CV:

  1. Please make your initial contact by email.
  2. Please send all materials as plain ASCII text, PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format) or HTML.
    • Word processor documents will NOT be accepted.
      If you send me a file of the type '.doc', it tells me that you have not read about this position!
      If this is your only format, you can convert to RTF and send me that, but only if you tell me beforehand. I found that a recent application was 12% smaller by converting to RTF using, which is a free open source replacement for word that can create PDF directly and which has excellent design since it uses compressed XML instead of binary for its basic format.
    • Please avoid sending specialized character sets. (I have procmail filters in place that will catch these sets. If you use any non-plain ASCII (such as accents, sorry) you risk your email being trapped. If I don't recognize it ... I'll never know you wrote! Better simple than sorry.) You should be able to output your CV in simple text format.
  3. Do not use lines longer than 80 characters.
  4. Avoid Word or Word Perfect attachments.
  5. You may point to the URL of an html or PDF CV on the web.
People who do not follow these guidelines will not be considered. Here's why: When someone doesn't read the available materials to learn what a job is about before applying for a position, I assume that they are careless and merely sending out CVs without investigating the position carefully. It is also possible that they cannot follow simple instructions. Such a person would not do well in my lab! If you have read this far before contacting me, you are doing better than 95% of the candidates who contact me. Congratulations!

Official Application Instructions:
NIH Requirements

The position is for an NIH Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA, US Citizen or Permanent Resident) or a Visiting Fellow (VF, J-1 visa), as appropriate. The CRTA takes 4-6 weeks to process and the VF takes 4-6 months (due to the visa). Please note position requirements: The initial stipend depends on experience. See: Stipend ranges for Postdoctoral fellows for a table of annual stipends.

Training duration: 2 months up to 5 years (contingent on total duration of stay at NIH, which cannot exceed a maximum of 8 years for any type of doctoral level position).

For further information about the CRTA/VF appointment mechanisms, please contact Donna Arnold (, 301-846-5532).

  • The National Cancer Institute is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer that values and fosters diversity throughout the entire organization.
  • NIH provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.
  • If you served on active duty in the United States Military and were separated under honorable conditions, you may be eligible for veterans' preference.
  • Special selection priority consideration will be given to candidates eligible under the CTAP and ICTAP placement programs.

Within the United States Government, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the parent organization for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). DHHS, NIH and NCI are Equal Opportunity Employers.

Announcements of this Position

color bar Small icon for Theory of Molecular Machines: physics,
chemistry, biology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory,
genetic engineering, sequence logos, information theory,
electrical engineering, thermodynamics, statistical
mechanics, hypersphere packing, gumball machines, Maxwell's
Daemon, limits of computers

Schneider Lab

origin of this page: before 1996 September 10
updated: 2016 mar 17
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