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    Opportunity: Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Methods for X-ray Crystallography (#77023) @ LBNL -- Berkeley, CA (US)
    Submitted by Jeff Todd; posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014



    The group of Dr. Nicholas Sauter in the Physical Biosciences division at LBNL invites applications for a postdoctoral position in computational methods development for X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) data processing. The group is concerned with all steps of XFEL data processing, from extracting diffraction images from custom, ultrafast detectors, via massively parallel data integration and phasing algorithms, to final refinement of an atomic model. The successful candidate will join a highly collaborative team that creates the necessary experimental systems and develops methods to drive new and revolutionizing science forward. The group's past work has been highlighted in several high-impact publications.

    Key projects in our group include the investigation, by X-ray crystallography and emission spectroscopy, of the photosynthetic mechanism of water splitting. We are also developing the new program DIALS for processing massive protein crystallography data sets from synchrotron pixel array detectors.

    We seek Ph.D. candidates with extensive experience in computational and/or experimental crystallography as well as those from more general diffraction or bioimaging backgrounds. We particularly encourage strong mathematical intuition and a track record of bringing new ideas and tools to fruition. Previous experience with collaborative software development and an interest hardware is desirable. Candidates should send an expression of interest, resume, and list of three references to Nick Sauter, Computer Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, nksauter[at] Web site:


    • Implement a new software system for reduction of data from both synchrotron sources and XFEL sources.
    • Treat both routine cases as well as unusual diffraction phenomena.
    • Fundamentally analyze the geometry and physics of the experiments to develop new insights and algorithms.
    • Work with beamline scientists worldwide to customize and validate software at different locations.
    • Collaborate with users to gain an understanding of how the software is deployed in practice.
    • Elicit and anticipate user needs & respond to user feedback.
    • Take a team approach for integrating the new code into existing software systems, including various graphical displays and beamline systems.
    • Experiment with parallel processing techniques including Linux clusters and GPU utilization.
    • Collaborate with structural biology groups to conduct X-ray experiments, and collect and process data.
    • Publish frequently and participate in conferences.


    • Ph.D. in Computational Biology, Computer Science, Biophysics, Applied Mathematics or related areas.
    • Comprehensive understanding of diffraction physics and numerical approaches to X-ray crystallography.
    • Clear verbal presentation & written expression.
    • Ability to write clear computer documentation including Web-based documentation.
    • Experience with forefront approaches such as GPU computing.
    • Ability to organize a many-faceted project with only broad supervision.
    • Ability to deliver product in a timely fashion.


    • Software languages: C++, Python
    • Operating systems: Linux, Macintosh
    • Ability to incorporate existing software libraries into new processes
    • Development of graphical user interfaces
    • Basic understanding of database systems & image formats


    This is a 1-year term appointment with the possibility of renewal for up to 5 years based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds, and ongoing operational needs.


    Berkeley, CA


    Salary for the postdoctoral position depends on years of experience post-degree.


    For full consideration, follow the link to the job posting and apply directly to Berkeley Lab. As part of the online application process, please complete a profile, including uploading attachments relevant to the opportunity. Be sure to reference where you found the position.


    Berkeley Lab is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer committed to the development of a diverse workforce.

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