Post Doctoral Research Associate - Dr. Om Parkash Dhankher Lab

Apply now Job no: 511048
Work type: Post Doc (Amherst Only)
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Stockbridge Sch of Agriculture
Categories: College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

A Post Doctoral Research Associate position is available in the laboratory of Prof. Om Parkash Dhankher at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst. The host laboratory is highly interdisciplinary with a distinctly international and diversity flavor. The position is being funded through a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) grant focused on the developing engineered plants for phytoremediation of arsenic. In this project, the Laboratory team is engineering Crambe abyssinica (a mustard family member) via stacking several genes involved in uptake, translocation, detoxification, and hyper accumulation of arsenic in the aboveground shoot biomass for phytoremediation of arsenic and other toxic metals. Further, the Laboratory team will also conduct the greenhouse and field trials to investigate the effect of engineered nanomaterials for modulation of toxic metals bioavailability in soil and hyper accumulation in the engineered Crambe plants.

Although, the entire duration of the project is for four (4) years, yearly extension will be dependent upon the project progress and availability of funds.

Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Cloning and stacking of genes in plant transformation vectors.
  • Genetic Transformation of Crambe abyssinica plants using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation methods via plant tissue culture techniques.
  • Biochemical, physiological and molecular analysis of transgenic plants for arsenic and other toxic metals tolerance and accumulation.
  • Greenhouse and field trials for arsenic phytoremediation.
  • Experimental designing and conduct experiments independently.
  • Write and publish research in scientific peer-reviewed journals.


Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • PhD in Plant Sciences with Molecular Biology/Biotechnology specialization or related field.
  • 0 - 5 years post-PhD research experience.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Strong expertise in plant molecular biology, gene cloning, gene stacking, and biotechnological approaches.
  • Must have strong experience and skills with plant tissue culture, preferably with Crambe abyssinica and related species.
  • Applicants should also have excellent skills in collaboration, project management, problem solving, self-motivation, writing and communication.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Able to work in greenhouse and field.


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm, with occasional evening and weekend work depending upon experimental conditions. 40 hours a week, 100% FTE. Expected start date is 1/1/22.


Salary Information

Salary will be commensurate with experience.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit a letter of application, resume, and contact information for three professional references. Search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.