XFEL Crystallography Postdoctoral Fellow

Website advlightsource Advanced Light Source (ALS)

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s (LBNL) Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Division has an opening for a XFEL Crystallography Postdoctoral Fellow to join the team.

In this exciting role you will work as part of a group focusing on software development and X-ray crystallography.  The next decade of structural biology at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) will include groundbreaking advances in time domain crystallography, diffuse scattering to observe dynamic motion, and single particle diffraction. Considering the anticipated petabyte scale of these datasets, we are undertaking ambitious collaborations with experimental groups targeting structural biology, light source facilities such as the Linac Coherent Lightsource (LCLS), and supercomputer centers like the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), located in Berkeley.

The group’s projects will include 1) Photosystem II, discovering the sequence of redox events leading to the release of molecular oxygen, using a combination of time-resolved crystallography and X-ray emission spectroscopy; 2) Examining the electronic environment of metalloenzyme catalytic metals, with detection based on anomalous scattering; 3) Evaluation of X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) methods for small-molecule structure determination. The postdoc will be positioned to launch into structural biology careers at light source or other experimental facilities. 

What You Will Do:

  • Participate as the crystallography specialist on multidisciplinary teams performing XFEL experiments.
  • Contribute to software development and testing for XFEL crystallography, using our previously developed packages (cctbx.xfel and dials) as a starting point.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the hardware available for Exascale computing (including Perlmutter, Aurora and Frontier), along with GPU accelerators.
  • Work at the interface between supercomputer design teams, computer science groups, LCLS beamline scientists, and X-ray crystallography user groups.  
  • Derive new algorithms to adapt to heterogeneous experimental designs.
  • Deliver new features on time and in support of structural biology.
  • Deliver U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-mandated software development milestones on time, including tested code checked in to repositories, accompanied by written reports.  
  • Write one first-author paper per year in scientific publications.
  • Present work at conferences, and continuously communicate results to several collaborating groups.

Additional Responsibilities as needed:

  • Support scheduled beam time data collection at remote global facilities (either in-person or online).

What is Required:

  • PhD in Biophysics, Bioinformatics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, Chemical Engineering or Physical Sciences.
  • Working knowledge of crystallographic data collection, processing, molecular modeling, and model validation.
  • A publication record reflective of this experience.
  • Expertise with modern object-oriented, version-controlled software development, with a team-oriented approach.
  • Proficiency with Linux, Python, and C++.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in an R&D environment as part of a cross-disciplinary team.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience with GPU computing.
  • Experience in a high-performance computing environment.
  • Machine learning, for example TensorFlow or PyTorch experience.


  • This is a full-time 2 year postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs. You must have less than 3 years of paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.
  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.
  • Salary will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Based on University of California Policy – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program and U.S Federal Government requirements, Berkeley Lab requires that all members of our community obtain the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible. As a condition of employment at Berkeley Lab, all Covered Individuals must Participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program by providing proof of Full Vaccination or submitting a request for Exception or Deferral. Visit covid.lbl.gov for more information.

Berkeley Lab is committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) and strives to continue building community with these shared values and commitments. Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We heartily welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and all who would contribute to the Lab’s mission of leading scientific discovery, inclusion, and professionalism. In support of our diverse global community, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status.

Equal Opportunity and IDEA Information Links:

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