Postdoctoral Position at Rutgers University


A postdoctoral position is available at the Department of Plant biology at Rutgers University in the laboratory of Dr. Nilgun Tumer to identify small molecule inhibitors against ricin toxin and Shiga toxin 2. We set up fragment based ligand discovery (FBLD) using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and identified the first group of small molecule fragments that bind to the ribosome binding site and inhibit the catalytic activity of ricin (Li et al., 2020, ACS Infect. Dis. 6:1894-1905). Using structure-based design we obtained improved compounds that inhibit the activity and cytotoxicity of ricin holotoxin in mammalian cells (Li, et. al, 2021, J. Med. Chem. 64:15334-15348).

The successful candidate will work on identifying inhibitors that inhibit the activity of ricin and Shiga toxin 2 in mammalian cells by disrupting toxin-ribosome interactions. The postdoc will use surface plasmon resonance technology to investigate ribosome interactions and qRT-PCR based activity assays to examine the inhibitory effect of small molecules on ricin and Shiga toxin 2 in cell-based assays and on isolated ribosomes. The postdoc will be trained in fragment-based ligand discovery using the Biacore 8K+ system, qRT-PCR methods and data evaluation, ribosome isolation and biochemical assays to measure toxin activity.

The ideal candidate should have a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or a related field. Expertise in mammalian cell culture techniques, qRT-PCR and chemical biology are desirable. The position will be funded by NIH grants. Interested applicants should send their resume to Dr. Nilgun E. Tumer (

Information on Dr. Tumer’s research can be found at:

Contact: Nilgun Tumer, Department of Plant Biology, SEBS, Rutgers University, Foran Hall, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520. Tel: 848-932-6359.