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Synthetic Biology in Cambridge


The School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University ( invites applications for a tenure track position at the Assistant or Associate Professor level in Plant Synthetic Biology. Plant Synthetic Biology is an emerging field that combines engineering principles with plant biology. Plant synthetic biology will play an important role in the future of agriculture for traditional crop improvement, in enabling synthesis of novel products of nutritional, pharmaceutical or other values, as well as in fundamental understanding of plant biological processes. The new faculty member will be expected to develop a strong, internationally recognized program in plant synthetic biology. Examples of relevant research topics include, but are not limited to: i) the engineering of genetic circuits to program predictable plant behavior and traits, ii) the generation of novel traits to improve crop plant productivity, iii) transforming plants, cyanobacteria, or algae into platforms that synthesize chemicals and complex biomolecules by reconfiguring existing biosynthetic pathways or incorporating newly designed pathways from other organisms, iv) engineering and introducing in planta biosensors for rapid detection and high-throughput phenotyping of biotic (e.g. viruses, bacteria, fungi, natural products) and abiotic (e.g. temperature, chemicals, toxins) factors from the sub-cellular to whole-organism scale.

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Position: Assistant/Associate Professor; Plant Biology; tenure track, academic year appointment (9-month)

Start Date: July 1, 2020 or as negotiated

Location: School of Integrative Plant Science, Plant Biology Section, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell  University, Ithaca, NY


The ideal candidate will thrive in the highly collaborative environment of Cornell University, which includes diverse faculty affiliated with the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), Cornell Initiative for Digital AgricultureRobert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringBoyce Thompson Institute, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health. The expected affiliation for the position will be the SIPS Section of Plant Biology on the Ithaca campus. The position will have a 60% research and 40% teaching responsibility. The successful candidate will teach in the areas of comparative physiology, plant hormone biology, stress response, chemistry of plants, and/or plant genetic engineering using synthetic biology tools.

SIPS and CALS at Cornell embrace diversity, and seek candidates who will create a climate that attracts students of all races, nationalities, and genders. Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. Cornell understands the needs of dual career couples, which it attempts to meet through a Dual Career program and membership in the Upstate New York Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, which assists dual career searches. Visit to see positions available in higher education in the upstate New York area. Cornell and Ithaca are family-friendly communities: Cornell has a comprehensive set of policies, services and benefits to help you, your partner and your children feel welcomed here, to support your well-being, and to help with child care, elder care, and those with disabilities. For more details, see:

Qualifications: Ph.D. in Plant Biology, Chemical Engineering, Biomolecular Engineering, or related disciplines. The candidate should welcome the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural setting and create a collegial professional environment. Well-qualified applicants are expected to have a demonstrated record of publication excellence. Preferred qualifications include postdoctoral experience, ability to work with a team and ability to communicate effectively with students, colleagues, and external stakeholders.

Salary and Benefits: Salary is competitive and commensurate with background and experience. An attractive fringe benefits package is provided.

Application procedure: Submit as a single PDF file to Academic Jobs Online, a letter summarizing your background and qualifications, a statement of research accomplishments and interests (3 pages maximum), a statement describing your teaching experiences, philosophy and interests (1 page maximum), a statement of contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion, a detailed curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of three or four references. Inquiries may be sent to the Search Chair Assoc. Prof. Adrienne Roeder ( or Search Coordinator Karin Jantz ( Initial screening of applications will begin on October 21, 2019 and continue until the position is filled.

Opportunity: The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and home to Cornell University’s second largest population of students, faculty and staff. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being.

Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university’s mission of teaching, discovery and engagement. With our main campus located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell’s global presence includes the medical college’s campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, as well as the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City.