Postdoctoral Position in Computational RNA Biology

A postdoctoral position is available for joint projects between the labs of Prof. Sally Assmann ( in Penn State’s Biology Department and Prof. Phil Bevilacqua ( in Penn State’s Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Departments.

This position builds on the Structure-seq method that we developed to probe RNA structure genome-wide in vivo. We are applying Structure-seq and other genomic and transgenic methods to uncover RNA structure-function relationships in rice and Arabidopsis and their regulation by abiotic stressors. We seek an innovative computational post-doc who is proficient in coding (ideally in Python) and in the application of established bioinformatic tools for analysis of next-gen datasets. Candidates should have a background in either genomics or RNA structure. Experience in implementing machine learning algorithms would be a plus. Applicants should have a publication record in international peer-reviewed journals.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work creatively in a highly collaborative environment to develop new analytical tools for RNA structure analysis and will gain expertise in both biological and chemical aspects of RNA structure-function relationships. The successful candidate will be encouraged to apply for fellowships to foster research independence for their future career.

This position is available immediately, although the start date is negotiable. Interested applicants should send via e-mail a cover letter describing their interests and experience and a c.v., including names and e-mail addresses of three references, to:

Dr. Sally Assmann, Waller Professor of Biology, Penn State University ( or Dr. Phil Bevilacqua, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry ( Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Penn State has large, vibrant, and collaborative groups of faculty in both plant and RNA biology. Penn State’s flagship University Park campus is situated in a community consistently rated as among the most livable small cities in the US.

More information on our research can be found in our publications and at our websites:

Su Z, Tang Y, Ritchey LE, Tack DC, Zhu M, Bevilacqua PC, Assmann SM. 2018. Genome-wide RNA structurome reprogramming by acute heat shock globally regulates mRNA abundance. PNAS. 115: 12170-12175. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1807988115

Tack DC, Tang Y, Ritchey LE, Assmann SM, Bevilacqua PC. 2018. StructureFold2: bringing chemical probing data into the computational fold of RNA structural analysis. Methods. pii: S1046-2023(17)30353-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2018.01.018.

Bevilacqua PC, Ritchey L, Su Z, Assmann SM. 2016. Genome-wide analysis of RNA secondary structure. Annu. Rev. Genetics, 50: 235-266.

Tang Y, Bouvier E, Kwok CK, Ding Y, Nekrutenko A, Bevilacqua PC, Assmann SM. 2015. StructureFold: genome-wide RNA secondary structure mapping and reconstruction in vivo. Bioinformatics. pii: btv213.

Ding Y, Tang Y, Kwok CK, Zhang Y, Bevilacqua PC, Assmann SM. 2014. In vivo genome-wide profiling of RNA secondary structure reveals novel regulatory features. Nature. 505:696-700.