Positions – News

We are always looking for motivated scientists to work with us at any level: postgraduate, graduate, undergraduate. We use molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics tool and combine them with structural biology tools (mainly solid-state NMR but also  solution NMR and cryo-em). Prior experience with NMR is a big plus but not necessary for the motivated candidates willing to learn new techniques. Please contact Ümit Akbey for possibilities.


Graduate Students:
Openings are available for graduate students for 2022-2023 rotations, I encouraged you to contact me to discuss rotation opportunities and thesis projects if you are interested. student from different programs are welcome to contact me, in addition to the PhD students from the Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology Graduate Program. Please contact Dr. Ümit Akbey for more details.


Postdoctoral Positions:
Two Postdoctoral Positions @Akbey Lab

Research Topics: Structures and Molecular Mechanisms of Functional and Pathological amyloids, Solid state NMR, DNP, Functional Amyloid Fibrils in Biofilms. The aim of Akbey Lab is to use modern solid-state NMR (ssNMR) spectroscopy to study functional amyloid fibrils involved in bacterial biofilm formation, as well as pathological fibrils. We develop novel NMR methods to push the limits of the state of the art and apply these methods to understand molecular details and mechanisms of functional and pathological amyloids. Solid-state NMR has made a remarkable progress in the last decade to become a remarkably higher-resolution and -sensitivity method due to advances in sample preparation, hardware and novel methods such as proton-detection and hyperpolarization (DNP). These allow studies of difficult insoluble proteins not only in-vitro but also in their complex in-vivo (or ex-vivo) environment. We use recombinant protein expression and biophysical methods to produce and characterize isotope labeled protein samples and combine ssNMR with other exciting structural biology methodologies.
People working in the Akbey Lab will gain expertise in a variety of structural biology methods, mainly ssNMR based protein structure/dynamics determination combined with biophysical methods, as well as molecular biology and biochemistry techniques, among others. If you are interested in joining our team please contact me and I would be happy to talk to you more about the ongoing work.

Profile of the candidates: We are looking for scientists who have background in biological ssNMR as well as in biophysics, biochemistry and recombinant protein production/characterization. Expertise/interest in NMR/DNP method development will be highly appreciated. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, CV and contact information of two scientists for recommendation letters to Ümit Akbey – umitakbey@pitt.edu. More information on projects can be acquired per email and please don’t hesitate to contact. Initial employment will be for one year that can be extended. The starting date is as soon as possible.

Research Infrastructure: The Akbey Lab is funded via a startup package. We have full access to two dedicated modern solid state NMR instruments, 600 WB and 750 WB. A variety of conventional and fast MAS probes are available, including two unique low-temperature capable 1.3mm and 3.2mm MAS NMR probes. We have access to the NMR facility in the Structural Biology Department comprising state-of-the-art solution NMR instrumentation, including 900, 800, 700 and 2×600 MHz and several faculty with an emphasis in NMR are members of the department. The Akbey Lab is fully equipped for recombinant protein production and characterization, with a large wet lab space and space for data analysis. We have access to higher field ssNMR systems, ultra-fast MAS (0.7mm) and DNP via National & EU consortia.
In addition, excellent x-ray crystallography, Cryo-EM (Titan Krios), Cryo-Tomography, high-performance computation resources are available at the Department of Structural Biology. We collaborate with faculty who are experts in these structural biology methodologies. Graduate students are part of the Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology Program.

University of Pittsburgh and the City of Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh is ranked #14 in best Medical Schools in Research in USA. The University of Pittsburgh Medical School is considered a top tier medical school with a focus in research ranking in the Top 10 recipients of NIH funding. MBSB Graduate Program consists of more than 40 PIs and collects excellent scientists, research areas and a great environment for a scientist to be and develop.
Pittsburgh has repeatedly been ranked among the nation’s most livable cities. It’s truly diverse and friendly place where higher education is valued and thriving, thanks to many great universities. It has a warm, friendly culture with so much history. A beautiful downtown, lively neighborhoods, a great art and music scene, and an influx of young professionals has made it a fantastic place to live. Despite all it offers, Pittsburgh is still a very affordable and easy to live city (~50% less compared to New York or California!). University provides comprehensive health insurance and other resources to its coworkers. City of Bridges: Pittsburgh’s 440-plus bridges (more than even Venice can boast) span three major rivers and countless streams, creeks, valleys and ravines. Pittsburgh airport makes it super easy to be connected to any large city in the States and World.