NIH Funded Postdoctoral Positions in Structure-based Protein Discovery & Immunoengineering

Website The University of Chicago

We are seeking two Postdoctoral Associates to work within the lab of Dr. Juan L. Mendoza at The University of Chicago. Dr. Mendoza has appointments in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. One position may be funded as an NIH NIAID T32 Fellow and a second may be funded through a recently secured 5-year NIH NIGMS MIRA grant.

The Mendoza Lab focuses on utilizing structure-based protein engineering to better understand cell signaling in the context of human immunity with an emphasis on cancer and viral immunity. There are several exciting projects heavily leveraging two proprietary platforms to: First screen cytokine signaling pathways to identify druggable targets. Then, utilize structure based-engineering approaches to design and produce protein based-drugs. The projects are highly collaborative (with intra- and extramural collaborations), and multi-disciplinary (e.g. using computation and structural information to inform the engineering of novel proteins). Many projects in the lab involve work in the areas of molecular biology, protein biochemistry, structural biology, cell-based assays, obtaining and analyzing next-generation sequencing information, and working with collaborators to acquire relevant in vivo studies. Candidates should have a strong interest in protein biochemistry, membrane proteins, and methods in structure determination such as x-ray crystallography and/or an interest in learning cryo-EM.

For more examples of the type of research please visit the lab website


The Mendoza Lab and the University of Chicago provide a highly supportive atmosphere and ample resources for career development. The University makes classes and workshops available to postdoctoral trainees for improving communication skills both written and oral, workshops on grantsmanship, and applying for jobs. Dr. Mendoza is committed to the success of trainees in his lab and works with each mentee on the setting of goals, improving presenting skills, data analysis, career advice, and career planning.

In collaboration with other labs at the University of Chicago, candidates may be expected to gain training in cryo-EM related to their project(s).


The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering encourages efforts to commercialize promising technologies. To advance these efforts, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides resources and information to learn about patenting and licensing technologies. Dr. Mendoza has 7 filed patents which are key technologies to two startups. Technologies out of the Mendoza lab will provide opportunities for learning about intellectual properties and potential for future startups.

Equipment and Instruments

FPLCs (with fluorimeter), incubators for mammalian, bacteria, and yeast cultures, thermocyclers, a qPCR instrument, an Ion Torrent next-generation sequencer capable of sequencing libraries up to 500bp in length and RNAseq experiments, 4 laser-11 color flow-cytometer. Access to robotics for high-throughput screening for x-ray crystallography and cryo-EM facilities.

Compensation and Benefits

We follow the NIH guidelines for salary and postdocs will be eligible for benefits.

General Qualifications:

  • (Strongly preferred) Following NIH T32 guidelines, the trainee must be: a citizen of the United States, or a non-citizen national, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (1-151 or 1-551) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident.
    PhD. and/or M.D./Ph.D. degree in structural biology (strongly preferred), cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, or a related field
  • Effective communication skills, self-motivated, multitasking, and a strong work ethic
  • Ability to work both independently and in a collaborative group environment

Please Note: This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange. The University’s Statements on Diversity are at Further, Dr. Mendoza is committed to DEI and actively is involved in campus- and community-wide efforts.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Job seekers in need of reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-834-3988 or email with their request.

To apply, either use the “Apply Now” link or email a letter of interest and CV to

For further information regarding the Mendoza lab, please visit the lab website

To apply for this job email your details to