Two Postdoctoral Positions Available in the Laboratory of Carl Hirschie Johnson

Vanderbilt University

The Positions: Dr. Johnson is seeking highly motivated postdoctoral fellows to study (1) the evolution of circadian (daily) clocks and photoperiodism, and (2) the biochemistry/biophysics of clock mechanisms in bacteria and animals. 

  1. Evolution of Circadian Rhythms and Photoperiodism

Inspired by studies from other laboratories of bacterial experimental evolution, the Johnson Laboratory has undertaken an experimental evolution approach using E. coli (that does not exhibit circadian phenomena) under a variety of rhythmic environmental regimes to evolve clock-like behavior. This experimental evolution has been conducted for eight years by the technician in the laboratory and is now exhibiting interesting phenotypes that need a conscientious and motivated postdoctoral fellow to characterize and analyze. In addition to the experimental evolution project, the candidate will also be involved in analyses of the adaptive significance of biological timekeeping–including photoperiodism–in purple bacteria and cyanobacteria.

  1. Biochemistry/biophysics of Clock Mechanisms in Bacteria and Animals

Dr. Johnson’s lab has been a leader in the analysis of clock mechanisms in bacteria, using structural, biophysical, biochemical, and genetic approaches. We continue to study the clock mechanism of bacteria (including measuring the KaiABC oscillator in vitro for 30+ days continuously), and we are now applying those insights to the analysis of animal clocks (insects & mammals). More specifically, we know that the core oscillator in bacteria is a biochemical pacemaker that triggers a transcription & translation feedback oscillator, and the candidate for this position will spearhead efforts to determine if animal clockworks are designed similarly.

Research environment and location at Vanderbilt University: There are excellent facilities and collaborations available within the Vanderbilt University system, including other laboratories that study circadian clocks & sleep (e.g., the labs of Doug McMahon, Jake Hughey, and Beth Malow), evolutionary biology in microbes (e.g., the labs of Antonis Rokas, Seth Bordenstein, Megan Behringer, and Ann Tate), and biophysics (e.g., the labs of Hassane Mchaourab and Matt Lang). Nashville is an exciting city with a relatively low cost of living and many artistic opportunities (especially music) as well as close proximity to nature.


For more information about our laboratory and our publications, see our website:,1,A6E_Xkjv7-qtXrAEe27XnT7bEVPucBQML-hrxSA9nPRa6CnV_flBJiWBvFkCYOh5mllccVnoK3C_SrWllbi8MAUGzsaAlU2nfc1jKWzMJgCUrK7UOAIp&typo=1


And our Complete List of Publications:,1,xLsefLq4cdrwYlOUlB4tn2cbWlahRo1JnM_GVz3UsBn–dEz0V-HrBycK7fkdYbdpFoCHYFhjh1jgx-DrVIO4s3S5FrgmR9HgVArRcX9&typo=1

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Carl Johnson at: Please send a CV, your research interests, and a list of at least three referees.


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