NIST Cellular Engineering Group

Gaithersburg, MD, USA

Company size: Approximately 3,400 at NIST, approximately 8 in the Cellular Engineering Group

Anticipated number of internship positions: 1 to 2

Opportunity for remote/virtual internship in 2023: No 

About NIST Cellular Engineering Group

Mission: To promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards,
and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.


Internship Project Description

–This description represents a potential internship project and is subject to change.–

(Updated 10/21/22)

New measurement methods and tools are required for biology to emerge fully as an enabling, practical platform for engineering. The Cellular Engineering Group works to provide a foundation of measurement assurance to support the control and rational design of biological function. Through state-of-the-art synthetic biology, automation, and
machine learning, the Group creates living measurement systems, such as cells, engineered to sense and respond in programmed ways. Importantly, building these systems both requires and advances meaningful quantitation of the effects of environmental context and evolution. The Group aims to advance fundamental understanding, improve predictability for design, ensure reproducibility and comparability, and facilitate scalability for real-world applications of engineered biological systems.

We are recruiting applicants for experimental and theoretical research to advance rational design for engineering biology. Of particular interest is the development of new approaches to measure, understand, predict, and control information, learning, function, and evolution across the spatial and temporal scales of biological organization, although related ideas in other topics are welcome. In addition to bacteria and yeast, applicants with interest in cell- free systems, engineering subcellular confinement, minimal life, and related topics are welcome. We are seeking independent and motivated individuals with excellent communication skills and backgrounds across the physical, engineering, chemical, and biological disciplines to contribute to collaborative, interdisciplinary projects. Facilities include state of the art systems for automated microbial engineering, culture, and measurement, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, and cleanroom fabrication and characterization.

The position will be on-site in Gaithersburg, MD, USA.