Postdoctoral Scholar in Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering Unit (Yokobayashi Unit)

The position

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST; see is a dynamic graduate university of science and technology in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The school is located on 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking beautiful shorelines and coral reefs. The campus is striking architecturally, and the facilities are outstanding (OIST campus video tour). There are no academic departments, which facilitates cross-disciplinary research. Superb resources and equipment are provided and managed to encourage easy access and collaboration. English is the official language of the university, and the research community is fully international, with more than 50 countries represented. After only ten years, OIST is rapidly gaining recognition in the worldwide academic community as a model for excellence in research, education, and innovation.

Position summary:

One postdoctoral scholar position is available to conduct research in the Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering Unit headed by Prof. Yohei Yokobayashi at OIST. Our group moved to OIST in 2015 from University of California, Davis and is focusing on engineering nucleic acids that function in various cells and in test tubes. In addition to basic research on functional nucleic acids, we are also working with collaborators in academia and industry to develop biological and biomedical applications (e.g. gene therapy).


The postdoctoral scholar is expected to engage in research, disseminate the research results in publications and conference presentations, and contribute to laboratory maintenance. The candidate is expected to work on the following topics.

Development and applications of functional RNA devices such as aptamers, aptazymes, and riboswitches that function in mammalian cells and animal models. The candidate should be able to adapt a variety of methods and technologies from the literature, and to develop new methods and design strategies as necessary. The candidate should be knowledgeable and experienced enough to develop research plans relevant to applications of synthetic RNA devices in gene therapy, cell therapy, or regenerative medicine. Prior experience with techniques such mammalian cell culture, construction of viral vectors, genome editing, and animal handling, or sufficient experience to acquire such skills, is required.

Mustafina et al., ACS Synth Biol 2020
Takahashi & Yokobayashi, ACS Synth Biol 2019
Yokobayashi, Curr Opin Chem Biol 2019
Kobori et al., Nucleic Acids Res 2015


Candidate should have a Ph.D. in a relevant field. Sufficient written and oral communication skills in English to function in an international research environment are required. We seek self-motivated, hard-working, and creative junior researchers who are willing to take on challenging projects.

Compensation and Benefits

In accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations

Relocation, housing and commuting allowances
Annual paid leave and summer holidays
Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid )
Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
Worker's accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)

Submission Documents

Please submit the following documents in English or Japanese in PDF files.
1. Cover letter
2. Curriculum Vitae along with the contact information for two or more references
3. Brief summary of current and previous research


Please submit all required application materials by email to:

Or send documents via post mail to:

Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering Unit
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
1919-1, Onna, Onna-son, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan

  • OIST Graduate University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff. The University strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.
  • Information provided by applicants or references will be kept confidential, documents will not be returned. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications.
  • Please view OIST policy for rules on external professional activities
  • Further details about the University can be viewed on the OIST website
Job Type
Starting Date
As early as possible
Employment Term

Full-time, fixed term appointment for 2 years, with the possibility of renewal.

Working Hours


Report To
Prof. Yohei Yokobayashi
Job Location
Main Campus: 1919-1 Tancha, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa
Application Due Date
Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled.
*Application will be closed once the position is filled.
If you have any question, please contact us