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

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) is a model for change in education and research with the best international graduate students, working side by side with world-class faculty in modern well-equipped laboratories. Beautifully situated on the island of Okinawa, OIST relies on a cross-disciplinary approach, with an emphasis on creativity and exchange, to offer unique, individualized graduate training. OIST is a university with no departments, eliminating artificial barriers between people working in different fields, but many nationalities, with students and faculty being attracted from all over the world. Concentrating initially on Neuroscience, Molecular Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Environmental and Ecological Sciences and Physical Sciences, OIST is bringing some of the best brains in the world to Okinawa to transform the way science and education is done in the global academic world.

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).


1919‐1 Tancha, Onna‐son, Okinawa, Japan 904-0495


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.

Report to 

Prof. Yohei Yokobayashi

Starting Date 

As soon as possible (negotiable)

Term & Working Hours 

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

Working hours: 9:00-17:30

Compensation & 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)

How To Apply 

Please submit all required application materials by email to:
(Please replace # with @ before using this email address)


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

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

Application Due Date 

Applications are accepted until the positions are filled.


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