Kavraki Lab

The Kavraki group at Rice University (http://www.kavrakilab.org) is looking to hire an enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher to enhance their research efforts in computational structural biology, drug design, and metabolic engineering.

Due to restrictions in funding, only US Citizens or Green Card holders can apply. The position is available immediately.

The available project is on mining metabolic and enzyme databases for the composition of non-canonical pathways with applications to drug design. The increasing availability of experimentally elucidated metabolic pathways together with the availability of enzyme functional data have ignited research in metabolic engineering and metabolomics. Recently, metabolic engineering has facilitated the production of complex pharmaceutical molecules by combining and manipulating metabolic pathways from multiple organisms. Metabolomic studies have revealed underlying causes of complex diseases and have helped diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment regimens as these evolve toward more individualized protocols. These spectacular advances have mostly relied upon laborious manual processes that are infeasible as more and more metabolic data are generated. In this project, we develop and implement a set of algorithms for the discovery of complex metabolic pathways using information on metabolic pathways from different species available in databases such as KEGG and MetaCyc, and enzyme information available in databases such as BRENDA. We use machine learning methods to analyze the results. We collaborate with experimentalists for the validation of the results.

Qualifications and Application

The ideal candidate will have a strong enthusiasm for interdisciplinary work. Required skills include excellent analytical skills, excellent software engineering skills, experience with programming in C++, or Java and some exposure to biochemistry. A Ph.D. is required for the position in a related field. In the past successful candidates had had degrees in Computer Science, Bioengineering, Biophysics, Physics, and Chemistry. Excellent communication and collaboration skills are required as the selected candidate will be expected to work closely with current lab members and with collaborators.

To indicate interest please send a resume to Lydia Kavraki (kavraki@rice.edu). Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


The Kavraki Group is a small but vibrant group and provides a stimulating working environment. Most of its alumni are now in academic or upper-level research positions. For more information about the group check http://www.kavrakilab.org. The Computer Science and Bioengineering Departments at Rice are part of the Gulf Coast Consortia for for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences and offer an unparalleled training environment (http://www.gulfcoastconsortia.org/home.aspx).

Rice University is a leading research university in the vibrant urban setting of Houston, TX, the fourth largest city in the U.S. Rice is a small, private university with exceptional strengths in engineering, biomedicine, and nanotechnology. The Computer Science Department is among the top 20 in United States, while the Bioengineering Department is ranked among the top 10 departments in United States by US News & World Report.