Postdoc in Comprehensive Multiphase NMR (Solids/Semi-Solids/Liquids)- University of Toronto, Canada

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posted: October 26, 2009
application deadline: Nov 30, 2009

A Postdoctoral Research Associate in multiphase NMR Spectroscopy position is open in the Environmental NMR Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in the laboratory of Prof. Andre Simpson.

Project Description

This is a unique opportunity to develop a novel application of NMR spectroscopy termed Comprehensive Multiphase NMR spectroscopy (CMP NMR).

CMP NMR is a new area of NMR spectroscopy that incorporates solid-state, semi-solids (HR-MAS) and solution-state NMR. The candidate will work with a range of unique hardware prototypes to study intact natural samples that have solid, gel and liquid components (samples may include plants, soils, sediments, tissue/bone etc.) thereby eliminating the need for drying or pre-treatment. This research aims to differentiate molecular structures in various natural phases and more importantly, to permit the study of the chemistry and transport between phases and across key interfaces by NMR spectroscopy for the first time. The successful candidate will have ample opportunities to publish in a diverse range of disciplines

The project will be carried out in close collaboration with Bruker BioSpin and will involve: 1) fundamental development of the technique and preliminary applications in a range of disciplines; and 2) development of applications in environmental chemistry. Environmental applications will focus on understanding the molecular processes behind soil/sediment contamination. The costs associated with the clean-up of contaminated sites in the European Union and the United States is on the order of 1.4 trillion euro. However, current remediation strategies target only the soluble fraction of soil leaving a considerable soil-bound component, that has been linked to a variety of illnesses. Remediation of this "sequestered" fraction is presently impossible as the chemical components of soil that strongly bind contaminants as-well as the molecular mechanisms that hold the contaminants to the soil are not known. CMP-NMR will provide a detailed insight at the molecular-level of the processes that cause contaminants to be entrapped in the soil matrix and describe the complete binding environment of the contaminant in unaltered natural samples. The results of this project will contribute directly to the development of novel soil remediation strategies.

Candidate requirements

The candidate must have an extremely strong background in NMR spectroscopy ideally with expertise in solid-state, HR-MAS and solution-state NMR. Expertise in one area is sufficient as long the candidate is willing and interesting in to learn all areas of NMR spectroscopy. The candidate must be open minded and willing to work with very complex environmental samples and be able to design novel pulse programs that combine aspects from solution-state and solid-state NMR. Candidates will need to draw upon and integrate a range of concepts including saturation transfer, diffusion editing, cross-polarization dynamics, relaxation filters, isotope filtering with 1-3D NMR spectroscopy to access specific key molecular interactions from within complex matrices. The candidate will have access to a range of state of-the-art equipment at the Environmental NMR center including prototype multiphase probes and hardware, as well as solid-state, HR-MAS, liquid-state, micro-imaging, and hyphenated (2D-HPLC-SPE-NMR-MS(Q-q-Tof) NMR spectrometers.

The candidate should have an interest in environmental chemistry and/or willingness to learn key issues in this field. Due to the very technical nature of the project the position is specifically suited to a gifted and open-minded NMR spectroscopist rather than an environmentalist with NMR experience. The candidate must be willing to travel and may be expected to lead visits with graduate students to Bruker BioSpin, if required.

How to apply

Candidates should send a complete C.V. including a publication list, a one page statement outlining their suitability and their interest in the position. Candidates should arrange to have 3 references sent directly. Applications without the appropriate references have to be considered incomplete and cannot be considered.

Applications and references should be sent to

Professor André Simpson
Director of the Environmental NMR Center
Department of Chemistry
Division of Physical and Environmental Sciences
University of Toronto at Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, MIC 1A4

Or e-mailed as a PDF attachment to andre.simpson at

All applications and references must be received by Nov 30th 2009.

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