The Kacar Lab works at the interface of molecular and experimental evolution, genome engineering, biochemistry, molecular biology and astrobiology. I led an independent research program at Harvard University Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology for three years and will soon be moving to the University of Arizona Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Astronomy in the Fall of 2017 to start my own lab. I am hiring for the following positions:

A lab manager with a background in molecular biology and/or microbiology, to start as early as January 2018.The researcher will conduct independent work, assist with the lab’s day-to-day operations and contribute to the development of a new experimental approach involving reconstructing ancient molecular components and observing their biological functions in modern microbial cells. Experience with fundamental DNA engineering techniques is essential. Experience with protein biochemistry and expression/purification techniques would be ideal. Good organizational skills, ability to work as a part of a collaborative scientific group, leadership and excellent communication skills are essential. I have funding for a minimum of 3 years for this position.

I am also accepting graduate students and postdocs/research scientists to start as early as September 2018. There are multiple funded projects in the lab for researchers interested in the origins of life, astrobiology and molecular/experimental evolution. Students can apply through the Molecular and Cellular Biology and Astronomy Programs. I am also recruiting a postdoc/research scientist with a background in phylogenetics, and/or computational biology with experience in next-generation sequencing. Motivated undergraduates are always welcomed and encouraged to reach out to me for open positions, regardless of the major you opt to pursue. For more information, contact me at with your CV and a brief statement of interests and experiences as they relate to the research topics described here.   

In general, I am looking for team members who have good personal skills, a willingness to work across disciplinary boundaries, and who are enthusiastic about developing novel experimental systems and techniques. Team members need to have a true interest in fundamental questions that relate to evolution (at the molecular or systems levels), the origins of life and astrobiology. We collaborate with geologists, microbiologists, geneticists and astronomers, so please expect to work in a transdisciplinary research environment. If your skills aren’t listed above, but you are interested in our work and see a possible role for yourself in the group, please feel free to contact me.

We conduct our research activities under two themes:


University of Arizona Molecular and Cellular Biology Student Coordinator:
Denise Slay (

University of Arizona Astrobiology Program:

University of Arizona Department of Molecular and Cell Biology:

University of Arizona Department of Astronomy: