Postdoctoral Fellow - Organic Chemistry
Competition 576

Department Faculty of Science - Chemistry
Posted date October 3, 2023
Closing date Will remain open until filled.
Position Type Full Time


This position has an initial appointment of 1 year and offers a benefits package found at Postdoctoral Fellows Benefits.

Location - North Campus Edmonton. This role is in-person. 

Working for the University of Alberta

The University of Alberta acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, and respects the histories, languages and cultures of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our vibrant community.

The University of Alberta is teeming with change makers, community builders, and world shapers who lead with purpose each and every day. We are home to more than 40,000 students in 200+ undergraduate and 500+ graduate programs, over 13,000 faculty and staff, 260,000 alumni worldwide and have been recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for over a decade.

Your work will have a meaningful influence on a fascinating cross section of people—from our students and stakeholders, to our renowned researchers and innovators who are quite literally curing diseases, making discoveries and generating solutions that make the world healthier, safer, stronger, and more just.

Working for the Department/Faculty 

Dr. David Wishart is a Distinguished University Professor within the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. He is a highly respected scientist and operates one of the UofA’s most extensively equipped and advanced laboratories. His state-of-the-art research facilities are housed within both the Department of Biological Sciences and the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences on the University of Alberta North campus. Dr. Wishart’s laboratories contain more than $10 million in cutting-edge analytical equipment including more than a half dozen high-end mass spectrometers and a fully equipped 700 MHz NMR spectrometer. Dr. Wishart’s research spans a diverse spectrum of research fields, ranging from precision health, cancer (specifically lung and breast), infectious diseases (with a focus on COVID-19), neurological diseases (including Alzheimer’s and ALS), kidney diseases, animal/livestock health, forestry research, microbiome research, food chemistry, structural biology, portable sensor systems, and metabolomics technology development. He has active collaborations with more than 30 scientists around the world. For further details about Dr. Wishart and his laboratory, please visit The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC) website at and the Wishart Node TMIC website at  


We are seeking a highly motivated and skilled postdoctoral fellow in organic chemistry to join our dynamic research team. Under the guidance of the Principal Investigator (PI), you will play a pivotal role as a synthetic chemist, contributing to the cutting-edge field of metabolomics. Your primary responsibility will be to synthesize small organic molecules, serving as novel reference standards essential for advancing metabolomic research. This role presents a unique opportunity to actively engage in innovative scientific endeavours, collaborate with renowned experts, and make significant contributions to our understanding of metabolomics.   


  • Carrying out synthesis of small organic molecules as novel reference standards used for metabolomic research. The relevant compounds are generally biomarkers and will be used to prepare standard solutions for LC-MS analyses of biofluids. 
  • Performing synthesis of isotopically labelled derivatizing reagents used for Isotope Coded Derivatization (ICD). 
  • Designing and synthesizing novel small molecule ICD reagents useful for LC-MS and GC-MS analyses. 
  • Purifying synthesized compounds using various techniques such as flash chromatography, preparative TLC or HPLC, to achieve the desired high purity level. 
  • Optimizing the synthetic conditions and scaling up of the reagents as required.  
  • Optimizing of the reaction conditions for the derivatization of the metabolites using the synthesized reagents. 
  • Synthesizing libraries of derivatized metabolites including amino acids which can be directly used as LC-MS standards for quantification. 
  • Analyzing the synthesized compounds by LC-MS, NMR and other platforms as needed for characterization as well as for quantification. 
  • Presentation of research results in laboratory meetings, seminars, and scientific conferences 
  • Preparation of research papers, presentations, and publications under the direction of the trust holder. 
  • Performs literature reviews to determine feasible experimental options for the development of methods to synthesize compounds of interest. 
  • Coordinates equipment and lab activities with other laboratory and project staff to facilitate project progress. 
  • Works with a high degree of independence following a research plan approved by the Pl. 
  • Writes first draft of manuscripts. 
  • Prepares abstracts for conference meetings and presents these research findings at meetings. 

Minimum Qualifications

  • PhD in synthetic organic chemistry.  
  • Clear understanding of the scope and role of organic chemistry in metabolomic research. 
  • Experience in handling hazardous reagents including isotopically labelled compounds. 
  • Experience in synthesis of small molecules and their purification using liquid chromatography/preparative HPLC/preparative TLC. In-depth knowledge and experience in purification techniques is a must as the synthesized compounds are required to be of high purity which will be used for sensitive LC-MS analyses required for metabolomic research. 
  • Thorough knowledge of performing milligram scale reactions for optimization as well as scale up to the multigram stage is required. 
  • Ability to work independently on complex research projects and report and publish the scientific outcomes under direct supervision of trust holder. 
  • Ability to work on multiple projects. 
  • Maintaining a safe and collegial working environment following Standard Operating Procedures for safety including WHIMIS guidelines. 

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Experience in acquiring NMR and Mass spectral data for characterization of the compounds is an asset. 

How to Apply

To have your application considered, please select the Apply Online icon below and submit the following:

  • Resume and Cover letter in one document
  • Three references

At the University of Alberta, we are committed to creating an inclusive and accessible hiring process for all candidates. If you require accommodations to participate in the interview process, please let us know at the time of booking your interview and we will make every effort to accommodate your needs.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.