Jobs

Postdoctoral Position in Functional Genomics for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Employer

Washington University

Location

St. Louis, Missouri

Principal Investigator

Bruno A. Benitez

Contact

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and CV to Dr. Benitez (babenitez@wustl.edu).

 

Description

A postdoctoral scholar position is available in the NeuroGenomics and Informatics (NGI) Group in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis. The role would involve conducting and leading functional experiments in cells to understand how specific mutations in several genes may cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. We are particularly interested in applicants with a strong background in cell biology/biochemistry (experience working with stem cell culture (iPSC-derived neurons, microglia or astrocytes, site-directed mutagenesis, western blotting, cloning, lentivirus vectors as well as CRISPR/Cas9), who enjoy method development and are motivated to deeply understand the functional consequences of mutations from human patients. The research will be focused on a combination of molecular and biochemical studies utilizing primary cell lines and iPS cells to 1) develop the appropriate molecular tools to subclone wild-type and mutants form of genes associated with neurodegenerative diseases, 2) define the molecular mechanisms altering protein levels for specific mutations, and 3) identify the effects of specific genes on essential neurodegenerative pathways. The position will provide extensive opportunities for leadership, growth, and innovation.

The functional genomics unit of the NGI group utilizes a variety of techniques spanning from human molecular genetics, genomics, and informatics to mouse models to understand how genetic mutations discovered in individuals with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and related dementias lead to functional disruptions in cells and the brain. The collaboration between the Cruchaga, Harari, Karch, and Benitez labs provides a great training environment for those interest in functional genomics. The labs are particularly known for discovering novel genes and variants associated with neurodegenerative diseases: They recently identified the MS4A cluster of genes affecting the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of soluble TREM2 and identified the GMNC gene as a genetic modifier of CSF tau levels. They also identified a protective variant in the TMEM106B gene that may have a neuronal protection effect against general aging.

This position is eligible for full-time benefits. Please click the following link to view a summary: https://hr.wustl.edu/benefits/.

For further details please see https://neurogenomics.wustl.edu/.

Requirements

Recent Ph.D./M.D. in a relevant field or equivalent experience in field (molecular biology, developmental biology, cell biology, biochemistry, etc.)

A variety of different backgrounds could lead to success in this project, and expertise in one or more of the following would provide a foundation on which to receive additional training in the others: disease modeling in NPCs/human neurons; iPS cells/ stem cell; cell biology/biochemistry/molecular biology.