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Department Name/Job Location:
This position is in the Department of Genetics. This position is for the Medical School Campus.
The Dougherty lab utilizes a variety of techniques spanning from human molecular genetics, genomics, and informatics to mouse behavioral neuroscience and neuroanatomy to understand how genetic mutations discovered in individuals with autism lead to functional disruptions in the brain. We are particularly known for novel methodologies for cell specific profiling of translation in vivo. We focus both on developing new tools in this space, as well as applying them to novel questions in biology. Key discoveries based on recent technical innovations include the identification of local translation in astrocytes (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28439016), and the production of non-canonical protein isoforms in neurons and glia (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30650354), and development of massively parallel reporter assays that can be delivered to neural cells (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28204611), among others (https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=Sav2nasAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate). The focus of the current posting is to identify a postdoctoral scholar for a position in the lab to lead the application of these and related methods to understanding the genetic contribution to autism and related disorders.
Our laboratory is part of both the departments of Genetics and Psychiatry at Washington University – an institution at the forefront of both genetics and neuroscience research, embedded in the vibrant and livable city of St. Louis. Our institution is characterized by phenomenal research support facilities in a variety of domains and a hard-working yet friendly and collaborative scientific culture.
We are currently looking for a postdoctoral researcher to lead this scientific inquiry into understanding how specific mutations in noncoding sequences may cause autism spectrum disorder. We enjoy working with individuals who read deeply and thoughtfully from the literature, who enjoy designing and running new experiments, and who are passionate, creative, independent, and hard working. The project is a collaboration between the Dougherty, Cohen, and Djuranovic labs, providing a great training environment for those interest in neuroscience, genomics, and transcriptional/translational regulation. The project combines two innovative but established components: massively parallel reporter assays, and cell type specific translational profiling, to 1) identify non-coding mutations that result in altered gene expression in disease relevant cell types in the brain, 2) conduct genetic burden and association testing on these variants, and 3) define the molecular mechanisms altering protein levels for specific mutations. The project will include exposure and involvement with national collaborations leveraging ongoing ASD genome sequencing with a focus on defining individual non-coding disease causing mutations using high throughput functional assays and in depth follow up experiments focusing on mutations that regulation translation. The position will provide extensive opportunities for leadership, growth, and innovation. For the current position, we are particularly interested in applicants with a strong background in genetics/genomics, who enjoy method development and are motivated to deeply understand the functional consequences of mutations from human patients.
Recent PhD/MD in a relevant field or equivalent experience in field (RNA biology, Human Genetics, Genomics, Neuroscience, Bioinformatics, Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology, Computational Biology, 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:
high-throughput functional assays
transcription and translation regulation
method development in genomics
human genetics of psychiatric disease
disease modeling in NPCs/human neurons
Post Doc Instructions:
Please do not submit an application to this posting.� To apply for this postdoctoral research opportunity, follow the directions below in �Applicant Special Instructions�.
Applicant Special Instructions:
To apply for this position, please send a cover letter, C.V., and contact information for three references to Dr. Joseph Dougherty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. Current employees applying for a new position within the university may be subject to this requirement. The screenings will include a criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.
Please attach a copy of your most current signed performance evaluation (completed within the last 18 months) to your online account. If you have not received a performance evaluation, you may provide two current signed letters of recommendation (written within the last 18 months), preferably to include one letter from either a current or recent former supervisor. To attach these documents, go to: My Career Tools, Add Attachment, Attachment Type – Performance Reviews or Letters of Recommendation.
Washington University in St. Louis, a medium-sized, independent university, is dedicated to challenging its faculty and students alike to seek new knowledge and greater understanding of an ever-changing, multicultural world. The University offers more than 90 programs and almost 1,500 courses leading to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in a broad spectrum of traditional and interdisciplinary fields, with additional opportunities for minor concentrations and individualized programs. The faculty is composed of scholars, scientists, artists and members of the learned professions. They serve society by teaching; by adding to the store of human art, creativity, understanding, and wisdom; and by providing direct services, such as health care.