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Department Name/Job Location:
This position is in the Department of Developmental Biology. This position is for the Medical School Campus.
The Department of Developmental Biology is a dynamic research community, with interests spanning multiple model organisms and disease paradigms, and the research environment and facilities at Washington University and the School of Medicine is world-class.
Bachelor's or master's degree holder desiring to pursue a career in scientific research.
Familiarity with standard cellular and molecular biology techniques.
Excellent communications and organization skills.
Willingness to learn new techniques.
Ability to work independently within a large research group after a period of supervised training.
A Research Technician II position is available from the McNeill lab to study tissue organization and growth control during development using fly and mouse models (http://mcneilllab.wustl.edu).
The McNeill lab is interested in how tissue growth and tissue organization are coordinately regulated during normal development and regeneration, and how loss of this control leads to human disease.
We investigate how these processes are regulated using both Drosophila and mouse genetics for in vivo analysis, as well as tissue culture and organoid approaches. The lab has a long tradition of investigating how Fat cadherins function in Hippo pathway-regulated growth control, planar cell polarity (PCP) tissue organization and metabolism. Fat cadherins are enormous cell adhesion molecules that bind via cadherin-cadherin interactions to another large cadherin called Dachsous (Ds). The Hippo pathway is a highly conserved signaling pathway that regulates proliferation and apoptosis via control of the activity of the transcriptional co-activators Yorkie/YAP. We use Drosophila as a genetically tractable organism to investigate the basic and conserved mechanisms of Fat function and the control of Hippo pathway activity. Our very recent work has uncovered a novel and exciting role for Fat cadherins in regeneration.
By studying Fat cadherins and the Hippo pathway in both fly and mouse models, we capitalize on each system’s strengths. We integrate biochemical studies with our genetic analysis to extend our knowledge and test our hypotheses. For example, we used classical biochemical analysis to demonstrate that Fat is processed from a 560kDa precursor to a mature cell-surface receptor composed of a 110kDa transmembrane domain and a 450kDa extracellular domain composed of 34 cadherin repeats, EGF and LaminG domains that mediates binding to Ds. We showed binding of Fat to Ds promotes Fat phosphorylation and signaling to the Hippo pathway. Now we are using proteomic screening to identify Fat cadherin pathway effectors, using BioID to identify interaction partners in a near physiological context. We also showed that Ft cadherins undergo sequential cleavages release a cytosolic fragment that is imported into mitochondria (Fat-mito), where it binds Ndufv2, a component of CI. To identify the protease involved, we will now conduct a high throughput siRNA screen to identify genes essential for the mitochondrial localization of Fat/Fat4.
Our work on Fat and the Hippo pathway in mouse models has revealed a critical and unsuspected role for the Hippo growth control pathway in morphogenesis. Using whole animal conditional and organ-culture approaches, we found that loss of NF2 or LATS or overexpression of YAP leads to growth and elongation of the collecting ducts in the absence of branching morphogenesis. To understand better how branching is affected, we will conduct high-resolution time-lapse imaging of the induction of branching morphogenesis. We will also assay tissue tension at junctions in the bud, and the trunk of developing.
In addition to our studies on Fat and the Hippo pathway, a new area of exciting research in the lab focuses on a novel nuclear protein that we call Speg (for Sperm- and egg -less) that we isolated in genetic screens in Drosophila. Remarkably that we have found Speg is essential for chromatin structure and fertility in flies, mice and fish. This project is taking us into exploring how changes in the nuclear envelope impact gene expression and cell fate.
This position assists with the technical aspects of studies and experiments, including documentation and preparation of materials.
PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Assists with research studies, experiments and assays, including collection of data, preparation of solutions and set-up and maintenance of equipment.
Performs data entry and maintains data files on research.
Prepares tissue cultures, reagents, probe tests, etc.
Complies with established safety procedures and maintains required documentation on laboratory and specimen conditions.
Ensures lab conditions and equipment are properly cleaned and maintained in accordance with established procedures.
Assists with general lab maintenance and cleaning.
This position is full-time and works approximately 40 hours per week.
The hiring range for this position is $14.07 - $18.99 per hour.
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.
This position works in a laboratory environment with potential exposure to biological and chemical hazards. The individual must be physically able to wear protective equipment and to provide standard care to research animals.
Internal Applicant Instruction:
This position is grade R06.
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.
Bachelor’s degree and up to one year of experience in a laboratory setting or an equivalent combination of education and experience equaling four years.
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.