Job Summary: We are seeking a highly motivated post-doctoral research associate to investigate mechanisms of the gut-brain axis in autism and other clinical conditions. Our research program develops microbiota-based therapeutics targeting the gut microbiota. These therapeutics are being tested in clinical trials and used for treatment under compassionate care mechanisms approved by the FDA. We are now developing next-generation microbiota-based products that are informed by a mechanistic hypothesis. The project involves development of microbiome-based and metabolome-based diagnostics to identify microbiota that have the potential to have detrimental or beneficial effects on brain and gut functions. Different experimental systems involve the use of short-term in vitro cultures or animal systems. The focus of the postdoctoral training will be development of microbiome-based diagnostics, microbiome analysis and bioinformatics, including multi-omics based systems approaches. The microbiome analysis will both 16S rRNA gene and shotgun metagenomics based computational methods. The ideal candidate will be a detail-oriented critical thinker able to organize several projects occurring simultaneously and facilitate completion of studies in an ethical, rigorous, and timely manner. Independent work is expected, but the researcher will also work closely with and receive guidance and support from multiple faculty co-investigators.
Duties and responsibilities:
Perform experiments and process samples (45%) Assist with experimental design DNA extraction from biospecimens Develop qPCR primers Perform qPCR and develop high-throughput qPCR assays Metabolomic analysis of samples using mass spectrometry (in collaboration) Maintain laboratory supplies and equipment and recommend purchases to replenish supplies Maintain detailed notes of experimental procedures, samples, and methods
Sequence and data analysis (45%) Submit samples for next-generation sequencing and ‘omics-based analyses Process data (including quality trimming, taxonomic classification, etc.) Perform computational and statistical analyses of large datasets to characterize changes in the microbial community structure and differentiation between different microbial sources, e.g., indigenous microbiota versus therapeutic produt Maintain organized spreadsheets of all data using Microsoft Excel
Scientific writing and presentation (10%) Interpret and summarize data in reports and presentations Prepare scientific manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals Attend regular group meetings and share data
Percent time: 100% Work hours: 40/week Term: A – 12 month appt. Type: K – Annual renewable appointment College/admin unit: Medical school – TC campus Department/division: Medicine (GI) Campus location: Minneapolis
Required qualifications: Ph.D. in microbiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, microbial ecology, or a related field.
Preferred qualifications: Authorship on peer-reviewed scientific publications. Experience with basic molecular biology techniques including qPCR. Experience with basic microbiology techniques and handling of BSL2 microbes and human pathogens Experience with computational tools including R, python, mothur, QIIME Excellent communication skills Strong team-working skills
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.