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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Genetics - 51114
University of Washington in Seattle, Washington
Date Posted 03/18/2021
Admin-Laboratory and Research
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

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”.

Department Name/Job Location

This position is in the Department of Genetics.  This position is for the Medical School Campus.

Essential Functions

The Dougherty laboratory is part of both the departments of Genetics and Psychiatry, at Washington University, in St. Louis. We are currently looking for a creative and independent postdoctoral researcher to lead a scientific inquiry into understanding the relationship between neural activity and translation regulation in glia to fill a funded position. We enjoy working with individuals who read deeply and thoughtfully from the literature, who are talented in designing and running new experiments, and it does not hurt to have a deep and abiding love of glia. Our lab utilizes a variety of techniques spanning from human molecular genetics, genomics, and informatics to mouse behavioral neuroscience and neuroanatomy. We are particularly known for novel methodologies for cell specific profiling of translation in vivo, and key discoveries in the past three years from this project include the discovery of local translation in astrocytes (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28439016 ), and microglia (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.13.426577v1 ), and the production of non-canonical protein isoforms in neurons and glia (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211124718320229 ). The laboratory continues to develop new methods for prospective and retrospective analysis of gene expression in the brain, as well as applying these method to mouse models of neurological disorders with a focus on autism.

We assume any postdoc is going to bring a unique perspective and expertise to the table. We think strong postdocs usually both bring something to the lab and have some new perspective to gain from the lab.  For example, someone with a strong background in astrocyte physiology or in vivo imaging could really bring broader expertise into to the lab and start some unique experiments right away. In parallel, we could then train them in some of our cutting edge genomic/transcriptomic methods, bioinformatics, gene editing, technology development, etc. to expand their project and their skill set. Or we could host someone with a neuronal background who wants to take a step to glia. Another example might be someone who has spent their PhD studying a particular disease process with different methods, and now they want to learn how to apply our methods to that disease. Overall, a good postdoc experience should add to their trajectory, as a scientist is some way that sets them up for their next step. We are happy to provide that opportunity for leadership and growth.

We also have grants under review right now focused on some of our novel technology for cell-type specific epigenetic recording (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S009286742030814X,  https://www.pnas.org/content/117/18/10003 ), and applying some of our high-throughput cell-type specific MPRA methods (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32843144/ ) to sex differences in autism loci (in glia and neurons both).  Thus, while the current posting is focused on recruiting someone to take a lead in the glial project, we’d be happy to have conversations with individuals interested in any other aspect of our lab’s work as well. 

Required Qualifications

Ph.D. degree (or nearing the completion of a Ph.D.).

Preferred Qualifications

Applicants from a wide variety of scientific backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary Range

Base pay commensurate with experience.

Pre-Employment Screening

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

Applicant Special Instructions

Any interested applicants should send a cover letter with their background and interests, a C.V., and a couple of papers that best represent their work (pre-prints, drafts, or chapters from PhD thesis itself could all also be fine). Please email them to jdougherty@wustl.edu .


This position works in a laboratory environment with potential exposure to biological, chemical and radioactive hazards.  The individual must be physically able to wear protective equipment and to provide standard care to research animals.

EOE Statement

Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

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