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RNA Biology

Job Description

A fully funded postdoctoral fellow position is available in the Gonatopoulos-Pournatzis lab within the RNA Biology Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, MD at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The research in the lab focuses on characterizing regulatory networks that control alternative splicing and on the systematic interrogation of transcript isoforms with critical roles in normal physiology and disease states. We address these questions by developing and applying state-of-the art CRISPR-based functional genomics screening tools in combination with computational, molecular biology and biochemical approaches as well as generation of animal models. Some of the questions we are currently addressing include:

  • To map the regulatory networks that control alternative splicing programs associated with human diseases.
  • To uncover the full repertoire of human exons that affect cell fitness and proliferation in a core or cell-type specific manner.
  • To develop a single-cell screening platform for combinatorial genetic perturbations and gene segment deletions to identify exons and 3´ UTRs that underlie cell fate decisions.

For more information visit our lab’s webpage (https://ccr.cancer.gov/staff-directory/thomas-gonatopoulos-pournatzis ).

We offer a dynamic multi-disciplinary team within the RNA Biology department of NCI/NIH, providing a stimulating and collaborative scientific environment. Our lab has access to all necessary equipment including Illumina and Nanopore sequencers, Chromium single-cell device, TapeStation, Incucycte etc. We also have access to state-of-the art core facilities of the Center for Cancer Research (CCR/NCI) including high-throughput sequencing, mass spectrometry, flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, protein purification and animal handling. Furthermore, the office of intramural training and education (OITE) offers a variety of training and welfare programs specifically for NIH postdoctoral fellows. Our group strives to create and maintain a welcoming and equitable environment. We welcome all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age and disability. We offer fully funded long-term positions with competitive salaries and benefits covering health insurance premiums. The NCI Frederick campus is within driving distance to Washington DC, Baltimore and Bethesda providing numerous opportunities for dual careers.

Recent related publications:

  • Application of CHyMErA Cas9-Cas12a combinatorial genome-editing platform for genetic interaction mapping and gene fragment deletion screening. Nature Protocols, 2021
  • Genetic interaction mapping and exon-resolution functional genomics with a hybrid Cas9-Cas12a platform. Nature Biotechnology, 2020
  • Autism-Misregulated eIF4G Microexons Control Synaptic Translation and Higher Order Cognitive Functions. Molecular Cell, 2020
  • Genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 Interrogation of Splicing Networks Reveals a Mechanism for Recognition of Autism-Misregulated Neuronal Microexons. Molecular Cell, 2018


Applicants should hold a PhD or MD/PhD degree(s) and the ideal candidate should have expertise in molecular and computational biology and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.

To Apply:

Send your complete CV with contact information of 2-3 referees and a motivation letter including research interests to Thomas Gonatopoulos-Pournatzis: thomas.gonatopoulos@nih.gov

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs and encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.

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