Postdoctoral Fellow position is available in the laboratory of Chester Brown in the Department of Pediatrics at University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). The successful candidate will work with Dr. Chester W. Brown, whose research program a primary duty of this individual will be to participate in the design and implementation of scientific experiments that explore the genetic, genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition and energy metabolism. This individual must work at a high level of independence and will be responsible for developing metrics for projects to ensure timely completion with production of high quality deliverables, which include preliminary data for subsequent self-constructed grant applications.
This position requires substantial experience in molecular and cell biology, mouse genetics, genetic engineering and project-driven team management. Expertise in bioinformatics, including the appropriate application of chip-based technologies, next generation sequencing of DNA and RNA, epigenomics and the subsequent refinement and analysis of the resulting data sets is highly desirable.
Our laboratory is interested in understanding mechanisms by which genes and environment work together to influence body composition, with a primary emphasis on obesity. The approaches include using extensive cell and tissue culture analyses of adipogensis to complement a variety of mutant and diet-induced mouse models, using large data set comparisons to examine the effects of these genetic and environmental changes. Our central approach is to modify specific genes in mice to determine their normal functions. By studying the physiologic effects of these mutations on the mice as a whole as well as the characteristics of cells that are derived from them, we are able to better understand the complex mechanistic interrelationships. We incorporate state of the art technologies to assess the effects of the several mutations that we have generated on physiologic, biochemical, and molecular function. In concordance with these efforts, a new center for childhood obesity and recently opened children’s biobank opens the door to a variety of translational research projects moving forward that will have a major impact on human health. These developments provide the basis for the rational design of potential drugs for the treatment of cachexia, obesity, and diabetes.
Essential functions and duties: Applicants must have a strong background in cell biology, cell and tissue culture methods, molecular biology and biochemistry. Experience with the analysis of large data sets and strong writing skills, including grant writing experience are highly desirable. Salary is commensurate with experience and skill level.
Genetically modified cells or tissues will be introduced into isogenic, normal recipient mice to assess the effects on body composition and metabolism using our established Comprehensive Laboratory Animal Monitoring System (CLAMS) protocol.
Examine the effects of constitutive P13K-Akt signaling in adipose tissues in vivo. We will introduce lentiviral vectors containing constitutively active alleles of Pik3ca in vivo, targeting unilateral subcutaneous or visceral adipose depots. Contralateral depots will be injected with control vectors so that the direct effects of Pik3ca on adipocyte differentiation and growth can be assessed. This cohort will also be assessed by changes in weight, lean/fat body mass, and CLAMS, and tissues will be examined by histology and molecular analysis.
Applicants with a PhD in a biological science, with a strong background in cell biology and molecular genetics and a background in the field of obesity and metabolism. Training in the bioinformatics analysis of large data sets would complement ongoing studies, but is not required. At least 2 years post-doctoral research experience, working with quantitative PCR, immunohisto-chemistry, Western blotting, RNA/DNA extraction, cell culture techniques, including transfection with viral transduction, mouse colony management, in vivo analyses in mice and the cells or tissues derived from them. Experience with the Seahorse system for bioenergetics is desirable.
Application Information: Candidates should apply by emailing Dr. Chester W. Brown at email@example.com a single PDF with a cover letter, C.V., names and contact information of at least three professional references, and Career Statement not to exceed 5 pages in length (applications exceeding 5 pages will not be considered).
Salary will be commensurate with relevant experience and is competitive for postdoctoral research fellows. The position includes an excellent benefits package (http://www.uthsc.edu/postdoc/benefits.php). Located in Memphis, a dynamic Mid-South city rich in culture, history, diversity, music and cuisine, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is one of the largest, most comprehensive academic health centers in the United States with a solid commitment to postdoctoral training. UTHSC is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA/V institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services.