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Postdoctoral Fellowships in neuroscience and cancer biology

Venkatachalam lab at the McGovern Medical School Houston UTHealth Houston

Houston, TX

Job posting number: #7075560

Posted: March 1, 2021

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

The Venkatachalam lab at the McGovern Medical School Houston UTHealth Houston (www.utflylab.com) is looking for motivated postdoctoral fellows to pursue research on the following topics:

1. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NEURONAL EXCITABILITY AND BIOENERGETICS
This project involves the examination of how neurons cope with the bioenergetic burden of maintaining electrical excitability.

The long-term goals of this project are —
1. To reveal fundamental insights into how neurons leverage the plasticity inherent in bioenergetic pathways to maintain functionality over the lifespan of organisms.
2. To identify actionable strategies that restore bioenergetic homeostasis in neurons that exhibit pathological alterations in excitability as consequences of advanced age and/or upon the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.

Investigators involved in this project can expect to —
1. Leverage the power of Drosophila and mouse genetics to answer fundamental and translationally-relevant biological questions.
2. Utilize state-of-the-art technologies for studying neuronal bioenergetics including optical recordings in live neurons, Seahorse metabolic flux assays, and metabolite tracing.
3. Apply multi-OMIC strategies to determine how age- and neurodegeneration-dependent changes in chromatin accessibility, gene expression, and cellular lipid profiles influence neuronal excitability and bioenergetics.

2. ROLES FOR LYSOSOMES AND MITOCHONDRIA IN CANCER CELL SIGNALING
This project involves the examination of how cancer cells co-opt endolysosomal biogenesis and mitochondrial function to compel unmitigated cell proliferation, a pro-tumor immune signature, and cell survival. Please refer to these publications (Jung et al. EMBO Reports and Jung et al. bioRxiv) to get an idea of our progress so far.

The long-term goals of this project are —
1. To reveal fundamental insights into how cancer cells rewire transcriptional and metabolic programs involving endolysosomes and mitochondria in order to cope with the steep demands of unmitigated proliferation and cell survival.
2. To identify actionable strategies that disrupt lysosomal and mitochondrial function in cancer cells in order to attenuate cell proliferation, induce cell death, and modify the immune environment in order to increase the effectiveness of immunotherapy.

Investigators involved in this project can expect to —
1. Study the roles of endolysosomes and mitochondria in supporting cancer cell signaling.
2. Utilize state-of-the-art technologies for studying neuronal bioenergetics including optical recordings in live cells, Seahorse metabolic flux assays, and metabolite tracing.
3. Apply multi-OMIC strategies to examine how cancer cells modify chromatin accessibility, gene expression, and cellular lipid profiles in order to facilitate the role of endolysosomes and mitochondria in tumorigenesis.

Facilities available in the Venkatachalam lab —
1. The Venkatachalam lab is located in the Texas Medical Center that is home to a range of relevant core facilities for multi-OMIC analyses, flow cytometry, and microscopy.
2. The department has a cutting-edge microscopy core (UTHealth Center for Advance Microscopy) with access to electron microscopes; confocal microscopes with resonant and spectral detectors and additional platform for assessing fluorescence lifetime; confocal microscopes for TIRF and super-resolution imaging (STORM); a Nikon N-SIM super-resolution structured illumination microscope capable of imaging in 2D, 3D, and TIRF-SIM; a fluorescence imaging system for detecting small molecules in living cells; and an IVIS Lumina XR.

Required qualifications for suitable candidates are —
1. Ph.D. or equivalent in life sciences.
2. Excellent written and oral communication skills.
3. Demonstrable expertise in standard molecular biology techniques for working with nucleic acids (for instance, molecular cloning, DNA/RNA extraction, PCR/RT-PCR etc.) and proteins (for instance, Western blotting and immunofluorescence).
4. Previous experience working with Drosophila is preferred but not required.




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More Info

Job posting number:#7075560
Application Deadline:Open Until Filled
Employer Location:McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center-Houston
Houston,Texas
United States
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