Two fully funded postdoctoral positions are available in the Niwa lab at UCSD (Website: https://niwalab.biology.ucsd.edu/). We are interested in how eukaryotic cells handle non-genomic stress: (1) Specifically, how the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) responds to cellular stress such as increased demands for secretory protein or lipid production brought on by environmental challenge, injury or disease. This project focuses on the multi-dimensional Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) signaling pathway in normal and disease states. (2) Separately, we discovered and are focused on understanding the first cell cycle checkpoint that monitors the ER, termed the ER Surveillance Checkpoint (ERSU). The ERSU checkpoint ensures that the size and functional capacities of the ER expand to meet the challenge of supplying two dividing cells during the cell cycle. We have shown, for example, that stress activation of this cell cycle checkpoint (which is independent of the UPR) causes a halt in cytokinesis by negatively regulating the septin complex needed to physically separate mother from daughter cells in S. cerevisiae mitosis. We are investigating how ER stress pauses this cell cycle progression machinery, using molecular and cellular approaches in both yeast and mammalian cell culture models.
(3) We further study inter-organelle communication between the ER and the cell nucleus, in a new project funded by an Allen Distinguished Investigator Grant geared to understanding the architectural and functional coordination between these vital organelles and how they change under stress. This is critically important in mammalian cells as the ER and nuclear membranes are contiguous at multiple contact points and, at the onset of mitosis, the nuclear envelope (NE) breaks down and all the integral nuclear membrane proteins move into the ER. Later, as nuclear membranes reform at the end of mitosis, the integral nuclear membrane proteins must be preferentially retrieved from the ER. Overall, failure of the ER to meet one or more of the challenges detailed above is an underlying cause of many human diseases, including cancers and neurodegenerative disease. Therefore, we also use normal and disease models to dissect how the failure of the ER to make the needed changes in response to different stressors leads to human disease.
Interested candidates must have received (or be expecting) a Ph.D. or M.D. in cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, or a related discipline, and have excellent oral and written communication skills, and be strongly self-motivated to design and participate innovative and rigorous research projects. Prior experience in yeast genetics or iPSC is valued though not required.
If you are interested in working on these cutting edge questions, please e-mail a cover letter, CV, a brief summary of research interests and accomplishments, and career goals, contact information for 3 references, to:
Maho Niwa, Ph.D
Professor, University of California San Diego, Division of Biological Sciences
Tagged as: Life Sciences
The Stowers Institute for Medical Research has an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join the Halfmann Lab (https://research.stowers.org/halfmannlab/)....Apply
Gordian is a gene therapy company developing therapeutics for diseases of aging. Our discovery platform allows us to simultaneously screen...Apply
The Laboratory of Dr. Margarida Barroso (@barrosolab) has an outstanding job opportunity for a post-doctoral research associate at the Department...Apply
A postdoctoral scholar position is available in the geomicrobiology lab led by Jake Bailey (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences,...Apply
Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Our lab (http://fanglab.bio/) has rich experience in...Apply
The Stowers Institute for Medical Research has an opening for a Research Specialist to join the Halfmann Lab (https://research.stowers.org/halfmannlab/). The...Apply