Dr. Lauren Surface’s newly established lab in the University of Michigan School of Dentistry is recruiting postdoctoral research fellows. Research in the Surface Lab focuses on two main directions, united by similar methodologies of employing genome-wide approaches followed by molecular and organismal investigations, to understand the molecular responses of bone cells. Postdocs are encouraged to pursue research that is of interest to them that fall within these directions.
As we age, our quality of life critically depends on the skeletal and craniofacial bones, in both health and disease. The skeleton is not only of immense clinical importance, notably in the weakening of bones seen in osteoporosis, but also is a model for studying communication across organs, as bone cells help to coordinate many aspects of organismal homeostasis, including mineral metabolism, disruption of which can have major consequences for health. The Surface Lab pursues research that addresses both aspects of bone health in aging and disease.
The first direction focuses on the molecular mechanisms of bisphosphonates (commonly prescribed drugs used to treat osteoporosis). Our long-term goal is to understand the molecular, cellular, and organismal pathways essential for the responses to these drugs. Using a CRISPRi screen, we previously identified over 300 genes that affect the response to bisphosphonates. Two genes, ATRAID and SLC37A3, were of particular interest due to the strength of their effect on BP response, and we found these genes were essential for the lysosomal release of these drugs. Future studies will build on these studies, to investigate these and other factors that may affect the patient response to these drugs, with the goal to establish better treatment strategies.
The second direction seeks to identity how cells in bone sense and respond to changes in serum phosphate concentration, with this response being key in the endocrine control of mineral ion metabolism. Organismal phosphate (Pi) homeostasis is tightly controlled to maintain a consistent serum Pi level, disruption of which can have major consequences for the body. Indeed, phosphorus is key to the regulation of cellular signaling, enzymatic activity, metabolic energy, lipid metabolism, as well as muscle, kidney and neurological functions. How bone cells sense changes in Pi remains an outstanding question in endocrinology. Using cell-based approaches, include genome-wide CRISPR screens, our goal is to identify factors in bone cells responsible for sensing and responding to changes in extracellular Pi concentration, and translate these findings to understanding organismal Pi homeostasis and overall mineral ion metabolism.
Qualifications: The candidate should have a PhD, MD, or DDS in a relevant field, and ideally experience with molecular biology (though not required). They should believe in kindness towards others, have an enthusiasm for learning and asking questions, and an ability to work independently as well as in a group environment.
To apply, please send a resume including research interests/career plans, a list of publications and the names of three references to Lauren Surface, PhD, Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences at: firstname.lastname@example.org. A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that relate.
Tagged as: Life Sciences
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