The Noonan Lab in the Department of Genetics, Yale School of Medicine, is recruiting postdoctoral fellows to join a major, NIH-funded project to reconstruct uniquely human gene regulatory networks using humanized mice. Our work focuses on two classes of gene regulatory elements that may encode novel functions in humans. The first are Human Accelerated Regions (HARs), many of which encode transcriptional enhancers that are highly conserved across species but show multiple human-specific sequence changes (Prabhakar et al. Science 2008). The second class of elements are Human Gain Enhancers (HGEs), which are transcriptional enhancers that show increased activity in developing human tissues based on comparisons of epigenetic marks associated with enhancer activity in human, rhesus macaque and mouse (Cotney, Leng et al. Cell 2013, and Reilly, Yin et al. Science 2015). We have established humanized mouse models to understand how HARs alter developmental gene expression and drive the evolution of novel phenotypes. We have found that the HAR HACNS1 upregulates expression of the transcription factor gene Gbx2 in limb bud chondrogenic mesenchyme, suggesting the human-specific gain of function in HACNS1 contributed to changes in skeletal patterning in human limb evolution (Dutrow et al. bioRxiv 2019). Our goal is to build on these discoveries to link uniquely human regulatory functions to the molecular, cellular and morphological traits they specify.
We welcome applications from candidates with experience in comparative and functional genomics, genetic and experimental studies of all aspects of mammalian development, and other fields relevant to the project. Applicants must hold a PhD at the time of appointment.
Please send your CV, contact information for 2-3 references, and a cover letter explaining your interest in the position to Jim Noonan at email@example.com. Please include ‘HAR Project Postdoc Application’ in the subject line. We strongly encourage investigators from diverse backgrounds to apply.
Since opening in 2007, the Noonan Lab has made multiple contributions to our understanding of the nature, location and biology of uniquely human gene regulatory functions and their role in the evolution of human traits. You can find a summary of our research and a list of our publications on our lab website. We are strongly committed to providing a vibrant and supportive mentoring environment for trainees at all career stages and from all backgrounds. Graduate students and postdocs from our lab have gone on to tenure-track faculty positions (e.g., Columbia, UCONN Health, Yale) and positions in industry.
Tagged as: Life Sciences
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