Postdoctoral Opportunities: Strategies for Restoration of Neurofibromin Expression

Greater Boston Area / Worcester, Massachusetts
Salary will be commensurate with ability and experience. A generous benefits package is offered.
January 15 2019
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

The Sena-Esteves, Jacobson, Watts and Wolfe laboratories at UMass Medical School seek to recruit multiple postdoctoral fellows to develop new gene therapy strategies to restore Neurofibromin expression in affected tissues in NF1 patients. This collaborative project is associated with the Gilbert Family Foundation Gene Therapy Initiative  ( Our projects consist of a multidisciplinary effort spanning UMass Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, zinc finger, oligonucleotide and small molecule approaches to achieve Neurofibromin expression restoration.

Our collaborative efforts will focus on:

1) The development of AAV vectors that target affected tissues at ultra-high efficiency.

2) The development of zinc finger proteins and chemically modified oligonucleotides to restore Neurofibromin homeostasis.

3) The evaluation of small molecule drugs to promote readthrough of premature nonsense codons in mutant NF1 alleles.

These studies will expose the successful candidates to AAV gene therapy and capsid engineering, zinc finger protein design and selection, new nucleic acid chemical modification strategies, and small molecular candidate evaluation.  The successful candidates will also learn deep-sequencing approaches to monitor transcriptome analysis and the utilization of mouse model systems for NF1 phenotype evaluation. In addition, the successful candidates will be involved in meetings/conferences associated with the Gilbert Family Foundation Gene Therapy Initiative, which will broaden their exposure to the latest research within the field. Candidates should have a Ph.D. in biology, biochemistry, chemistry or a related biomedical science. In addition, the potential candidates must have strong oral and written communication skills and be eager to present research results at national meetings. Prior experience with AAV, nucleic acid synthesis, zinc finger platforms, cell culture, and mouse model systems is advantageous, but not required.

Applicants should send a letter (via email) describing their current research activities and their interest in this position, a CV (including publications), and contact information for three references, including your Ph.D. advisor.

Address letters to Miguel Sena-Esteves (, Allan Jacobson (, Jon Watts (, or Scot Wolfe (

University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605 U.S.A.

See these links for further details about the Sena-Esteves Laboratory (; Jacobson Laboratory (; Watts laboratory (; Wolfe laboratory (

UMass Medical School is committed to being an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer and recognizes the power of a diverse community. We encourage applications from protected veterans, individuals with disabilities and those with varied experiences, perspectives and backgrounds to consider UMass Medical School as their employer of choice.

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