Post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
Rockville, Maryland
Salary is commensurate with research experience and accomplishments (
May 18 2016
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type

Position Type: Postdoctoral Position at the NIH

Position: Zellweger Spectrum Disorders Post-doctoral Fellowship at the NCATS 

Background The Zellweger spectrum of peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBD-ZSD) is a heterogeneous group of genetic disorders caused by mutations in PEX genes that are responsible for normal peroxisome assembly and functions. Individuals with PBD-ZSD present with a spectrum of clinical phenotypes affecting multiple organ systems that typically result in shortened life spans. The most severely affected newborns show profound neurologic symptoms secondary to neuronal migration defects and hypomyelination, and develop progressive liver disease; however, the majority of patients have milder forms of disease compatible with survival through adulthood. These patients show mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, progressive sensorineural hearing loss, and retinopathy.

The goals are to identify promising treatments that restore or functionally compensate for peroxisome dysfunction in individuals with PBD-ZSD. NCATS’ Assay Development and Screening Technology (ADST) Laboratory within the Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation has world-renowned capabilities in assay development, ultra-high-throughput screening, and chemistry, which discovers chemical probes of protein and cell functions, develops new paradigms to enable chemical genomics, and develops chemical starting points for new drugs for rare genetic and orphan diseases. Located 10 minutes north of the NIH Campus in Rockville, Maryland, the Center has a robust staff of biologists, chemists, engineers, and informatics scientists, who work with investigators throughout NIH and the world to translate the genome into biological function and therapeutics.

Job Description: The post-doctoral fellow will be responsible for leading a highly-collaborative, translational campaign that will focus on small-molecule screening of PBD-ZSD targets. Successful candidates must be able to integrate multiple NIH resources (including iPSC generation and differentiation, genome editing, functional genomics, and clinical proteomics) to develop and interrogate physiological relevant assays. A strong background in cell biology and biochemistry with proficiency in mammalian cell culture systems represented in their prior publications is required. Additionally, candidates should have a technical appreciation of laboratory automation, and have prior experience with large datasets. Experience with leukodystrophies and cell biology is a plus. Responsibilities will include:

  • Evaluate existing cell reagents and identify relevant phenotypes relevant to PBD-ZSD pathology.
  • Interact with the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders’ (GFPD) Scientific Advisory Board to identify potential assays and methodologies that detect PBD-ZSD phenotypes.
  • Understanding the state-of-the art in PBD research and formulation of a research plan to translate existing knowledge into robust screening assays. If insufficient information is available, a candidate will be required to conduct basic research into the PBD biology.
  • Development and optimization of cell-based and biochemical assays targeting the neurological and other aspects of disease.
  • Utilization of high-content imaging and analysis as an integral part of assay design and compound evaluation.
  • Programming and calibration of microplate and liquid handling automation on a daily basis.
  • Validation of bioactive compounds with secondary assays and mechanism-of-action studies.
  • Coordination and collaboration with chemists, engineers, and informatics scientists in a team-based effort to enable molecular probe development.
  • Contribution to the publication of scientific manuscripts, grants to support the PBD-ZSD translational program, progress reports for the GFPD, and attendance of GFPD meetings.
  • Effective communication of findings to both technical and non-technical audiences.

Applicants should send their CV including bibliography, and arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to:

Please address correspondences to Dr. Joseph G. Hacia

Employer Name: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

Position Location (city and state OR city and country if outside the US): Rockville, MD

Application Deadline Date: No date

Disclaimers: The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.

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