Postdoctoral Fellowship in pancreatic islet biology

University of Michigan Medical School
University of Michigan Medical School
NIH scale salary + benefits
August 22 2016
Position Type
Full Time

How to apply:

Please enclose a cover letter, CV, and 3 letters of support to Dr. Scott Soleimanpour at


A postdoctoral fellowship is available for highly motivated candidates (who possess a Ph.D. and/or M.D. doctoral degree) interested in conducting research focused on understanding molecular and genetic causes of diabetes. The Soleimanpour Lab is interested in understanding the pathogenesis underlying pancreatic islet beta cell failure in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, utilizing molecular and mouse genetic model systems. Specifically, the lab is interested in understanding how mitochondrial quality control is maintained through a process known as mitophagy in beta cells, and how dysfunctional mitophagy predisposes beta cells to fail due to exogenous stressors (obesity, inflammation, immune attack) in diabetes.

The fellowship will emphasize cutting edge molecular and physiologic techniques to better understand mitochondrial dysfunction in diabetes, including (but not limited to): cell respirometry, live cell imaging techniques with genetically encoded mitochondrial tracers, high throughput gene expression and proteomics assays as well as in vivo and ex vivo assessments of glucose-stimulated insulin release. The fellow will also train in a research rich environment at the Brehm Diabetes Research Center, with opportunities to work with world-class experts in many aspects of beta cell biology who study insulin maturation and trafficking, islet calcium oscillatory dynamics, ER homeostasis, and beta cell development. The fellow will be mentored in preparation of manuscripts, presentation of work at national/international meetings, and grant submissions to support their development of skills needed for the remainder of their career. It is expected that individuals will be involved in high-impact publications and eager for career development. She/he should therefore have an outstanding track record of productivity and a level of motivation required for successful independent biomedical research. Candidates with previous training in beta cell biology are particularly encouraged to apply.

Relevant research reading:
1.       Soleimanpour SA, Gupta A, Bakay M, Ferrari AM, Groff DN, Fadista J, Spruce LA, Kushner JA, Groop L, Seeholzer SH, Kaufman BA, Hakonarson H, Stoffers DA: The diabetes susceptibility gene Clec16a regulates mitophagy. Cell, 2014, Jun; 157 (7): 1577-90.

2.       Soleimanpour SA, Ferrari AM, Raum JC, Groff DN, Yang J, Kaufman BA, Stoffers DA: Diabetes susceptibility genes Pdx1 and Clec16a function in a pathway regulating mitophagy in β-cells. Diabetes, 2015 Oct; 64 (10): 3475-84.

3.       Soleimanpour SA, Stoffers DA: The pancreatic β-cell and type 1 diabetes: innocent bystander or active participant? Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2013 Jul; 24 (7): 324-331.

4.       Kaufman BA, Li C, Soleimanpour SA: Mitochondrial regulation of β-cell function: maintaining the momentum for insulin release. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 2015 Apr;42:91-104.


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