Postdoctoral Fellows: Cardiac and Skeletal Muscle Disease Modeling and Regeneration.
Multiple postdoctoral positions are immediately available in the Bursac Lab at Duke University (http://bursaclab.pratt.duke.edu/). The focus of the work will be on the use of in vitro and in vivo model systems to study skeletal and cardiac muscle biology and disease, and develop new tissue regeneration therapies.
In one set of projects, patient-derived or genome-edited human iPSCs will be differentiated to form miniature human skeletal and cardiac muscle tissues (“myobundles and cardiobundles”). These organoids will be optimized to contain robust electrical and contractile function and will be further combined with hiPSC-derived endothelial and immune system cells of the same genetic background to develop more realistic, high-fidelity tissue on-a-chip disease models. The initial focus will be on the in vitro studies of genotype-phenotype relationships in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Pompe disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as use of heart tissue patches for treatment of myocardial infarction.
In another set of projects, small molecule genomic and pharmacological screens will be applied to discover new therapeutic targets for skeletal and cardiac muscle regeneration in reporter hiPSC lines generated by genome editing. The most promising candidate therapeutics from these studies will be validated in animal models of myocardial infarction and muscle disease and injury in vivo. We use both small (mice, rats) and large (pig) animals in laboratory and pre-clinical research.
Qualified candidates should possess a PhD or MD/PhD degree in cell and molecular biology, biomedical engineering, or other relevant areas of biomedical sciences. The ideal candidates will be highly self-motivated and possess strong training in some or all of cell and molecular biology, tissue engineering, genome editing, biochemical and histological techniques, animal models of regeneration, next generation sequencing. Candidates with experience in culturing and differentiation of human iPS cells into cardiomyocytes, skeletal muscle and immune system cells, genome editing (CRISPR/Cas9 technologies), and in vivo models of cardiac and skeletal muscle disease will be given priority.
Our group is a diverse and stimulating environment that provides excellent opportunities for scientific growth and pursuit of a variety of careers. Interested candidates should e-mail their resume, statement of research goals, and at least three names of reference writers to Prof. Nenad Bursac.