Postdoctoral Fellowship in Genome Editing to Treat Hearing Loss
Multiple NIH funded postdoctoral positions are available in the laboratory of Dr. Zheng-Yi Chen of Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary on the development and application of genome editing to treat genetic deafness.
We are interested in developing CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome into new gene therapy paradigm for genetic hearing loss from animal models to human patients. We are the first to show CRISPR editing agents (Cas9 protein and sgRNAs in the form of RNP, ribonucleotide proteins) can be efficiently delivered into mammalian hair cells resulting in high efficiency editing (Nat Biotech. Zuris et al 2014). We have recently demonstrated that RNP delivery of editing agents rescued hearing in a mouse model of human dominant deafness (Nature, Gao et al., 2018). We are particularly interested in advancing CRISPR-based gene therapy to treat genetic hearing loss in the following areas: 1). Development of editing technology to improve editing efficiency and specificity in vivo; 2). Developing new delivery vehicles including nanoparticle based liposomes for RNP delivery of editing machinery to target diverse somatic cells; 3). Detection of editing events in situ; 4). Bioengineering of endonucleases to improve activity; 5). Advance CRISPR to correct disease phenotype using iPS cells from human patients; 6). Achieve efficient and accurate editing in large animal models including pig and 7). Develop new editing tools to target different mutations in the same deafness gene.
The positions offer unique and exciting opportunities to engaging in developing cutting-edge CRISPR technology for inner ear application with direct implication in humans. The fellows will have the opportunity to conduct the development of CRISPR technology for hearing rescue in animal models in Boston and conduct pig model study in China. The project involves close collaboration with Dr. Qiaobing Xu of Tufts University and Dr. David Liu of Broad Institute. We provide an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment in all aspects of hearing research. A successful candidate (Ph.D, M.D/Ph.D or MD) should have a strong background in genome editing technology, genetics, molecular biology and strong interest in application of editing technology to treat human diseases.
Please email a curriculum vita, a description of research accomplishments and names of three references to:
Zheng-Yi Chen, D.Phil. (617-909-6090)
Harvard Medical School
Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary