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Postdoctoral Associate

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institutr
La Jolla, California
>$50,000.00 per year plus benefits
Closing date
Sep 10, 2020

Job Details

Sanford Burnham Prebys is a preeminent, independent biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding human biology and disease and advancing scientific discoveries to profoundly impact human health. Our scientists are making research breakthroughs in cancer, neuroscience, immunology, and children's disease. During our more than 40 years of history, we have established an NCI-designated Cancer Center, designed one of the most sophisticated drug discovery centers in the nonprofit world, and created global collaborations that are leading to preventions, treatments, and cures to improve human health.

Dr. Crystal Zhao laboratory studies the functions of (i) RNA epigenetics and (ii) long noncoding RNAs in stem cells and in cancer biology.

The Zhao laboratory has a Postdoctoral Associate position immediately available. We are looking for a highly motivated recent Ph.D. with strong training in epigenetics and/or stem cell biology to lead projects on the role of RNA epigenetics in cancer stem cells. RNA epigenetics, defined as a post-transcriptional modification on RNA, is an emerging and fast-expanding research field.  We identified a protein complex that governs the formation of one type of mRNA methylation in mammalian cells (Nature Cell Biology 16 (2): 191-8, Feb. 2014). Using loss-of-function studies, we reported the requirement of mRNA methylation in embryonic and neural stem cells (Nature Neuroscience 21 (2): 195-206, Feb. 2018). We are now expanding the research towards understanding the role of RNA epigenetics in cancer stem cells.

Successful candidates will be part of a stimulating, fast-paced, and collaborative scientific environment with cutting-edge instrumentation and facilities.

TO APPLY: Interested candidates should apply online to the SBP career site by submitting one PDF document with a cover letter, CV, names and contact information of three references.

Primary Responsibilities

•               Be the driving-force to move projects forward

•               Master new knowledge/methods quickly in a fast-growing research field

•               Independently design and perform experiments with a high degree of complexity, and troubleshoot with high-efficiency

•               Produce results with high-quality

•               Be able to analyze and interpret data from different sources and draw relevant conclusions

•               Demonstrate flexibility in adapting methods and skills according to evolving project priorities

•               Write manuscripts and grants

•               Present results at internal and external meetings

•               Accurately document experiments

•               Work collaboratively across lab functions and train other junior lab staff as needed

Required Experience    

•               Ph.D. degree in Science is required

•               Strong training in epigenetics and/or stem cell biology is preferred

Knowledge, Skills and/or Abilities

•               The desirable candidate is highly motivated, committed, and goal-focused

•               Strong publication record is a must

•               Demonstrated independence, critical thinking, multi-tasking, and problem-solving skills.

•               The ability to handle multiple projects and deadlines

•               Excellent presentation, verbal, and written communication skills

•               Possess strong attention to detail, analytical, time management skills

•               Possess outstanding communication and interpersonal skills

•               Embody the Institute's core values of Commitment, Collaboration, Communication, Community and Compassion

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer – M/F/Veteran/Disability – committed to the hiring, advancement, and fair treatment of all individuals. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected status as designated by federal, state, or local law.  For additional information about your rights as an applicant


Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) is paving the way to address unmet clinical needs in cancer, neuroscience, immunity, metabolic disorders and rare diseases. By blending fundamental research with robust drug discovery, we are working to develop treatments that will improve human health.

Our Mission

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute conducts world-class collaborative research dedicated to finding cures for human disease, improving quality of life, and educating and training the next-generation of scientists, thus creating a legacy for its employees, partners, donors and community.

SBP employs nearly 900 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), CA and Orlando (Lake Nona), Florida. We are widely recognized for our NCI-designated Cancer Center, the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics and the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center.

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