Postdoctoral fellow / Research scientist

New York City, New York (US)
Postdoctoral Research Opportunity in Neuro-Oncology at Mount Sinai
September 09 2020
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Scientist – Neuro-Oncology, Tsankova lab:

Job Announcement: Looking for enthusiastic, motivated postdoctoral fellow(s) and/or research scientist with interest and expertise in neurobiology to join our team. 

* The lab’s main research question is to understand how brain tumor (glioma) cells hijack normal neurodevelopmental molecular programs to maintain their malignant cancer stem cell-like phenotype, focusing on the role of epigenetics and transcriptional regulation, with the ultimate goal of uncovering better strategies for reversing malignant tumor growth and migratory spread.

* The perfect candidate is one with strong motivation and interest in cancer epigenetics and a combination of experimental and computational skills, which they want to develop further.

Job Qualifications: The applicant should have a Ph.D. degree, a strong background in either pure experimental neurobiology (cell culture and animal modeling), or in computational biology and bioinformatics with some experimental biology skills, preferably in the field of cancer biology or neurobiology. Applicants with excellent work ethic, ability to multitask, and strong teaching skills will be given preference, given the lab’s expectation for involvement in other (collaborative) side projects, teaching, and motivation towards independent scientific career. For applicants with computational background, at least some experience in sample processing and analysis of bulk and single cell next generation sequencing data is required, including familiarity with UNIX, submitting jobs on a computing cluster, and programming experience in python, R (or equivalent).

Projects description: There are several ongoing projects, funded through two separate R01 mechanisms, in which the post-doctoral fellows are expected to concentrate their immediate effort. They include a combination of experimental and computational tools to mechanistically dissect the role of the Hippo pathway in GBM progression and to test the potency of different Hippo pathway inhibitors in preclinical models (building on recent findings in the lab; Tome-Garcia et al, Nature Communications 2018), to characterize globally the landscape of transcriptional and epigenetic regulators for GBM invasion/migration (using a combination of bulk and single-cell RNAseq, ATACseq, ChIPseq, and HI-C datasets from primary tissue samples), to uncover the transcriptional footprints driving normal glial development as a roadmap to understand gliomagenesis (requiring computationally heavy integration of already available single cell RNAseq and ATACseq data generated across four stages of human prenatal development and glioma samples, >300million sequenced nuclei), and to characterize the neural tropism of SARS-Cov2 in a large cohort of COVID19 autopsy samples with neurological complications (a rare resource available at our institution).

Many of these projects are high-impact and require strong motivation and dedication!

Some of the commonly used techniques in the Tsankova lab include FACS isolation of neural / glioma stem cell populations from fresh tissues, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing (knockout), bulk and single cell RNA-seq using the 10X chromium droplet-based technology, chromatin accessibility studies (ATAC-seq), chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), in vitro migration and proliferation assays, in vivo migration analyses in orthotopic xenografts, live cell imaging, and drug screening for new inhibitors of glioma cell migration. Our model systems include primary patient-derived cells / spheroids and orthotopic xenograft mouse models. More recently, the lab has developed computational expertise for single cell omics analyses using Seurat, Cell Phone DB, RNA velocity, and others.

Institutional Environment: Mount Sinai is a vibrant academic institution with strong expertise in the Oncological Sciences and Genomics / Genetics, integrating world-renown expertise and extremely collaborative spirit. Dr. Tsankova is an NIH-funded Principal Investigator and Associate Professor, with more than seven years of experience as an independent investigator, first at Columbia University and since 2014 at Mount Sinai. During this time, she has successfully trained several Master’s students, Ph.D. students, and post-doctoral fellows, some of whom have already graduated.  As an MD/PhD-trained and practicing physician scientist, Dr. Tsankova collaborates closely with neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, and participates in the clinical diagnostic molecular neuropathology service, which brings an important translational aspect to her basic research questions in neuro-oncology. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Tsankova also serves as the Director of Molecular Neuropathology, the Associate Program Director of Clinical Neuropathology, and as the Neuropathology Brain Bank & Research CoRE Co-Director.

* The lab is strongly committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment!

* Salary compensation will be competitive.

* Earliest start date is October of 2020.

* Please email cover letter, 2-3 references, and CV directly to Dr. Tsankova.

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