A position for a postdoctoral researcher is available in the Rosenthal laboratory of the Bell Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA. Studies from the Rosenthal lab have shown that mRNA recoding by adenosine deamination is particularly active in the cephalopod nervous system (Alon et al. eLife 2015; Liscovitch-Brauer et al. Cell 2017; Vallecillo-Viejo et al. NAR, 2020) and we seek a better mechanistic understanding of what underlies the high-level editing.
This position is fully supported by a 3 year NSF grant; However, it is expected that the postdoc will actively pursue independent postdoctoral funding and submit at least one application per year (until funded) to the National Science Foundation, The National Institutes of Health, or equivalent private sources for full-time salary support.
We are interested in exploring the plasticity of RNA editing, particularly in relationship to environmental variables. Experiments will take advantage of newly developed protocols for CRISPR-Cas9 based genome editing in cephalopods to explore the relationship between the novel features of squid RNA editing enzymes (ADARs) and high-level mRNA recoding. In addition, using metabolic labeling techniques like SLAM-seq, the kinetics of environmentally regulated RNA editing will be explored. Finally, the functional importance of environmentally controlled RNA editing sites will be explored in transgenic animals using next-generation base editors. Research will combine whole animal physiology with molecular biology, bioinformatics, RNA-seq, and biochemistry.
This work will take advantage of the MBL’s cephalopod program, and will provide a unique opportunity to study genetically tractable cephalopods. The project is in collaboration with Dr. Eli Eisenberg, a bioinformatics expert, from Tel Aviv University. In addition, there will be significant outreach efforts with the University of Puerto Rico in genome editing and emerging model organisms.
Heterozygous ADAR knockout lines have already been generated. The postdoc will be expected to cross lines to generate homozygous animals and then explore changes in RNA editing at the molecular level, and phenotypic changes at the developmental and physiological levels. In addition, responsibilities will include setting up conditions for the metabolic labelling of mRNAs so that their rates of synthesis and degradation can be tracked using SLAM-seq. Finally, the postdoc will be expected to monitor the effects of temperature and other environmental variables on transcriptome-wide RNA editing levels in the nervous system. The postdoc will be expected to demonstrate independence and a strong work ethic upon arriving at the MBL.
EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: A PhD degree (or equivalent) in biological sciences or a closely related field is required. Previous experience in molecular biology is required. An in-depth understanding of molecular biological bench techniques is required. We are searching for an applicant with strong skills in designing and implementing experiments across biological disciplines. The successful candidate will need to work closely with members of the Rosenthal laboratory, the MBL’s cephalopod husbandry team, and Eli Eisenberg, a collaborator on this project at Tel Aviv University. In addition, they will be expected to participate in annual workshops on genome editing with students from the Puerto Rico Center for Environmental Neuroscience. Results will be presented at national and international meetings and it is expected that high quality publications will result from this work.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Experience with genome editing, RNA editing and/or bioinformatics skills related to RNAseq is desirable. Experience working with genome editing using CRISPR-based systems and computational experience working with Illumina data is desirable. Experience working with cephalopods, invertebrate embryology, or microscopy would also be beneficial.
Physical Requirements: Minimal exposure to biohazardous chemicals. Occasional lifting of heavy objects (<30 pounds).
Cover letter explaining specifically why you are interested in joining our lab to work on this project and what positive qualities you would bring to our team.
List of 3 references (Please do not have letters sent at this time. Letter writers will be contacted directly by the PI)
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