The Merrick lab is dedicated to the discovery of cellular therapeutics for obesity. The metabolic consequences of obesity have been hypothesized to stem from a relative deficiency in new adipocyte formation from progenitor cells, leading to lipid spillover into liver and muscle and subsequent insulin resistance. We utilize cutting-edge technologies such as single-cell sequencing and the rapid generation of new transgenic mouse lines to identify and explore novel populations of mesenchymal progenitor cells in adipose tissue, and are actively investigating their role in the development of metabolic disease. Using these approaches we discovered an interesting new progenitor cell population that resides within a previously un-recognized connective tissue niche, which we have termed the reticular interstitium. Additional information can be found in our recent publication: Science (2019) Apr 26;364(6438) PMID: 31023895 and on our lab website https://www.med.upenn.edu/merricklab/
Current projects in the lab focus on examining cell-cell interactions between mesenchymal progenitor cell populations and macrophages within their connective tissue niche. Given the wide-spread distribution of the reticular interstitium throughout the body, additional projects will center on investigating the role of mesenchymal progenitors in other tissues such as cardiac/skeletal muscle and bone. Ultimately, our goal is to better understand these pathways in the context of metabolic disease in order to develop novel therapeutics for obesity and the metabolic syndrome.
We are seeking a motivated postdoctoral fellow to join our team, available immediately. The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D., M.D., or both, with experience in genetic mouse models, flow cytometry, molecular biology, cell culture, and microscopy. Candidates will plan and execute independent projects, train and supervise students, publish manuscripts and assist with grant preparation. Individuals will receive direct PI mentorship as they develop new skills and prepare for career advancement.
Qualified interested candidates should forward a statement of research interest, an updated CV including a list of your publications, and the names/contact information of 3 references to: email@example.com
The Perelman School of Medicine, a top-ranked medical school for NIH funding, is highly collaborative with state-of-the-art facilities (https://www.med.upenn.edu/cores/) and opportunities for interactions in numerous institutes and centers (https://www.med.upenn.edu/psom/centers.html/). The School is integrated within the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, a world-class institution with an easily-walkable campus located near central Philadelphia. We seek candidates who embrace and reflect diversity in the broadest sense. The University of Pennsylvania is an EOE. Minorities/Women/Individuals with disabilities/Protected Veterans are encouraged to apply.
David Merrick MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology
Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104