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MU Research Excellence Program (REP)

University of Missouri Graduate School
Columbia, Missouri
56,000.00 minimum
Closing date
Dec 10, 2021

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Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Other Life Science
Position Type
Full Time
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Organization Type
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MU Research Excellence Program (REP)  

Job Description

The University of Missouri’s Research Excellence Program (REP) Program is designed to enhance research activity at the university. The REP program provides funding to selected high performing University of Missouri (MU) faculty to hire postdoctoral scholars to further research productivity and postdoctoral preparation for grant writing and careers in the professoriate.

Applicants should demonstrate a strong research record and an interest in applying for early career awards during the REP postdoctoral fellowship. The REP postdoc positions are renewable for up to three years and provide research and professional development opportunities. International scholars are welcome to apply. See current call below for descriptions of the faculty and labs/centers that are currently accepting REP postdocs.

Start date is negotiable, between January 1 and August 1, 2022.  

Current Call for Applications

We are accepting applications for postdoctoral scholars to work with the following University of Missouri REP distinguished faculty:

Dr. Dongsheng Duan – Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

The overarching goal of the Duan lab is to develop cutting edge gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common childhood lethal muscle disease affecting boys.  DMD is caused by mutations that disrupt the open-reading frame of the dystrophin gene.  The Duan lab is actively pursuing three mechanistically independent gene therapy approaches including gene replacement with a minimized micro-dystrophin gene, gene repair with the CRISPR/Cas9 editing technology, and dystrophin-independent gene therapies that target pathogenic processes.  The Duan lab uses both rodent and large animal models in the study and the team consists of senior investigators, experienced technicians, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Visit Dr. Duan’s faculty page, Google Scholar profile, and Expertscape listing for further details on Duan’s research.

Dr. Chris Lorson – Department of Veterinary Pathobiology; Bond Life Sciences Center

The Lorson lab focuses upon molecular genetics and therapeutic development for neuromuscular disorders, including SMA, SMARD1, and CMT. AAV-based gene therapy and antisense oligonucleotide development are routinely employed, leading to opportunities to collaborate and consult with industry, including the Lorson lab MU start-up Shift Pharmaceuticals. Novel patient-based animal models (unpublished) are available to understand disease development at the biochemical and genetic level for SMARD1 and CMT. A one-time bonus of up to $10,000 is available to help defer moving expenses or as supplemental income. See Dr. Lorson’s faculty page and NIH National Library of Medicine bibliography for more information about his research. 

Dr. Sarah Lovell – Center for Agroforestry; School of Natural Resources

Dr. Lovell serves as the Director of the Center for Agroforestry, which develops land-based solutions that contribute to food security and climate resilience. A recent focus of the research is to gain a better understanding of the human health benefits of food products grown on trees (nuts) and shrubs (berries), by characterizing health-promoting, plant-based secondary metabolites, or phytochemicals. The postdoctoral scholar will elucidate the effects of environmental stresses, seasonal phenology, and management regimes on the production of phytochemicals. Applicants with a PhD in biology, analytical chemistry, plant physiology, biochemistry or related fields are invited to apply. The successful candidate will be motivated by intellectual curiosity, effective in collaborating across disciplinary boundaries, and willing to apply skills and knowledge to new domains. 


To be eligible for the MU Research Excellence Program (REP), applicants must have completed their doctoral degree, or expect to complete their degree by the initial start date of their postdoctoral position.

Application Materials

Application review will begin November 12, 2021 and continue until all positions are filled.

Please apply online:

A completed application includes:

  • CV
  • Cover letter expressing interest in the position and working with one of the REP distinguished faculty members
  • Research statement (up to 3 pages)
  • Diversity statement
  • One-page abstract of doctoral dissertation
  • Writing sample (up to 40 pages in length)
  • List of 3 references

Questions about the program and application process may be directed to Dr. Valli Sarveswaran (Director of Postdoctoral Education) at


The salary is a minimum of $56,000 per year plus benefits. In addition, REP postdocs will be provided with $1,500 travel and professional development funds.

Benefit Eligibility

This position is eligible for University benefits.  The University offers a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision plans, retirement, and educational fee discounts.  For additional information on University benefits, please visit the Faculty & Staff Benefits website at

Diversity Commitment

The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery, and excellence.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable state or federal law. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or the recruiting rights of military organizations associated with the Armed Forces or the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America. For more information, call the Vice Chancellor of Human Resource Services/Affirmative Action officer at 573-882-4256.

To request ADA accommodations, please call the Disability Inclusion and ADA Compliance Manager at 573-884-7278.


To read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) please use the following links:

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