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Postdoctoral fellowship in islet biology and diabetes research

Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee
NIH pay scale plus benefits, commensurate with experience
Closing date
May 17, 2022
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Position Summary:

An NIH funded postdoctoral fellowship is available in the Jacobson laboratory. This position is ideally suited for a highly-motivated scientist interested in diabetes research. The Jacobson lab focus is on the mechanisms that influence pancreatic islet calcium homeostasis and hormone secretion under physiological and diabetic conditions. The goal is to identify pathways that can be therapeutically targeted to reduce pancreatic islet dysfunction and restore euglycemia in patients with diabetes. The primary models employed in these projects include: human islets, rodent islets, pancreatic slices and cultured cells. The research utilizes cutting edge approaches in molecular biology, fluorescent microscopy (both epifluorescent and confocal), electrophysiology, biochemistry, virus expression of genetically encoded indicators for calcium and membrane potential, and transgenic models.


About the Work Unit:

The Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics (MPB) offers a broad interdisciplinary range of courses and opportunities designed to train postdoctoral fellows to develop and execute creative research that uses cutting-edge technology to answer biologically important questions. Vanderbilt MPB is ranks among the top 5 Physiology Departments in the country based upon research support.  The Jacobson lab is a collaborative team that utilizes the extensive core equipment and tools of Vanderbilt University and MPB to solve critical questions relevant to understanding pancreatic islet function and dysfunction.

Duties and responsibilities

The postdoctoral fellow will be involved in projects to determine how ion channels contribute to cytoplasmic and organelle calcium handling in pancreatic islets; the pancreatic cell-types currently being investigated include alpha-cells, beta-cells, delta-cells and peri-islet Schwann cells. Specific projects will be tailored to the expertise and interests of the candidate. The postdoctoral fellow will be expected to design and efficiently carry out experiments, communicate effectively and be a collaborative member of a strong research team.


Profile of an Ideal Candidate

  • PhD and/or MD education is necessary.
  • Specific experience with microscopy is preferred.
  • Specific experience with electrophysiology is preferred but not required.
  • Experience with animal research and/or molecular biology is preferred.


To apply

To apply and learn more about this opportunity, please send a cover letter describing past training, research interests and career goals, a detailed CV and contact information of three referees to Dr. David Jacobson at


About Vanderbilt Benefits

In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview.


About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 and located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. The university’s students and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.”


Qualifications – External  

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.  Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

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