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Postdoctoral position in cryo-EM/X-ray crystallography to study a complex linking HIV-1 to cancer

National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Bethesda, Maryland
Starts at $63,900 for fellows with 0 yr postdoc training (+ annual raise) and full health insurance
Closing date
Sep 5, 2023

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Life Sciences, Biochemistry, Cell Biology
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Postdoc Fellowship
Organization Type

Investigating the structural basis linking HIV-1/AIDS to cancer (cryo-EM, X-ray crystallography)

Position Description: A postdoctoral fellowship is available to study the molecular basis of how HIV and other virus-encoded proteins hijack the centrosome duplication machinery and induce aneuploidy and tumorigenesis. The primary focus will be on determining the structures of the complexes that we have identified from our recent unpublished studies. The ultimate goal of this research is to investigate the etiology of centrosome abnormality–associated cancers or other human disorders and to design novel strategies to tackle them. Related to this project, we are also taking biochemical and cell biological approaches, including super-resolution imaging, single molecule tracking, and in vitro reconstitution to delineate the mechanism of governing Polo-like kinase 4 and 1 (Plk4/Plk1)’s functionality on the centrosomal architecture, the deregulation of which can lead to the development of many human diseases, including cancers.  For additional information. please visit

Fellows who have an expertise in the field of cryo-EM and/or X-ray crystallography with a keen interest in learning about the organization and function of the centrosome and their relevance to pathophysiological disorders are encouraged to apply. Applicants should have a Ph.D. (or expected to receive a Ph.D.) or M.D. equivalent at the time of joining the lab and have achieved the degree less than 3 years ago. 

To apply, please send CV and three names of references to Dr. Kyung Lee ( Starts at $63,900 for fellows with 0 yr postdoc training (+ annual raise) and full health insurance

Employer Name: National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Position Location: 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, U. S. A.

Recent papers:

  1. Discovery of a centrosomal complex linking HIV-1 infection to oncogenesis (under review).
  2. Allopole, the first allosteric inhibitor targeting polo-like kinase 1 polo-box domain (under revision for PNAS, USA).
  3. Ahn, J.I., et al., 2023. Architectural basis for cylindrical self-assembly governing Plk4-mediated centriole duplication in human cells. Commun. Biol. (in press).
  4. Park, J.E., et al., 2023. Structural optimization and anticancer activity of inhibitors of polo-box domain (PBD) of polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) and their prodrugs. ACS Pharma Transl Sci. 6:422.
  5. Kim, T.-S., et al., 2019. Molecular architecture of a cylindrical self-assembly at human centrosomes. Nat. Comm. 10: 1151. Featured article (Editors’ Highlights)
  6. Park, J.-E., et al., 2019. Phase separation of polo-like kinase 4 by autoactivation and clustering drives centriole biogenesis. Nat. Comm. 10: 4959.
  7. Wei, Z., et al., 2020. Requirement of the Cep57-Cep63 interaction for proper Cep152 recruitment and centriole duplication. Mol. Cell. Biol. 40:e00535. Featured article (Cover art)
  8. Ahn, J. I., et al., 2020. Phase separation and versatile capacity of pericentriolar scaffold proteins drive the formation of higher-order self-assemblies at human centrosomes. Cell Cycle. Nov 18:1-21.
  9. Lee, K. S., et al., 2020. A self-assembled cylindrical platform for Plk4-induced centriole biogenesis. Open Biol. 10:200102 (Review). Featured article (Cover art)

Disclaimer: This position is subject to a background investigation. The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.



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