Uncover Novel RNA Regulatory Mechanisms

We are looking for postdocs to join the Jaffrey lab at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. The Jaffrey lab uses chemical biology, molecular biology, next-generation sequencing, and imaging approaches to uncover novel RNA regulatory mechanisms.

Recently, we discovered that mRNA contains a highly prevalent post-translational modification on adenosine, which results in N6-methyl-adenosine (m6A). We discovered m6A in mRNA using novel next-generation sequencing approaches (Meyer, K.D., Saletore, Y., Zumbo, P., Elemento, O., Mason, C.E., Jaffrey, S.R. Comprehensive analysis of mRNA methylation reveals pervasive adenosine methylation in 3′ UTRs, Cell, 149:1635-46, 2012). Our findings suggest that mRNA is subjected to reversible post-transcriptional modifications analogous to phosphorylation in proteins. Indeed, we and others also showed that a highly prevalent obesity risk gene in humans, the fat mass and obesity-associated protein gene (FTO), encodes an m6A demethylase. The medical consequences of the FTO mutation indicate the importance of m6A as a regulator of physiological processes.

Our major goal is to identify how adenosine methylation affects target mRNAs. We are looking for postdocs to spearhead projects related to identifying how signaling pathways dynamically regulate m6A levels in response to signaling pathways, and how m6A affects the fate of mRNA. We are also identifying novel m6A-binding proteins, and using these proteins to identify the functional roles of m6A in cells. We are also identifying novel enzymes and pathways that catalyze adenosine methylation and m6A demethylation. We are currently using next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, chemical biology, and molecular biology approaches to address these and other key questions regarding m6A in mRNA regulation.

The Jaffrey laboratory uses a variety of established and novel molecular biological, biochemical, fluorescence microscopy, and fluorescence techniques. Therefore, the laboratory environment provides an opportunity to obtain broad and interdisciplinary training.

Cornell University’s Weill Medical College is located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, immediately adjacent to the Sloan Kettering Institute and Rockefeller University. This “tri-institutional campus” includes several hundred principal investigators and postdocs, and has one of the highest densities of biomedical scientists in the world. This rich scientific environment provides unique and unparalleled research training opportunities, including research seminars given by leaders in science from throughout the world, opportunities for collaborations, exposure to diverse research programs, and highly sophisticated core facilities.

More information about the lab is available on our website: www.jaffreylab.org. Questions and/or applications, comprising a CV, statement of research interests, and the date that you could start a postdoctoral position, should be e-mailed to: Dr. Samie R. Jaffrey, Cornell University, Weill Medical College, [email protected]. Applicants should not mail, call, or send applications to any other email address.

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