NCI intramural-funded Postdoctoral position, available immediately (duration: 1-5 years).

A postdoctoral research position is available in the laboratory of Dr. Natasha Caplen in the Genetics Branch, National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research, Bethesda, MD. Dr. Caplen’s Laboratory conducts multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research that uses RNAi and other DNA or RNA-based functional genomic technologies to interrogate specific aspects of the genetic, transcriptional, and cell-signaling alterations observed in cancer cells.

Our current research focuses on the development of new treatment strategies for cancers driven by a fusion oncogene. Since only tumor cells express and depend on the products of fusion or chimeric oncogenes, a fusion transcript or protein represents an ideal molecular target. We hypothesize that proteins needed for the expression of fusion oncogenes will reveal new therapeutic targets for tumors dependent on their oncogenic activity and potentially other cancers. Using functional genetic approaches coupled with molecular, biochemical, and cell biology-based methods our specific aims are to discover and characterize proteins required for the post-transcriptional regulation of fusion oncogenes. Our recent studies have demonstrated that the splicing of the fusion transcript EWS-FLI1 encoding the oncoprotein responsible for the development of the pediatric tumor Ewing sarcoma represents a significant vulnerability. We are seeking candidates for a postdoctoral position that will focus on further investigating how cancer cells adapt to process a fusion RNA molecule. We anticipate that this project will include the development and application of several next-generation sequencing approaches, including long-range transcript-specific RNA-Seq and methods that analyze the expression of nascent RNA.

We are seeking self-motivated candidates with a recent Ph.D. or M.D. degree (within two years of graduating), or equivalent, in molecular/cell biology or biochemistry, or related disciplines, ideally with additional training in the computational analysis of large-scale genome and transcriptome data. The candidate must have excellent verbal and written communication skills. The initial appointment will be for one year, renewable for up to five years.

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

Natasha Caplen