Postdoctoral Position Available, RNA Mediated Gene Regulation Section, CCR, NCI, NIH, Frederick, MD

A postdoctoral position is available in the RNA Mediated Gene Regulation Section (RNA MGRS), RNA Biology Laboratory (RBL), Center for Cancer Research (CCR) – Frederick, MD, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  The candidate will perform basic research on small RNA functions.

The goal of our program is to uncover the mechanisms by which the function of miRNA is regulated in health and disease and to apply those in developing effective treatments for cancer. Using genetic functional studies in living cells and animals, together with biochemical and next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches, our laboratory focuses on elucidating mechanisms of miRNA biogenesis and the roles of post-maturation modifications.

In particular, we are interested in studying the biogenesis and function of miRNA isoforms (isomiRs).  Multiple lines of evidence suggest that isomiRs possess unique biological roles [1]. We have developed a novel algorithm to accurately detect and analyze miRNA isomiRs based on next-generation-sequencing (NGS) data [2]. We demonstrated that miR-9-alt, an 5′ isomiR resulted from alternative Drosha cleavage of pri-miR-9-1, expands miR-9 target repertoires and functions as a tumor suppressor in low grade gliomas (LGG) [3]. We also identified a set of non-canonical targets in human cells that are exclusively regulated by uridylated isomiRs and therefore revealed a novel function of 3′ isomiRs [4]. Combining classical biochemistry techniques with high-throughput sequencing, the successful candidate will continue investigating the underlying mechanisms of isomiR biogenesis and function.

Recent publications from our group:

  1. IsomiRs: Expanding the miRNA repression toolbox beyond the seed. Biochim Biophys Acta Gene Regul Mech. 2019 Apr 4
  2. QuagmiR: a cloud-based application for isomiR big data analytics. Bioinformatics. 2019 May
  3. Differences between Pri-miRNA Paralogs Promote Alternative Drosha Cleavage and Expand Target Repertoires. Cell Rep. 2019 Jan 8;26(2):447-459.e4.
  4. 3′ Uridylation Confers miRNAs with Non-canonical Target Repertoires. Mol Cell. 2019 June

Interested candidates must have a Ph.D. and/or an M.D. and have less than 2 years of postdoctoral experience. Ph.D. students who just received or expect to receive their degree in the coming summer, are particularly encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a strong background in molecular biology and biochemistry. Experience with RNA research and/or deep sequencing data analysis is a strong plus.  Salary is commensurate with research experience and accomplishments.