Two Postdoctoral Fellow Positions Available – USC School of Pharmacy, Lab of Dr. Zhipeng Lu

Two postdoctoral positions are available in Dr. Zhipeng Lu lab at USC School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Our research is focused on “RNA machines” in living cells. We develop and apply novel technologies to understand the structures and functions of RNA molecules in basic cellular processes, with the ultimate goal of targeting human diseases, including genetic disorders, cancers and viral infections.

We have recently developed a new technology, PARIS (Psoralen Analysis of RNA Interactions and Structures), a crosslinking based method for high throughput mapping of RNA duplexes in living cells at single-molecule level with near base-pair resolution (Lu et al. 2016 Cell). These unique strengths allow direct determination of alternative conformations, long-range and complex structures and RNA-RNA interactions across the transcriptome. This work was featured on the cover of Cell and a video abstract “Get an Eye-full (Eiffel)” ( A more complete description of our science can be found at

Current projects in the lab span the development of new computational and chemical tools for the analysis of RNA structures and interactions, and application of these technologies to important problems in the RNA field. The questions that we are interested in include structural basis of mRNAs and noncoding RNAs in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, roles of RNA structures and interactions in human diseases, such as neurological disorders and RNA virus infections. We also welcome and support novel and unconventional ideas that are related to the current work in the lab.

Research in the Lu lab is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative. Postdocs are exposed to research questions and techniques in the forefront of various fields centered around RNA. This training environment is exceptionally valuable for individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in academia or scientific leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry. The PI is fully committed to empowering trainees with the capabilities to fulfill their ambitions.

USC School of Pharmacy is located in Health Sciences Campus, immediately adjacent to the USC Keck School of Medicine and Caltech. This rich scientific environment provides unique research training opportunities, such as research seminars given by leaders in science from throughout the U.S. and abroad, opportunities for collaborations, exposure to diverse research programs, and highly sophisticated core facilities.

Candidates should have a Ph.D. and/or an M.D. and less than three years of postdoctoral experience. Candidates should also have significant experimental training in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, or chemical biology, as evidenced by publications. Experience in computational biology is highly valued. Starting date is flexible from October 2018, and funding is guaranteed for three years.

To apply, please send a cover letter discussing your interests in the position, your CV, and contact information for three references to