Postdoc Fellowship Position at NIH — Noncoding RNA Structures and Interactions in Antiviral Immunity and Stress Response.

Posted on October 5,

A postdoctoral position is available in the Structural Biology of Noncoding RNAs and Ribonucleoproteins Section (Jinwei Zhang lab), Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), NIDDK, in NIH’s vibrant main campus in Bethesda, MD near Washington DC. The intramural fellowship position is fully funded for up to five years with possible extensions. The lab focuses on addressing a widening gap between the rapid discovery and functional description of the noncoding transcriptome and their lack of structural and mechanistic understanding. We seek a new member to join our diverse team to study highly structured viral RNAs, gene-regulatory riboswitches, long noncoding and circular RNAs, and their interactions with partner RNAs or proteins. Among several available projects, one is to explore novel molecular mechanisms by which host tRNAs mediate antiviral responses against HIV and other viruses.

We apply innovative technologies to study RNA and RNP structure, dynamics and interactions, such as rational RNA design and engineering, RNA crystallography, single-particle cryo-EM, XFEL, ultrafast SAXS/WAXS, single-molecule fluorescence, time-resolved fluorescence, etc. See and recent publications below for details.

Bou-Nader C., et al., & Zhang, J. (2022) Structural basis of R-loop recognition by the S9.6 monoclonal antibody, Nat. Commun., 13, 1641.

Bou-Nader C., et al., & Zhang, J. (2021) HIV-1 Matrix-tRNA complex structure reveals basis for host control of Gag localization., Cell Host & Microbe, 29, 1421–1436. 

Suddala K.C & Zhang, J. (2019) High-affinity recognition of specific tRNAs by an mRNA anticodon-binding groove, Nat. Struct. & Mol. Biol., 26, 1114–1122.

Li S. et al., & Zhang, J. (2019) Structural basis of amino acid surveillance by higher-order tRNA-mRNA interactions, Nat. Struct. & Mol. Biol., 26, 1094–1105.

Hood, I.V. et al., & Zhang, J. (2019). Crystal structure of an Adenovirus Virus-Associated RNA, Nat. Commun. 10:2871

The lab has dedicated access to state-of-the-art equipment in structural biology (Mosquito, Dragonfly, Rock Imager, Akta Pures, etc.; regular synchrotron access for X-ray crystallography; regular access to Titan Krios and Glacios for single-particle Cryo-EM; SAXS, AFM, NMR, etc), biochemistry, biophysics (ITC, CD, DSC, SPR, BLI, AUC, DLS, SEC-MALS, fluorescence, thermophoresis, mass photometry, etc), fermentation, genomics and sequencing (RNA-seq, CLIP-seq), advanced mass spec and proteomics (e.g. crosslinking mass spec) core facilities with hands-on training or service by dedicated PhD-level staff scientists.

Incoming fellows are also encouraged to bring your own ideas that you could develop into research programs that you can then take to your independent PI positions. The NIH, NIDDK, and LMB are committed to the continued education and career development of our diverse trainees through numerous courses, seminars and workshops offered by OITE, FAES, and NIDDK.

Requirements: Interested candidates must have received (or be expecting) a Ph.D. or M.D. within the past five years in molecular biology, structural biology, biochemistry, RNA biology, or a related discipline, have excellent oral and written communication skills, and be strongly self-motivated to design, lead, and participate in innovative and rigorous research projects. Prior experiences in structural biology are not required, as training will be provided.

To apply: Please email a cover letter indicating preferred start date, CV, a brief summary of research interests, accomplishments, and career goals, and names and contact information for at least three references to: Dr. Jinwei Zhang, Email: [email protected]. The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs. DHHS/NIH is an Equal Opportunity Employer.