Postdoctoral Position at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, in Small RNA and Transposon Biology

Posted on October 17,

A post-doctoral position is available at the Schorn lab, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY. We are interested in how small RNAs identify and silence transposable elements when they become active during mammalian development and disease.

We found that tRNA fragments (tRFs) derived from the 3'-end of mature tRNAs are highly expressed in cells undergoing epigenetic reprogramming and target LTR-retroelements, or endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), at their conserved tRNA primer binding site (PBS). Due to the perfect sequence complementarity of 3'-tRFs to the PBS, they have tens of thousands of targets in mammalian genomes. 3'-tRFs are processed under yet unknown conditions and potentially protect many eukaryotes. This is an exciting new field with many opportunities! We believe tRFs are an ancient link between RNAi, transposons and genome stability.

We are determining the intersection of tRFs with other small RNA silencing pathways and their effect on pluripotency and differentiation. Our main tools are cell culture transposition assays, long & small RNA sequencing, chromatin IPs, NGS analysis of repetitive sequences, CRISPR, etc. CSHL offers a fantastic research environment and a great community. The campus is located 45-90 min from NYC by car/train. Please email me with your interests, CV, and contact information of three references: [email protected]

Selected publications:

  • Schorn AJ, Gutbrod MJ, LeBlanc C, Martienssen R. LTR-Retrotransposon Control by tRNA-Derived Small RNAs. Cell 2017 Jun 29; 170(1):61-71
  • Schorn AJ, Martienssen R. Tie-Break: Host and Retrotransposons Play tRNA. Trends in Cell Biology 2018 Oct; 28(10):793-806
  • Cullen H, Schorn AJ. Endogenous Retroviruses Walk a Fine Line between Priming and Silencing. Viruses 2020;12(8):E792
  • He C, Bozler J, Janssen KA, Wilusz JE, Garcia BA, Schorn AJ & Bonasio R. TET2 chemically modifies tRNAs and regulates tRNA fragment levels. Nature Struct Mol Biol 2021 Jan;28(1):62-70