Postdoctoral Scientist

Posted on September 25,

The Lapointe Lab at Fred Hutch in Seattle is growing, and we are hiring a Postdoctoral Scientist. This position is ideal for a recent (or soon to be) Ph.D. graduate that is excited about RNA, translation, and/or viruses. When you join our group, we prioritize your continued development into an independent scientist. We will work together to help you identify and achieve your goals and develop a plan to tackle an important question. We also will enhance your ability to think critically and communicate effectively, skills transferrable to any career path. In these exciting, early years of the group, we are looking for people who are up to the challenge to help build our research group from the ground up.

The Lapointe lab ( is driven by questions that underlie how human messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and the ribosome are regulated to determine when and how much of a protein to synthesize. Dysregulated protein synthesis is a near-universal feature of cancer and a hallmark of viral infections. Yet, molecular mechanisms for how translation is controlled remain poorly defined. We therefore examine the interplay between the mRNA, the translation initiation machinery, and the vast repertoire of human and viral proteins that define the efficiency of protein synthesis in space and time. To overcome long-standing challenges, we integrate single-molecule spectroscopy and structural approaches using purified components with high-throughput functional assays in vitro and in cells. Our goal is to define foundational molecular models.


  • Help establish a research program focused on how viral and/or human proteins disrupt translation initiation using biochemical, single-molecule, structural biology, and/or biophysical approaches.
  • Independently lead research projects that contribute to the overall goals of the group and result in first-author publications.
  • Secondary responsibilities include mentoring graduate students and research technicians, and contributing positively to the lab community and intellectual environment.


  • Self-motivated and excited about RNA, translation, and/or viruses.
  • Willing to apply for postdoctoral fellowships and/or career development awards.
  • Present ongoing research at conferences.
  • Publish your research in peer-reviewed, first-author papers.
  • Excited to learn and contribute to the growth mindset philosophy of our group.
  • Excited to work collaboratively both within the group and with external research groups.
  • Be rigorous, transparent, and ethical in your research.
  • Be respectful to all members of the lab and broader Hutch community.
  • Provide weekly written updates to the PI prior to each weekly meeting.
  • Plan to be a member of the group for at least 2-3 years


  • a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, biophysics, biology, or a related discipline.
  • At least one published first-author paper in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • A strong foundation in hypothesis-driven, basic research.
  • Experience with biochemical, structural, biophysical, high-throughput, or cell biology approaches.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • A meticulous attention to detail and record keeping.
  • Independently motivated to think, plan, conduct, and analyze experiments.

How to apply
Please include a CV (with publications and contact information for 3 references listed) and a one page cover letter that includes:

  • A summary of your past research experiences and accomplishments.
  • Potential research questions you are excited about in the Lapointe group and why you could be a great fit.
    • Your goals for your postdoctoral training period.
    • Your current long-term career goals and ideal time frame for the next steps.
    • Your potential start date.