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Tyrosine Kinases and Transcription Factor Networks

Duke University, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology Director of Graduate Studies, Durham, North Carolina

Overview:

Postdoctoral positions are available to study the role of protein tyrosine kinases and transcription factor networks in 1) tumor –neural cell interactions, with emphasis on brain metastases crosstalk with neural cells in the microenvironment; and 2) the response to lung injury and regeneration.

Candidates who are highly motivated and share a vision of excellence and commitment to research with a recent Ph.D. in tumor biology, neuro-oncology, neurobiology, and/or developmental biology. Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the US. We offer an inspiring intellectual, collaborative and multidisciplinary researchenvironment to support your career goals and provide access to state-of-the-art facilities.

Position Descriptions:

Postdoctoral Associate - Lung Injury and Regeneration:

The Pendergast Lab in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University, is seeking to recruit a postdoctoral position to study the role of tyrosine kinase networks in the regulation of regeneration and repair following injury to the lung epithelium. Damage to the lung epitheliumby respiratory infections is associated with respiratory failure and induction of acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is associated with a high mortality rate. Currently little is known regarding the identity of signaling networks that mightbe effectively targeted to promote recovery from lung injury. We recently reported that genetic inactivationof Abl1 specifically in a subset of lung epithelial cells resulted in marked expansion of a progenitor cell population leading to alveolar regeneration following bacterial pneumonia. Importantly, we found that treatment with ABL kinase specific inhibitors enhanced regeneration of the alveolar epithelium and promoted accelerated recovery of mice following pneumonia. These and ongoing studies using state of theart technologies (single-cell RNA-seq, Spatial Transcriptomics) seek to develop new therapeutic strategies to treat lung injury induced by pathogens and toxic agents (Khatri, et al 2019; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 116: 1603-1612).

Postdoctoral Associate- Lung Cancer Brain Metastasis and Neural Cell Crosstalk:

The Pendergast Lab in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University, is seeking to recruit a postdoctoral fellow to study the role of tyrosine kinase-transcription networks in the regulation of lung cancer metastasis to the brain. Brain metastases are the most common intracranial tumors in adults and lung cancer patients exhibit the highest prevalence of brain metastasis among all cancer types often associated with cognitive impairment, seizures, decline in quality of life and decreased survival. Limited therapeutic options are currently available to treat brain metastasis. We have recently reported that ABL kinases activate distinct transcription networks required for lung cancer cell extravasation, seeding and colonization of the brain parenchyma. Among these factors are the TAZ transcriptional coactivator (2019 Cell Reports 29: 3421) and the Heat Shock Transcription Factor 1 (HSF1) (2020 PNAS 117: 33486), both of which are activated in brain-metastatic lung cancer cells and are required for lung adenocarcinoma brain metastasis. We have identified the ABL2 tyrosine kinase as an actionable target for the treatment of lung cancer brain metastases with blood-brain barrier- penetrant ABL allosteric inhibitors. Ongoing studies employ single cell RNA-seq and Spatial Transcriptomics approaches to dissect the networks that drive lung cancer brain metastasis. We offer an inspiring intellectual, collaborative and multidisciplinary researchenvironment to support your career goals and provide access to state-of-the-art facilities.

Qualifications:

Candidates who are highly motivated and share a vision of excellence and commitment to research with recent Ph.D. in tumor biology, neuro-oncology, neurobiology, stem cell biology, and/or developmental biology using mouse models are preferred. Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the US. Candidates should have a strong inner drive, independence, and willingness to work in a highly interdisciplinary team.We offer an inspiring intellectual, collaborative and multidisciplinary researchenvironment to support your career goals and provide access to state-of-the-art facilities. The position is available immediately.

To Apply:

Please send C.V. and the names and e-mail addresses of three references to: ann.pendergast@duke.edu

Contact Name:

Ann Marie Pendergast, Ph.D.
Anthony R. Means Cancer Biology Professor
Vice Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology Director of Graduate Studies, Molecular Cancer Biology Duke University School of Medicine https://sites.duke.edu/pendergastlab/pendergast/

 

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