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Functional Genomics of Circular RNAs in Alzheimer Disease

NeuroGenomics and Informatics Center/Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

Position Description:

The Cruchaga Lab, member of the NeuroGenomics and Informatics Center, is recruiting a motivated, creative, self-driven Postdoctoral Research Associate to functionally characterize the role of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in Alzheimer disease (AD). CircRNA is a new category of non-coding RNAs that result from backsplicing events and are highly expressed in the central nervous system, especially in synapses. Recently, our group identified significant associations between circRNA expression and AD diagnosis, clinical dementia and neuropathological severity.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be mentored by Drs. Carlos Cruchaga and and Niko Nykänen and will focus on the identification and modification of circRNAs in in vitro models of Neurodegenerative Diseases. Towards this end, various cell lines combined with molecular, cellular, biochemical and pharmacological methods will be utilized to functionally characterize AD-associated circRNAs for subsequent transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. The new Postdoctoral Research Associate will work in a collegial environment and join a multidisciplinary, diverse team in a well-stablished, well-funded research group, currently 30+ dynamic members, developing bioinformatics, analyzing multi omics data and performing functional genomics analyses to explore the frontiers of AD.

Recent publications on the subject:
Dube U, et al. Nat Neurosci. 2019. PMID: 31591557 ǀ Chen HH, et al. Acta Neuropathol. Commun. 2022, PMID: 35246267 ǀ Bellenguez C, et al. Nat Genet. 2022, PMID: 35379992 ǀ Ibanez, L. Genes (Basel). 2021. PMID: 34440421

Qualifications:

  • PhD (or expect to obtain a degree in the near future) in cellular biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, neurobiology, neuroscience, or a related discipline.
  • Strong background and demonstrated experience in one or more of the following areas: cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics or RNA biology.
  • Hands-on experience in mammalian cell culture, Northern and Western blotting, ELISA, qPCR, RNA/DNA delivery (e.g. mRNA, siRNA, ASO, lentivirus technology, transient transfection, loss/gain of function experiments), immunocytochemistry, light and confocal microscopy. Prior experience with induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) cultures is advantageous.
  • Knowledge of flow cytometry, cell sorting, high-throughput screening and cell-based screening (e.g., luciferase assays, high-content imaging, massively parallel/multiplexed assays, etc.) is desirable but not required.
  • Ability to interpret and discuss experiments, critically contribute to writing of manuscripts and grant proposals is expected.
  • The candidate should be well-organized, able to multi-task with excellent lab bench skills. Must be able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Prior experience in AD or neurodegenerative diseases research is desirable but not required.
  • Proficiency in written and oral English is mandatory.

To Apply:

Interested candidates should send Cover Letter and CV to Oscar Diaz Ruiz, PhD, Program Manager doscar@wustl.edu