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RNA Biology & Epigenetics

National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD and surrounding area

Position Description:

A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Dr. Shalini Oberdoerffer within the Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression at the National Cancer Institute. The laboratory is generally interested in how epigenetic modifications in DNA and mRNA (known as the epitranscriptome) influence the life cycle of an mRNA molecule, from the inception of transcription/processing to translation into a protein. Current efforts in the group focus on 1) the influence of DNA methylation on co-transcriptional pre-mRNA splicing, 2) the relationship between tRNA and mRNA modifications in translation and 3) characterizing how cytidine acetylation in mRNA is regulated during development and disease.

Projects in the laboratory are highly integrated and utilize a variety of approaches ranging from the biochemical to genome/transcriptome-wide profiling. Anticipated methodologies include high-throughput sequencing of DNA/RNA, CRISPR/Cas-guided nucleic acid mutation, mass spectrometry of RNA and proteins, tRNA profiling and the development of in vitro approaches to examine translation. The candidate will join an integrated team of bench and computational scientists with common research interests. While candidates with a wide range of expertise will be considered, applicants with a background in nucleic acid modifications, protein mass spectrometry and/or computational biology are especially encouraged to apply. For more information, see:

Selected relevant publications:
  1. Arango, D., Sturgill, D. M., Alhusaini, N., Dillman, A.D., Sweet, T.J., Hanson, G., Sinclair, W.R., Hosogane, M., Nanan, K.K., Fox, S.D., Zengeya, T.T., Andresson, T., Meier, J.L., Coller, J., Oberdoerffer, S., Acetylation of cytidine in messenger RNA promotes translation efficiency. Cell, 175(7):1872-1886 (2018).
  2. Marina, R., Sturgill, D., Bailly, M., Thenoz, M., Varma, G., Prigge, M., Nanan, K., Shukla, S., Haque, N., Oberdoerffer, S., TET-catalyzed oxidation of intragenic 5-methylcytosine regulates CTCF-dependent alternative splicing. EMBO J. Jan 1;35(3):335-55 (2016).
  3. Shukla S., Kavak E., Gregory M., Imashimizu M., Shutinoski B., Kashlev M., Oberdoerffer P., Sandberg R., Oberdoerffer S., CTCF-promoted RNA polymerase II pausing links DNA methylation to splicing. Nature. Nov 3;479(7371):74 (2011).


Candidates must be strongly motivated, possess a Ph.D. or equivalent at the time of joining the lab and have no more than one year of post-doctoral experience. Successful applicants should have a strong theoretical background in gene regulation, RNA biology, and cell biology, as well as a track-record of publication in peer-reviewed journals.

To Apply:

Interested individuals should send a statement of research interests, curriculum vitae including bibliography, and contact information for three references by email to:

Contact Name: Shalini Oberdoerffer
Contact Phone: 240-760-6682

This post will be available until May 25, 2021 or until filled.

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