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Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Human Lymphatic Disorders

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD and surrounding area

Position Description:

The Unit on Vascular Malformations is recruiting for two postdoctoral positions in the laboratory of Dr. Sarah Sheppard. Dr. Sheppard’s translational laboratory focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that perturb vascular development in humans to develop molecularly targeted therapies. To accomplish this, we use genomics, organoids, and the zebrafish as an animal model. We recently identified multiple genetic causes of central conducting lymphatic anomaly (CCLA), a human lymphatic disorder, and showed that germline RASopathies, mosaic KRASopathies, PIEZO1-related lymphatic dysplasia, and Trisomy 21 all have distinct central lymphatic flow phenotypes (Liu et al EJHG 2022). We also demonstrated that pathogenic mosaic activating variants in KRAS cause CCLA which respond to MEK inhibition in both organoid and zebrafish models. The lab’s current interests include the application of long-read genome sequencing to patients without a known molecular etiology, investigation of candidate genes for CCLA, and therapeutic development for genes previously identified to cause CCLA (especially those within the RAS-MAPK pathway). Post-docs in the lab will answer these questions using both experimental and computational approaches.


The position is open to individuals with a MD or PhD degree and less than 5 years of postdoctoral experience. The successful applicant will be expected to:

  • lead their own projects,
  • contribute to collaborative research efforts in the laboratory, and
  • publish first author papers in peer reviewed journals.

Experience in vascular, developmental, cell, zebrafish, or molecular biology or genetics as well as some computational proficiency is highly desirable, but not required. Applicants should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

To Apply:

Please email to (use the subject: Postdoc Application - "YourLastName") and send a single PDF file containing:

  • a cover letter (describe your motivation for pursuing postdoctoral training, why you are interested in our lab, how your background fits our research, and what type of projects you would like to work on)
  • your current curriculum vitae,
  • a representative published manuscript,
  • names of three references with email addresses and phone numbers.

If you are unable to complete these application requirements due to a disability and would like to apply, please contact us for accommodations.

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs and encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.