Postdoctoral Fellow, Geiss Lab
Description of Work Unit
The Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology (MIP) Department is comprised of over 400 individuals who share a common passion for solving some of the most important human and animal health problems today. Research programs include those related to mycobacteria, retroviruses, prions, and arthropod-borne infectious diseases, as well as the diagnostic investigation of naturally-occurring animal diseases. A leader in education, MIP provides the only microbiology undergraduate degree program in Colorado, a graduate program that provides training in a number of cutting-edge disciplines, and several specialized veterinary residency training programs.
We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated post-doctoral fellow to contribute to a newly funded NIH R01 project. The focus of this position will be to define the unique catalytic mechanism of the flavivirus NS5 RNA capping enzyme, which is a critical enzymatic function within the flavivirus replication cycle. Flaviviruses, including dengue, West Nile, and Zika viruses, possess positive strand RNA genomes with 5’ RNA cap structures that are formed by the combination of the NS3 RNA triphosphatase and NS5 guanylyltransferase/methyltransferase activities. The NS5 guanylyltransferase function has been demonstrated, but because NS5 does not have sequence or structural similarity to known nucleotidyltransferase enzymes it appears that NS5 uses a unique mechanism to cap viral RNA genomes. Defining how the NS5 guanylyltransferase enzyme functions will provide critical new targets for ongoing antiviral development efforts within the lab.
Required Job Qualifications
Candidate must have received a PhD in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Biology, or related discipline and show evidence of significant experience in molecular biology and protein biochemistry (protein expression, purification, characterization), enzymology (assay development and determination of kinetic parameters), and characterization of RNA modifying enzymes.
Preferred Job Qualifications
Experience with virology, mass spectroscopy of nucleic acids (or nucleotides) and/or biophysical techniques (CD/ITC/SPR) is preferred.
Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Job Duty Category Research Duty/Responsibility
- Key goals for this position will be to 1) determine the catalytic active site of the NS5 guanylyltransferase enzyme using existing and to-be-developed assays, 2) define the overall sequence of reactions (guanylyltransferase/methyltransferase) that occur during flavivirus RNA capping, and 3) explore how the structure of the 5’ untranslated region influences RNA capping efficiency, and 4) define how viral RNA capping occurs within the context of the overall genome replication cycle.
Percentage Of Time 70 Job Duty Category Grant and Manuscript writing Duty/Responsibility
- Writing manuscripts on research results and assisting with grant reports. Writing fellowship applications.
Percentage Of Time 20 Job Duty Category Supervision Duty/Responsibility
- Supervision of undergraduate researchers and research associates
Percentage Of Time 10
Special Instructions to Applicants
A complete application includes a cover letter that addresses the minimum and preferred qualifications, a CV/resume, and contact information for three professional references including relationship and current supervisor. References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates.
Conditions of Employment
Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires), Use, Handling, or Exposure to hazardous materials
Search Contact Brian Geiss, Geisslab@colostate.edu
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Background Check Policy Statement
Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.