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 focused on defining the role of uncapped viral RNAs in the flavivirus replication cycle. Flaviviruses, including dengue, West Nile, and Zika viruses, produce and package a significant amount of uncapped RNAs during their replication that may act as substrates for the RNA decay pathway. Intriguingly, a pseudoknot structure in the flavivirus 3’ UTR inactivates 5’ exonucleases and alters the function of the RNA quality control system in cells, protecting the viral RNAs from degradation and enhancing virus pathogenicity. It is currently unclear how RNA structures within the viral 5’ untranslated region contribute to RNA capping efficiency and how capped and uncapped viral RNA species interact with the RNA decay pathways in cells. Defining which viral RNA species inhibit RNA decay components and when inhibition occurs during infection will provide new fundamental knowledge of flavivirus genome replication and how RNA capping efficiency influences viral pathogenesis.
Required Job Qualifications
Candidate must have received a PhD in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Biology, or related discipline. We are looking for a post-doctoral fellow with significant experience in RNA biology (experimental design, RNA transcription, and testing for capping of RNA transcripts), cell biology (knockdown of cellular gene expression and validation) and BSL-2 cell culture and virology.
Preferred Job Qualifications
Experience with protein biochemistry (expression, purification, and analysis) and/or mass spectroscopy of nucleic acids 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) explore how the structure of the 5’ UTR influences RNA capping efficiency, 2) define the efficiency of viral RNA capping in vivo, 3) determine how ablation of cellular RNA decay pathway components affect genome replication and RNA species distribution, and 4) assess the effect of packaged, uncapped viral RNAs on infection efficiency.
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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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.