Postdoctoral Fellow, Geiss Lab

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado
09 Jul 2018
End of advertisement period
06 Aug 2018
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Full Time

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.

Position Summary

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.

Diversity Statement

Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

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


Essential Duties

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


Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Supervision Duty/Responsibility

Supervision of undergraduate researchers and research associates

Percentage Of Time


Application Details

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, EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant.

Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

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.