Company:  Confidential

Job Title: Postdoc Positions in Structural biochemistry / Molecular + Cell Biology

Job Number: 59764

Location: Stanford, US

Job Description

The [Please click the Apply button for the link or email] is seeking creative, passionate and independent thinkers to join us as postdocs!
We study the pathways and molecular machines that control and surveil protein folding and degradation in human cells. Dysfunction of these pathways is linked to protein misfolding and aggregation – the hallmarks of some of the most prevalent diseases of our time, including many neurodegenerative diseases.
A particular focus of the lab is to understand how human cells make and quality control multipass membrane proteins like transporters, receptors and ion channels that are essential for cellular physiology. Membrane proteins are the predominant targets of most modern drugs and understanding how membrane proteins biogenesis is regulated to prevent misfolding and degradation is therefore of immediate biomedical relevance.

We use an interdisciplinary approach to study membrane protein homeostasis by combining molecular & cell biology, structural protein biochemistry and protein engineering. In parallel the lab will develop novel methods and reagents (e.g. nanobodies) to both study and modulate protein quality control pathways that regulate cellular protein folding and degradation in health and disease conditions (e.g. cancer, neurodegeneration and ageing).
The following types of projects require your expertise:
Project 1) Mechanistic analysis of membrane protein biogenesis. Trapping biogenesis intermediates and subcomplexes of biogenesis factors for structural analysis. Complementary functional analysis using in vitro and in cell reporter assays.
Preferred expertise: structural biology (Cryo-EM), biochemistry (protein expression and purification in bacteria / mammalian cells)
Project 2) Running cell-based nanobody screens to identify functional agonists / antagonists of intracellular pathways related to protein homeostasis.
Preferred expertise: mammalian cell biology/genetics (genome wide screening + data analysis), biochemistry (protein expression and purification in bacteria / mammalian cells)
Our lab will be an inclusive space that fosters learning & curiosity, promotes team work and values mentorship to drive an innovative research program that pushes the boundaries of molecular biology.
The successful candidate will have access to close mentorship and will shape the make-up of a new lab. The lab has fantastic resources and is surrounded by a world-class collaborative scientific environment. Outside of the lab, life in the sunny Bay area offers spectacular culinary, cultural, and outdoor recreational opportunities.
The start date is flexible and depends on the candidate. Preference is for candidates who can start between fall 2023 and early 2024.
Relevant publications:
(*denotes equal contribution, † denotes co-corresponding authorship)

Stevens, T.A., Tomaleri, G.P., Hazu, M., Wei, S., Nguyen, V.N., DeKalb, C., Voorhees, R.M.† and Pleiner, T.† (2023) A nanobody-based strategy for rapid and scalable purification of native human protein complexes. bioRxiv
Pleiner, T.*, Hazu, M.*, Tomaleri, G.P.*, Nguyen, V.N., Januszyk, K. and Voorhees, R.M. (2023) A selectivity filter in the EMC limits protein misinsertion at the ER. J. Cell Biol. 222, e202212007.
Pleiner, T., Hazu, M., Tomaleri, G.P., Januszyk, K., Oania, R.S., Sweredoski, M.J., Moradian, A., Guna, A. and Voorhees, R.M. (2021) WNK1 is an assembly factor for the human ER membrane protein complex. Mol. Cell, 81, 2693-2704.e12.
Pleiner, T.*, Tomaleri, G.P.*, Januszyk, K.*, Inglis, A.J., Hazu, M. and Voorhees, R.M. (2020) Structural basis for membrane insertion by the human ER membrane protein complex. Science, 369, 433-436.
Pleiner, T.†, Bates, M.† and Görlich, D.† (2018) A toolbox of anti-mouse and anti-rabbit IgG secondary nanobodies. J. Cell Biol., 217, 1143-1154.

Required Qualifications: 
Applications are encouraged from talented and motivated individuals who have a Ph.D. or are nearing completion of their Ph.D. with experience in cell biology, biochemistry or protein engineering.

Top candidates will have a strong track record of research productivity, excellent communication skills, enthusiasm for basic research and a willingness to work as a leading part of a team with other lab members.

Required Application Materials: 
Please include the following items in one PDF as part of your application via email to [Please click the Apply button for the link or email]:

  • A cover letter including a summary of your research experience, your career goals, and your expertise in the relevant field(s).
  • Your curriculum vitae including a list of publications with brief (2-3 sentence) descriptions of your contributions to the published work.
  • Names and contact information for at least 3 references.

Application Deadline: 2023-10-01


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