Position summary: 1-2 postdoctoral positions are immediately available in the NIH-funded Shao lab within the Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. We are part of the Center of Genome Integrity (https://siteman.wustl.edu/research/center-for-genome-integrity/) and Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center (https://siteman.wustl.edu), an NCI-designated leading cancer institute in the US (ranked 10th nationally). The Shao lab is located in the state-of-the-art Couch Biochemical Research building known for its open, multi-disciplinary, and collaborative environment. As a curiosity-driven cancer biology lab, we are interested in dissecting the mechanisms of novel cancer targets with the overarching goal of improving patient outcome. Currently, a major research theme of the lab is genome integrity maintenance – an important underpinning of chemotherapy efficacy – with specific focus on two multi-functional proteins, i.e. actin-binding factor Profilin-1 and AAA+ ATPase p97/VCP. Both are essential proteins with well-known functions in the cytoplasm, yet play poorly understood roles in the nucleus. Our recent work (Zhu et al, Nat Commun, 2022; Zhu et al, Cell Rep, 2021 and 2020; Wang et al, Cancers, 2021; Wang et al, Front Cell Dev Biol, 2021) linked nuclear Profilin-1 and p97/VCPto fundamentally important cellular processes including DNA replication fork dynamics and stability, transcriptional control, DNA damage repair, and cell cycle checkpoint. In addition to discovering novel nuclear biology of these two proteins, our work also uncovered their clinical relevance to cancer progression and chemotherapy resistance. It is our ultimate goal to leverage mechanistic insights from such studies to unveil or create “Achilles heels” of cancer cells for more effective treatments. More information can be found on www.shaolab.org;
- Define the role of nuclear profilin-1 in DNA replication fork dynamics and stress response in wild type and BRCA-mutant cells and the causal effect on PARPinhibitor efficacy
- Examine the therapeutic effects of nuclear profilin-1, by blocking its nuclear export, on cancer initiation, progression, metastasis, and response to chemotherapies using genetic and patient-derived mouse xenograft models
- Define the regulatory mechanisms of p97/VCP and its Ser784 phosphorylation during normal DNA replication and stressed replication fork response to genotoxic chemotherapies
- Evaluate the clinical utility of pSer784-VCP as a chemo-predictive biomarker and chemo-sensitizing target
- Investigate the mechanistic link between autophagy and DNA damage response as mediated by p97/VCP
We are seeking self-motivated PhD or MD/PhD scientists with solid background in molecular and cellular biology, and preferably with knowledge and prior experience in cancer biology and genome integrity fields. Candidates must have peer-reviewed, first-author publications of original findings in reputable journals. Candidates must be proficient with standard laboratory techniques including cell culture, fluorescence microscopy, molecular cloning, PCR, immunoprecipitation, and Western blotting. Computational skills and working experience with genetic and/or patient-derived mouse xenograft models are highly desirable.
Interested candidates should contact Dr. Jieya Shao by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with an updated CV and a cover letter containing a research statement as well as contact information for 3 or more references.