A postdoctoral position is available in the NIH-funded laboratory of Dr. Christopher Gomez to study the physiology and genetics of bicistronic calcium channel genes. Dr. Gomez has perfomed pioneering work in the field of voltage-gated calcium channels and their role in disorders such as spinocerebellar ataxia, episodic ataxia and migraine. The project is based on recent findings of the role of newly discovered transcription factor proteins encoded by bicistronic calcium channel genes in the pathogenesis of a broad set of neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative and episodic neurological disorders. The goal of the position is to use predominantly cell biological approaches to investigate the physiology, genetics and regulation of these novel transcription factors, to explore their disregulation in these disorders and develop therapeutic approaches to restore regulation.
For background info see: Du X, Wang J, Zhu H, Rinaldo L, Lamar K-M, Palmenberg A.C., Hansel C, Gomez CM. Second cistron in CACNA1A gene encodes a transcription factor that mediates cerebellar development and SCA6. (2013) Cell,154(2):1-16. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.059. PMID:23827678; Miyazaki, Y, Du, X, Yoshida, M, Muramatsu, S, Gomez, CM An miRNA-mediated therapy for SCA6 blocks IRES-driven translation of the CACNA1Asecond cistron, (2016) Sci. Transl. Med.8, 347ra94 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf5660.; Karginov T, Hejazi-Pastor PD, Semler BL, Gomez CM. Mammalian polycistronic mRNAs and disease. Trends in Genetics,(2017) Feb;33(2):129-142. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2016.11.007. Review. PMID: 28012572; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5285393. ; Hejazi-Pastor PD, Du X, Fazal S, Davies AN, Gomez CM.Targeting the CACNA1AIRES as a treatment for spinocerebellar ataxia type 6, The Cerebellum,2018 doi: 10.1007/s12311-018-0917-6. ; Du X, Wei C, Rao E, Pastor-Hejazi D, Li Y, Grasselli G, Godfrey J, Palmenberg AC, Jorge Andrade J, Hansel C, Gomez CM, a1ACTis essential for survival and early cerebellar pro-gramming in a critical neonatal window. Neuron,2019 Mar 13. pii: S0896-6273(19)30171-0. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.02.036.
Successful candidates should be highly motivated and have a recent Ph.D. degree with a strong background in cellular neurobiology, stem cells, molecular biology. At least one first author publication in an excellent journal is a requirement. Experience in working with bioinformatics and protein and RNA methods is desired.