We seek a creative and productive individual who has a beginning or ongoing interest in neuron cell & dev biology - specifically, the shaping of dendrites. For the initial studies, some familiarity with cell culture, immuno-precipitations/ running gels and microscopy would be a plus. The applicant should be finishing their PhD soon or have recently completed it. In this NIH-funded project we address the question: how are dendrite morphologies generated? The shaping of dendrites must take place properly for normal neuron connectivity to arise in the central nervous system, with alterations contributing to pathologies including mental retardation and dementia. Through the binding of novel protein-partners, we discovered that delta-catenin regulates the branching and length of dendrites. We propose to identify both the upstream pathways involved (e.g. ligands and kinases), and the downstream mediators (e.g. cytoskeletal modulators) that promote these dramatic branching versus lengthening outcomes. We will additionally examine related catenin proteins and their complexes. Laboratory members can select from a number of experimental systems including primary rat hippocampal neurons, mammalian cell lines, and frog embryos, plus undertake collaborative ventures involving other models. Pierre McCrea PhD (PI) has extensive mentorship experience. Prior trainees have gone on to successful academic as well as other rewarding scientific careers.
Environment. The Texas Medical Center in Houston houses UT MDACC and multiple other top-flight scientific institutions within walking distance (Baylor College of Medicine; UT Health Science Center; Rice University; Methodist Research Institute; TX A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology), or within bicycling distance (U Houston). This immense depth of collaborators/ programs/ cores insures a cutting-edge research/ ideas environment. Houston boasts a diverse culture near the Gulf Coast, and affordable living in our nation’s fourth largest city. MDACC offers well-regarded professional development opportunities and benefits. This is an NIH pay-scale position.
Cover letter or email stating your general career objectives and research interests
We seek a creative and productive individual who has a beginning or ongoing interest in neuron cell & dev biology - specifically, the shaping of dendrites. For the initial studies, some familiarity with cell culture, immuno-precipitations/ running gels and microscopy would be a plus. The applicant should be finishing their PhD soon or have recently completed it.
Internal Number: 2
About University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
The PI and his group are seeking to understand the roles of two novel delta-catenin complexes which promote the shaping and functioning of neuronal dendrites.The PI's laboratory is known for its work upon the developmental/ cellular contributions of less understood catenins, which have been found to have wide ranging essential functions. The PI is interested in and has been recognized for mentorship. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, together with other well known institutions in the Texas Medical Center, offer a vibrant scientific environment with long term career possibilities. As a city, Houston is an stimulating and multicultural metropolitan center located inland from the Gulf of Mexico. Affordable housing is available close to our Texas Medical Center, which notably adjoins Houston's museum district (Museum of Fine Arts, Contemporary Arts Museum, Asia Society, Museum of Natural Science, Childrens' Museum), as well as green spaces within Hermann Park (McGovern Lake, Japanese Garden, Zoo, Golf Course, Miller Outdoor Theatre) and the campus of Rice University.