Announcement of Microbiologist Position at UH — Announcement of Bioinformatics Position at ASU
The Cartwright Lab at Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ) and the Zufall and Azevedo Labs at the University of Houston (Houston, TX) are hiring two evolutionary genomics postdocs to work on an NIH-funded project to utilize the unusual nuclear architecture of ciliates to study the rate, types, and fitness effects of spontaneous mutation.
Ciliates are really, really cool beasties.
Unlike most eukaryotes, ciliates have two nuclei. That’s two nuclei in a single celled organism.
It gets cooler than that. One nucleus, the micronucleus, pretty much does nothing, sitting around and waiting for the ciliate to have sex. The other nucleus, the macronucleus, is a copy of the micronucleus and manages all the daily activity of the cell (i.e. transcription). During sex, the macronucleus disappears, and the micronucleus goes through meiosis creating haploid nuclei which get exchanged with another cell. This forms a new micronucleus from which a new macronucleus will be generated. This is why the micronucleus is considered the germline nucleus and the macronucleus the somatic nucleus.
It gets cooler than that. In Tetrahymena thermophila the micronucleus is diploid and has 10 chromosomes. The macronucleus is 45x and has over 20,000 chromosomes; during macronucleus development, the chromosomes basically shatter, duplicate, and reassemble a bunch of times. Like magic!
All this makes Tetrahymena thermophila a nearly perfect system in which to study spontaneous mutation. By maintaining Tt lines in asexual growth, mutations will accumulate in the germline nucleus without any selection operating on them. Thus at the end of 1,500 generations, we will be able to express these mutations and measure their phenotypes and impact on fitness.
For this project we are looking for a wet-lab postdoc to be based in the Zufall lab at UH and a dry-lab postdoc to be based in the Cartwright lab at ASU, but also working with the Azevedo lab at UH. The wet-lab postdoc will be primarily responsible for generating the mutation accumulation lines, while the dry-lab postdoc will be primarily responsible for identifying mutations from genomic data and analysing the phenotypic data. Full descriptions and instructions on applying are below.