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.
Postdoctoral Research Associate Opening at UH
The Zufall Lab at the University of Houston is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the area of Evolutionary Genetics to create and study mutation accumulation lines in the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila. These lines will form the basis of an NIH funded collaboration with the Azevedo (University of Houston) and Cartwright labs (Arizona State University), which will take advantage of the unusual nuclear architecture of ciliates to study the rate, types, and fitness effects of spontaneous mutation.
As part of this project, the postdoc is expected to be able to: develop and culture T. thermophila mutation accumulation lines, conduct genetic analyses and fitness assays on these lines, and interpret data using computational and statistical analyses in collaboration with the Azevedo and Cartwright labs. Candidates should possess a Ph.D. in Evolution or Genetics. Experience with microbial eukaryotes is desirable and skill in computational and statistical analysis is preferred.
Applications can be made at jobs.uh.edu (Posting Number: S001408) and must include a cover letter, detailed CV, and names of 3 references. The initial closing date is July 15, 2013, but applications will continue to be accepted and considered until the job is filled/closed.
The University of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Postdoctoral Research Associate Opening at ASU
The Cartwright Lab at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the area of Computational/Statistical Genomics to study evolutionary questions using mutation accumulation lines of the ciliate, Tetrahymena thermophila. These lines are being generated as part of an NIH funded collaboration with the Zufall and Azevedo labs at the University of Houston.
The Cartwright Lab is part of the Center for Evolutionary Medicine and Informatics (CEMI), one of 10 research centers in the Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute. Research in the Cartwright Lab covers many different questions in population genetics and molecular evolution, at the interface of biology, statistics, and computer science. A majority of our research involves developing, implementing, and applying novel methodologies to study genomic datasets.
As part of this project, the Postdoctoral Research Associate is expected to be able to:
1. Assemble the genomes of the dozens of Tetrahymena thermophila lines from short-read sequences
2. Develop novel, high-throughput methodologies to identify de novo mutations by comparing multiple lines
3. Work closely with collaborators at the University of Houston to develop statistical methods to estimate the phenotypic effects of mutations
4. Present the results of research at meetings, in publications, etc.
Ph.D. in genomics, bioinformatics, or related field
1. Experience working with microbial genomes
2. Knowledge of programming languages including Python and C++
3. Knowledge of statistical methodologies
4. Experience with short-read sequencing
Application must contain one document which includes
2. Cover Letter
3. Names, addresses, and phone numbers of three professional references
Deadline for applications is July 21, 2013. Applications will continue to be accepted and considered until the job is filled/closed.
Arizona State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. A background check is required for employment.