POSTDOCTORAL POSITION ON GENE EDITING AND BIOREACTOR LIVER CHIP TECHNOLOGIES

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine | Academic | Pittsburgh | More →

The laboratory of Dr. Samira Kiani at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Pittsburgh Liver Research Center is looking for an outstanding, highly motivated, and self-driven postdoc candidate to join a collaborative research program on gene editing and bioreactor liver chip technologies.
Kiani lab is interested in using the designer DNA binding proteins such as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR) and Zinc Finger proteins to develop novel gene and (epi)-gene-editing tools to address human diseases. Along with this notion, human microphysiological systems that can report on the immune response to and toxicity following the application of gene editors to human tissues are crucial in developing clinical gene editors. We work with the Liver on a Chip platform, a 3D perfusable system that allows us to develop and maintain human liver tissue over an extended period of time. We use patient-specific cells to assemble immune-competent liver tissues in this platform and analyze their response to gene editing events through high throughput assays such as transcriptomics, genomics, and Luminex assays. The goal is to develop biomarkers and predict response to gene editing in human tissues.
We have contributed to the development of efficient CRISPR-based transcriptional repressors (Nat Methods. 2018 Aug;15(8):611-616), strategies to control gRNAs from RNA Pol II promoter (ACS Synth Biol. 2018 Aug 17;7(8):1929-1936) CRISPR layered control circuits and the immunogenicity of streptococcus Pyogenes CRISPR in human (https://doi.org/10.1101/360198).
The lab is located within the world-class Pittsburgh Liver Research Center, home to a cutting-edge interdisciplinary research program on Liver diseases. The project is part of the Somatic Cell Genome Engineering Consortium, which provides a unique opportunity for interaction with the rest of the gene-editing and delivery community at MIT, U Berkley, University of Wisconsin, and elsewhere.
In this position, you will have the opportunity to lead a cutting-edge project on the application and delivery of CRISPR in human liver Chip bioreactor platforms and participate in monthly meetings with the rest of the consortium members. You will be responsible for experimentally managing the project, contributing original ideas in carrying out the varied facets of the research endeavor, and expanding the lab operation, including writing grants.
Minimum/Basic Qualifications: experience in any of the following: standard molecular biology techniques including PCR, gel electrophoresis, mammalian cell culture maintenance, viral vectors. Experience with qPCR, ELISAs, and confocal microscopy. MD or Ph.D. degree in a related field of study (genetics, microbiology, biology, bioengineering, molecular biology, and/or cell biology). A good track record of publications is required.
Appointment: This position reports to Dr. Samira Kiani and is situated at the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center and the main campus of Pittsburgh University School of Medicine. It is a full-time, benefits-eligible, fiscal appointment with a flexible start date and the possibility of annual renewal, dependent on available funding, performance, and the needs of the University. The salary follows the NIH Pay line scales for postdocs. Applications will be reviewed weekly until the search is closed. A background check is required for employment. The University of Pittsburgh is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to excellence through diversity. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
Interested candidates should contact Dr. Samira Kiani ([email protected]) with their CV, cover letter, and contact information of at least two referees included in the email.