We are seeking post-doctoral candidates who are interested in joining our research efforts to better understand evolution and function of alternative adaptive immune systems in vertebrates. Our studies with others infer that T cells and B cells have been constant companions in vertebrates for more than 500 million years. However, for antigen recognition, lymphocytes in the extant jawless vertebrates, lampreys and hagfish, use somatically diversified variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) composed of leucine-rich repeat sequences instead of immunoglobulin V(D)J domains. Convergent evolution likely accounts for such alternative solutions to achieve specific adaptive immunity. Characterization of monoclonal lamprey antibodies indicates they are remarkably diverse, typically have greater antigen-specificity than conventional Ig-based antibodies, and may recognize novel antigens, such as unique target epitopes on human tumor cells. Current studies address (1) the evolution of the VLR genes, (2) the composite structures of the VLR receptors, (3) a molecular understand of the underlying mechanisms of VLR diversification, (4) the functional interactions between the VLRA+ and VLRC+ T-like cells and the VLRB+ B-like cells, and (5) the roles of key regulatory genes in lymphocyte development and receptor assembly using CRISPR/CAS modified lamprey embryos and larvae.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: A doctoral degree or equivalent (Ph.D., M.D., ScD., D.V.M., DDS etc) in an appropriate field. Excellent scientific writing ability and strong oral communication skills. The ability to work effectively and collegiately with colleagues. Additional qualifications as specified by the Principal Investigator.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Successful candidates will possess a recent Ph.D. or MD equivalent degree in immunology, molecular biology, virology or a related field, with less than three years of postdoctoral experience. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated a solid record of scientific productivity and rigor. Excellent oral and written communication skills are required, as well as the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
Interested applicants should include a cover letter with a research statement, CV, and complete contact information for three professional references with application.
This position involves: Working with blood, body fluids, tissues, or other potentially infectious materials or cell lines of lampreys, hagfish, and mice. Involves potential exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Emory University is a leading research university that fosters excellence and attracts world-class talent to innovate today and prepare leaders for the future. We welcome candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of our academic community.