Postdoctoral Researcher

Updated: about 16 hours ago
Location: Lawrence, KANSAS


Molecular Biosciences

Position Overview

The Unckless lab at the University of Kansas invites applications for a postdoctoral position that will focus on the evolution of immune peptides. We recently found that several Drosophila antimicrobial peptides show signatures of balancing selection (the adaptive maintenance of multiple alleles). This position would involve dissecting the mechanisms of balancing selection on these peptides using a combination of approaches including population genetics (examining signatures of balancing selection on immune genes), genetics (allele replacement using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing with subsequent fitness and infection assays), microbiology (minimum inhibitory concentrations, zone of inhibition assays) and biochemistry (structural and functional studies using circular dichroism, NMR, etc.). The goal is to understand how balancing selection maintains alleles from the ecological to the biochemical level.
The successful candidate should have experience in some of the approaches listed above and would be able to develop skills in some of the other approaches on the job. The position is ideal for someone with a broad background in evolution who would like to get more experience with molecular techniques or someone with experience using molecular techniques but would like to incorporate an evolutionary perspective into their scientific thinking.
The Unckless Lab studies evolutionary genetics in general with a focus on the evolution of immunity and selfish genetic elements (meiotic drive).
This is a skilled position requiring knowledge and training in genetics and cellular and molecular biology laboratory methods and laboratory management. The candidate's primary responsibilities will be designing and performing experiments, analyzing data and disseminating results based on antimicrobial peptide structure, function, genetics and evolution.  As a Postdoctoral researcher, they will be responsible for maintaining all supplies at appropriate levels in the labs, and identifying, evaluating, and ordering new equipment in consultation with laboratory director. 

Job Description

40% -The Unckless Lab studies evolutionary genetics in general with a focus on the evolution of immunity and selfish genetic elements (meiotic drive).  The goal of the current project is to understand how balancing selection maintains alleles in natural populations.  Will conduct primary research on the evolution of Drosophila immune peptides to bacterial infection  both in vitro (minimum inhibitory concentration, zone of inhibition, structural and functional assays, NMR) and in vivo (population genetics, allele replacement using CRISPR/Cas9, fitness and infection assays). 

30% -Collaborate with, and assist, other project scientists and graduate students to facilitate and support the overall research program.

20% -Publish and present research results in venues appropriate to the discipline.

10% - Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD in relevant biological field.
  • As evidenced by CV, previous experience delivering both oral and written scientific communications (i.e. presentations, publications, etc.).
  • Experience in developing/utilizing molecular methods for use in antimicrobial assays OR experience with Drosophila husbandry as evidenced by CV.
  • Previous experience with data analysis as evidenced by application materials.
  • NOTE:

    To be appointed at the Postdoctoral Researcher title, it is necessary to have the PhD in hand.  Appointments made without a diploma or certified transcript indicating an earned doctorate are conditional hires and are appointed on an acting basis not to exceed six months. 

    Preferred Qualifications

  • Published scholar.
  • Evidence of successful mentoring and training of new lab personnel and students.
  • Ability to work well with others on both research design, grant writing, and in the lab.

  • Additional Candidate Instruction

    Please submit cover letter, resume, and list of 3 professional references.
    Application review begins on August 1, 2019 and will continue until a qualified applicant pool has been identified.

    Advertised Salary Range

    Minimum $47,476

    Application Review Begins


    Anticipated Start Date


    Limited Term End Date


    Work Location

    University of Kansas - Lawrence

    Employee Class

    U-Unclassified Professional Staff

    Work Schedule

    40 hours/week

    Conditions of Employment

    Contingent on Funding, Limited Term


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