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Post-doctoral scientists – stem cell niche biology (skin), RIKEN CDB, Japan

Posted by , on 31 July 2012

Closing Date: 15 March 2021

We are seeking to appoint post-doctoral researchers to study microenvironmental regulation of stem cells in mammalian skin.

The aim of our group is to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the ways in which tissue microenvironments are regionally specialized, and how the specialized microenvironments instruct cellar behaviour and communication, and organ formation. We are particularly interested in the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the formation of the stem cell microenvironment or niche.

A recent study by our team has shown that the molecular composition of the basement membrane in mouse hair follicle stem cell niche, the bulge, is highly specialized. One stem cell-derived component, nephronectin, is important for the development and positioning of the bulge-residing arrector pili muscles, which, among other functions, are responsible for goosebumps (Fujiwara et al. 2011. Cell 144, 577-589). This was the first report to show that stem cells regulate the fate and positioning of surrounding niche cells through the specialization of the basement membrane.

To gain further insight into fundamental aspects of the microenvironmental regulation of stem cells, we use mouse skin as a model and seek to better understand 1) the molecular landscape of basement membrane specialization in the stem cell niche, 2) mechanisms by which the basement membrane in the stem cell niche is regionally specialized, and 3) how the specialized basement membrane controls stem cell niche formation, stem cell behaviour and the conversation between stem cells and their neighbouring cells.

Successful candidates will receive an excellent salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. Our Centre, the Center for Developmental Biology (CDB), is a world-leading research institute in the fields of developmental and regenerative biology and has state-of-the-art research facilities. The Centre provides a truly international, collegial, and supportive environment for its nearly thirty laboratories, and the freedom and resources to pursue their research toward deeper understanding of developmental biology. All necessary communications can be conducted in English, and support services are available for non-Japanese-speakers.

Please contact Hironobu Fujiwara, PhD ( for further information.

To apply, please send 1) a cover letter, 2) a CV with publication list, 3) names and contact details of two referees, 4) a brief summary of research achievements and future research interests (two page maximum) to Hironobu Fujiwara ( via email. Please send the application as a single PDF file. This call will be closed when the positions are filled.

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