We study stem cells, development, and regeneration in the cnidarian Hydractinia. The questions we are interested in are related to how cells make decisions in these contexts. Techniques we use in the lab include random-integration and CRISPR-Cas9 mediated transgenesis/mutagenesis, flow cytometry, cell and tissue transplantation, gene expression analysis, and confocal microscopy for fixed tissues and live imaging experiments.
Cnidarians (sea anemones, corals, and jellies) are emerging model organisms in developmental biology and evolution. Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus, our lab animal, is one of only a few established cnidarian models. The animal grows well in the lab, reproduces sexually every day, and is highly regenerative. A high quality, PacBio based genome sequence is available together with numerous tissue-specific transcriptomes. Hydractinia is small, translucent, and sessile in most stages of its life cycle. This enables in vivo experiments that are very difficult to perform on other animals.
One postdoc will work on characterizing the transcriptomes of all Hydractinia cell lineages at single-cell resolution. The work will also include functional studies on key lineage regulators. The second postdoc will study the transcriptional changes and chromatin landscape that underlie a novel type of regeneration involving natural reprogramming of somatic cells. The positions are funded by NSF and Wellcome, respectively, and are available for three years each.
Candidates must have a PhD in developmental biology, cell biology, or related area. A strong background in molecular biology, experience in working with an animal model, or bioinformatics would be advantageous.
To apply, send a cover letter articulating your interest in one of the projects, your CV, and contact info for at least two references, ideally as a single PDF, to Prof. Uri Frank <email@example.com>. Informal enquiries are welcome.
Earliest start date would be January 2020.