Job description: A NIH-funded postdoctoral position for a highly self-motivated scientist is available in the ZZ lab at Carnegie Institution of Science, Department of Embryology, which is affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. Research in our lab focuses on the impact of transposons during animal development, disease, and aging processes. We build tools to quantify the transposon activities and uncover the mechanisms that control transposons. The candidate will join a young and highly energetic family. Current research directions in our lab include:
1. Studying piRNA biogenesis and transposon silencing in animal (mouse and fly) germline.
2. Building transposition reporter system to probe transposition events.
3. Uncovering transposon control mechanisms in somatic cells.
4. Establishing genome-wide sequencing method to quantify DNA breaks.
Job requirements: Applicants should be creative individuals who are willing to ask big questions and challenge established dogmas.
Please email your C.V. and contact information of at least three references to Zhao Zhang (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information, please visit: https://emb.carnegiescience.edu/science/faculty/zhao-zhang
A postdoctoral position is available to study in this laboratory
Please contact Dr. Zhang for additional details.
WHO ARE WE?
We are a group of adventurers, naîve enough to fearlessly search mother nature's uncharted frontiers. We learn from each other and share the excitement and rewards of discovering both possible and impossible answers to unknown questions.
1. Transposon control in germline and soma, physiological and disease conditions.
Transposons occupy around 50% of the human genome. Mobilization of these genomic parasites can cause genome instability and insertional mutations linked to inherited disease and cancer progression. Therefore, it is crucial to tame transposons in order to maintain the genome stability and integrity. Our lab seeks to understand how these parasites are tightly controlled in both germline and somatic tissues. Specifically, in gonads, we are trying to understand how a class of germline specific small RNAs, called piRNAs, are made and how they silence transposons. Meanwhile, we are developing tools to pin down transposon activity in every cell type of each tissue, under both physiological and disease conditions.
2. Suppression of germline fate in the soma.
The mechanisms that distinguish germline and somatic cells are critical for animal development, reproduction, and evolution. Most studies of this topic have focused on the factors that control the formation and maintenance of germ cells. By contrast, our lab strives to investigate 1) how germline genes are silenced in the somatic cells and 2) what are the consequences of failure to suppress germline fate in the soma.
Yu B, Cassani M, Wang M, Liu M, Ma J, Li G, Zhang Z*, Huang Y*. Structural insights into Rhino-mediated germline piRNA cluster formation. Cell Research. 2015 25:525-528 (*Co-corresponding authors, PMCID:PMC4387552)
Zhang Z, Wang J, Schultz N, Zhang F, Parhad SP, Tu S, Vreven T, Zamore PD, Weng Z, Theurkauf WE. Rhi anchors a nuclear complex that suppresses piRNA precursor splicing. Cell. 2014 157: 1353-1363. (PMCID:PMC4167631).
Zhang Z, Xu J, Koppetsch, BS, Wang J, Tipping C, Ma S, Weng Z, Theurkauf WE, Zamore PD. Heterotypic piRNA Ping-Pong requires Qin, a protein with both E3-ligase and Tudor domains. Molecular Cell. 2011 18;44(4):572-84 (Featured article, PMCID: PMC3236501).