Post-Doc Research Associate
Post-Doc Research Associate
The UNC Institute for Convergent Science (ICS) is pleased to announce the launch of the Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in which fellows will work with teams of researchers and innovators to transition their research to applied goals. ICS Innovation Fellows will bridge the scientific/technical elements of an ICS project with team science and commercialization support activities.This ICS Innovation Fellowship position will focus on understanding the role of RNA structure in governing gene regulation in neurodegenerative diseases. The project seeks to identify targets for novel small molecule therapeutics to alter gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Initially the project will define the structure of precursor and mature mRNAs for transcripts associated with neurodegenerative diseases. The fellow will be co-advised by PIs Kevin Weeks (Chemistry) and Alain Laederach (Biology). This project is funded by a two-year ICS NIMBLE (New Invention: Make it Big or Leave Early) award.The Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow will devote ~70% effort to the scientific project (the scientific and technical elements plus related commercialization support), under the supervision of the project PIs, and ~30% effort toward supporting and contributing to other projects within the ICS under the supervision of the ICS Associate Director. Projects included in this 30% effort category may include performing customer discovery, market research and patent landscaping; providing project management support for other ICS teams; developing and coordinating ICS events and workshops; and supporting proposal development projects. Because this is the first position of its kind, the fellow selected for this position is invited to help shape and define the role. There is flexibility to tailor the experience to the career goals of the fellow, depending on availability of suitable projects/initiatives.This fellowship offers unique training in translational science while also developing commercialization and project leadership skills. Fellows are also encouraged to participate in existing experiential training programs including UNC Venture Catalyst Program and I-Corps program. Fellows will have access to UNC CareerWell courses (including Market Research, Team Collaboration, Technology Commercialization Fundamentals, Applied Project Management) offered by The Graduate School. The work location for this position is in the KickStart Accelerator, where the fellow will have access to mentoring from KickStart Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and its advisory network. The fellow is invited to participate in KickStart events and workshops.The Weeks and Laederach labs study RNA structure and human genetic health. The Laederach lab focuses on how RNA contributes to human disease. The Weeks lab focuses on the chemical and structural biology of RNA and develops structure probing technologies that identify functionally critical elements of RNA. Together, the labs aim to discover novel mechanisms by which RNA structure controls the expression of specific proteins and how this expression can be modulated by small molecules. The PIs, the NIMBLE advisory team, and the fellow will establish a translational small molecule drug discovery program to target unmet needs in neurodegenerative disease.The fellowship is initially a one-year assignment, with possible extension to two years if the ICS-funded NIMBLE project meets its milestones.
Experience in RNA biology is strongly preferred. Post-doctoral experience in cell culture, RNase free RNA processing, next generation sequencing, and bioinformatics are ideal.A Ph.D. in chemical biology, biology, or related discipline.
American Recovery & Reinvestment Act Funded: