Post-doctoral and research technician positions are available to
adapt molecular genetic tools such as RNAi and transgenesis which are
standard in C. elegans for use in the parasitic helminths
Strongyloides stercoralis or Schistosoma mansoni. Post-docs will be
free to choose the types of genes they wish to target and biological
questions they wish to pursue - this is a wide open field! Side
projects involving other aspects of C. elegans, St. stercoralis or S.
mansoni biology are also available. Individuals with prior
experience in either C. elegans or parasitic helminth systems are
particularly encouraged to apply.
Despite the impact of helminth parasites on human and animal health,
there are no vaccines against these agents and resistance threatens a
dwindling armamentarium of safe and effective anthelmintic drugs.
Modern methods that have been used to identify and characterize
molecular targets for rational drug and vaccine development in other
disease systems, and which could be used for basic molecular and
cellular biological study, are currently lacking for the parasitic
helminths. On the other hand, descriptive genomics for important
helminth parasites is a relatively rapidly developing field. With
support from the Ellison Medical Foundation, we are developing
experimental tools that would allow these growing databases to be
exploited for functional study.
Interested individuals should send a cover letter, CV and names of
three references to one of the researchers below.
Dr. Meera Sundaram's primary interest is in the regulation of the ras
signal transduction pathway during cell differentiation and
organogenesis. Her studies employ vulva development in C. elegans as
a model system. Dept. of Genetics, UPenn School of Medicine,
Philadelphia PA 19104. email: sundaram at mail.med.upenn.edu
Dr. James Lok's long-standing interest has been the developmental
biology of filariae and other parasitic nematodes. Recently, his lab
has turned its attention to the possibility that homologs of genes
regulating dauer development in C. elegans, the so-called daf genes,
also control development of infective parasitic nematode larvae.
This work has prompted a shift to Strongyloides stercoralis as an
experimental model. Dept. of Pathobiology, UPenn School of
Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia PA 19104. email: jlok at vet.upenn.edu
Dr. Edward Pearce is interested in the molecular basis of
schistosome/host interactions, and in the immunology of
schistosomiasis. Work from his laboratory has characterized genes
encoding elements of a TGFb signaling pathway in S. mansoni. Dept.
of Pathobiology, UPenn School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia PA
19104. email: ejpearce at mail.med.upenn.edu
Meera Sundaram, Ph.D.
Dept. of Genetics
UPenn School of Medicine
709A Stellar-Chance Building
422 Curie Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6100
215-573-4527 (office phone)