Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Biology - F1505

Virginia, United States
Salary Not specified
Oct 28, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Postdoctoral Fellow: Mechanisms of Transcriptional Repression by Sequence Specific Transcription Factors


An NSF-funded postdoctoral position (39 months) is available in the Department of Biology at James Madison University, with a flexible start date of May 1, 2021. The LONG-TERM RESEARCH OBJECTIVE is to understand the molecular mechanisms by which HES proteins mediate transcriptional repression during embryogenesis and to test predictions of HES mediated repression genome-wide and across developmental stages, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system.


The postdoctoral fellow will examine the effect of HES protein binding on chromatin status and RNA polymerase occupancy at target genes while utilizing artificial neural networks or other modeling methods to test predictions of HES mediated repression. In addition to mentoring opportunities through engagement with undergraduate and Masters research assistants, the fellowship includes a mentored teaching experience through the development, implementation and assessment of a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) to probe for physical interactions between HES proteins and other transcriptional regulators. The co-PIs on this project include Dr. Casonya Johnson, who will serve as the primary research mentor, Dr. Chia-Hsuan Yang, who will serve as a co-mentor and provide the computational, programming, modeling expertise, and Dr. Patrice Ludwig, who will serve as a co-mentor and provide expertise in assessment of learning and student outcomes. As such, this is an excellent opportunity for the candidate who seeks an interdisciplinary research experience, or the candidate who seeks to balance bench science with the scholarship of teaching and learning.


James Madison University supports the teacher/scholar model emphasizing undergraduate research, and the University and Department of Biology is aggressively seeking to better support our increasingly diverse student body. Our approach to enhancing student success is to provide an inclusive and diverse learning environment, in part through increased representation among the faculty and staff. Our inclusivity efforts are supported at the Department level through an HHMI-funded Inclusive Excellence Award, and at the University level through the Office of Access and Inclusion Preparing Future Faculty Program. The objective of the postdoctoral fellowship is to prepare the fellow to be competitive in the tenure-track job market. Thus, contingent upon optimal performance outcomes, a demonstrated commitment to promoting inclusivity and engaging a diverse community, as well as departmental needs and availability of funding, the successful candidate may be considered to transition into a tenure-track faculty position at the end of the fellowship.


We encourage applications from women, individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, and individuals with a strong commitment to mentoring students from under-represented or marginalized groups.


Required Qualifications

    Ph.D. in Biology, Biophysics, Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, or related fields Evidence of a strong personal initiative and the ability to work collaboratively, in a multidisciplinary environment A track record of publications in relevant peer-reviewed journals


Any of the following qualifications are also preferred, but none are not required:

    Working experience in bioinformatics analysis, integration, and interpretation of high-throughput sequencing data, including single-cell sequencing Prior experience with studies of transcription, chromatin, gene regulation or genome organization Working experience with C. elegans Proficiency in programming, data analysis and visualization, Experience with Python/Jupyter, Matlab, C, or Java Experience with the application of supervised and unsupervised machine learning methods to genomics data or experience with deep learning frameworks


To apply, go to or visit and reference posting number F1505. Candidates will complete the application and provide: (1) a cover letter that explicitly addresses your long-term career goals and your commitment and experiences in promoting inclusivity and diversity and (2) a curriculum vitae.


James Madison University is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive work and educational community that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity: (540) 568-6991.