Postdoctoral Fellow: Host-Microbe Interaction

Indiana University
Indiana, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
May 14, 2021
Employment Level
Non-Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time

A postdoctoral position is available as part of a collaborative project between the Newton ( and Hardy ( laboratories, in the Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington. This position is part of an NSF Rules of Life: Microbiome Theory and Mechanisms award focused on identifying how microbes alter the epitranscriptome.

Successful host-associated microbes sculpt host cell biology in ways that are useful to them. Often, these changes in host biology alter the ability of other microbes to colonize, protecting the host niche for the first microbe. For example, colonization of insects with Wolbachia endosymbionts can preclude infection by viruses. This fact has led to the deployment of Wolbachia-infected mosquitos across the globe to limit the transmission of vectored diseases. We have identified RNA modifications induced by Wolbachia that directly alter Drosophila cell biology and affect the ability of viruses to colonize. Wolbachia upregulates a host methyltransferase to limit virus replication and our preliminary data suggest that the virus genome itself is modified in a Wolbachia infected cell, altering mRNA stability. These data lead us to ask “How does a microbial symbiont alter the epitranscriptomic landscape of host cells?” The ideal candidate will have experience in Drosophila, molecular virology, and/or bioinformatics.  The candidate will be trained in molecular virology, and the use of direct sequencing approaches (PacBio and ONT) to identify modified nucleotides.

A Ph.D. in microbiology, virology, bioinformatics, entomology, or a related field is required at the time of appointment. The position will be funded for up to three years, with the potential to extend for an additional year. Salary will be commensurate with experience, and full benefits are included.

To apply, please submit (i) a letter of application, (ii) a full CV, (iii) a statement of research interests, and (iv) contact information for three references electronically to For best consideration, please apply by June 18, 2021. Expected start date can be as soon as August 1, 2021 but is flexible. Inquiries about the position can be directed to Irene Newton (

Bloomington is a vibrant college town located in scenic southern Indiana, close to several natural parks and wilderness areas, and it enjoys a local culture exceptionally rich in music, art, and theater.

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to building and supporting a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community of students and scholars.

Indiana University is an equal employment and affirmative action employer and a provider of ADA services. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, disability status or protected veteran status.