Post-doctoral Fellow - Immunology

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Oklahoma City, OK

ID: 7066554 (Ref.No. 1919423)
Posted: May 27, 2020
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Posting Number: 000135
Position Type: Scientific
Classification: Ongoing
Status: Full-Time
Department: Arthritis & Clinical Immunology - Zhao

Job Summary/Basic Function:
The Zhao laboratory is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to investigate the metabolic regulation of innate like T cells in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is an autoimmune disease that affects 1.3 million adults in the United States. Recently it has been shown that innate like T cells, including gamma delta T and invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are the major IL-17 producer in the inflamed joints of spondyloarthritides (SpA) patients, underscoring the importance of these cells in inflammatory arthritis. Our study has demonstrated that iNKT cells, especially the IFNg secreting subset of iNKT cells, suppress arthritis development, and have great potential as a therapeutic target (Zhao et al. Nature Comm 2018). Our unpublished work further show that iNKT cells have unique metabolic characteristics as compared to conventional T cells, which underlie the important functions of iNKT cells during arthritis development. The postdoctoral fellow's project is built upon these exciting discoveries, and focuses on understanding the mechanistic interaction between metabolic remodeling and immune functions during the development of autoimmune arthritis. The postdoctoral fellow will work with cutting edge resources including novel genetically modified mouse models, metabolomic analysis, and single cell transcriptomic analysis. Founded in 1946, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is one of the nation's oldest and most respected nonprofit biomedical research institutes. Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Program is the home base for one of only 10 Autoimmune Centers of Excellence (ACE) in the US. Apart from the close mentorship from Dr. Zhao, the postdoctoral fellow will benefit from departmental journal clubs, seminar series, and the expertise from diverse approaches in the program and the institute. Moreover, postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to apply for OMRF Postdoc Travel Awards to support their attendance at scientific meetings nationally and internationally. OMRF is an independent, not-for-profit biomedical research institute adjacent to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) campus in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City offers a dynamic and flourishing downtown area, with low cost of living, short commute times and a diversified economy. OMRF's excellence can only be fully realized by individuals who share our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Successful candidates will demonstrate commitment to these values. OMRF is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected characteristic. For more information on Dr. Zhao's research view these publications below. Chandra S*, Zhao M*, Budelsky A, de Mingo Pulido A, Day J, Fu Z, Siegel L, Smith D, Kronenberg M. A new mouse strain for the analysis of invariant NKT cell function. Nat Immunology. 2015 Aug;16(8):799-800. (* co-first author) PMCID: PMC4711267 Zhao M*, Svensson M*, Venken K, Sethi A, Engel I, Day JD, Elewaut D, Bottini N, Kronenberg M. Altered thymic differentiation and modulation of arthritis by invariant NKT cells expressing mutant ZAP70. Nat. Communications. 2018 Jul 6. 9:262 (* co-first author) PMCID: PMC6035278

Minimum Qualifications:
Applicants should have a Ph.D., M.D., or M.D./Ph.D. (or expect to receive a doctoral degree soon), possess excellent experimental and communication skills, and demonstrate solid training in immunology or mouse genetics with scientific publications. Previous research experience in metabolism is not required.

Minimum Degree Required:

Work Hours:

Preferred Qualifications:

Physical Demands:
Regularly required to stand, use manual dexterity, talk or hear; Frequently required to walk and reach with hands and arms; occasionally sit; frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds; vision abilities include close vision, color vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. Potential exposure to fumes, airborne particles, or rodent dander. May work with toxic, caustic chemicals, radioactive materials, liquid nitrogen, human tissue or blood. Potential risk of electrical shock. Occasional exposure to cold 4C, and/or extreme cold -80C from freezers. Noise level is usually moderate.

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