Post Doctoral Research Associate - Stephens Lab
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts


Job no: 507897
Work type: Post Doc (Amherst Only)
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Biology
Union: Post Doc
Categories: Postdoctoral Research Associate, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Stephens Lab (https://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/stephens/home) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is recruiting a Postdoctoral Research Associate. The Stephens lab studies the mechanical and shape properties of the cell nucleus and how these properties affect major nuclear functions such as genome organization, DNA damage, compartmentalization, and transcription. Abnormal nuclear shape has been used as diagnostic and prognostic marker for human disease such as cancer for nearly a century without understanding nuclear mechanical changes that underlie these abnormal deformations. Furthermore, we aim to study the consequences of both change in nuclear mechanics and morphology on nuclear and cell function.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be responsible for one of the main aims from our two grants. NIH R00 and UM1. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be able to choose one or a mix of aims including: 1) Determine the role of higher order chromatin organization and histone modifications in nuclear mechanics and chromatin deformations via our unique micromanipulation force measurement technique of single isolated nuclei. 2) Determine the mechanical basis and altered functionality of chromatin in nuclear blebbing. 3) Determine how nuclear and cell mechanics relate during differentiation and homeostasis loss. The main approaches are biophysical measurements using our unique micromanipulation force measurements and more cell biology focused approaches. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will use these tools to perform experiments on cells using micromanipulation and microscopy to discern the mechanical role of chromatin in the nucleus and how it affects major nuclear functions.

Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Develop purposed research directions as well establish new research directions.
  • Cell culture maintenance and preparation of cells for imaging.
  • Microscopy imaging and image analysis of cell samples on a daily basis.
  • Writing protocols and research publications for the lab.
  • Micromanipulation single nucleus isolation and force measurements.
  • Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean's strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.
  • Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Ph.D. in Biology, Cell Biology, Biophysics, or related disciplines.
  • Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Well-versed in microscopy imaging and analysis.
  • Knowledge of cell culture.
  • Molecular Biology skills (DNA/RNA purification, Western blots, Immunofluorescence).
  • Coding in Python (or other languages).
  • Work Schedule

    Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm, 40 hours a week.

    Salary Information

    Salary will commensurate with experience.

    Special Instructions to Applicants

    Submit a cover letter, resume, research interests in cell nuclear and morphology and mechanics (1-2 pages), and contact information for three professional references. Apply by June 1, 2021 in order to ensure priority consideration. Search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.

    As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (https://www.cns.umass.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion)

    UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

    Advertised: Apr 27 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
    Applications close:


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