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Post Doc Research Fellow Lab - Yakoub Lab

University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND

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Position Information: DescriptionUniversity Of North Dakota School Of Medicine And Health Sciences, Department Of Biomedical Sciences, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Position #00014978 & #00014583

A postdoctoral position is available to study the molecular mechanisms of devastating neurodevelopmental and neuroviral diseases (e.g. autism, Zika virus brain infection, cytomegalovirus-associated microcephaly, or potential SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) brain pathology), using cutting edge technologies such as stem-cell derived human neurons, human brain organoids and engineered KO/KI humanized mouse models, in the Laboratory of Prof. Abraam Yakoub, in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of North Dakota.

Our previous work, along with our collaborators, has led to multiple seminal discoveries, spanning basic and translational sciences, and has been featured by top scientific journals and media such as Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, the AAAS EurekAlert, Drug Target Review, The Independent, The Atlantic, The Daily Mail, Pharmazeutisch Zeitung and others. Examples of our work include:

(i) Viral Pathogenesis Mechanisms: We mapped out some of the essential machinery required for entry and egress of herpes virus into, and from, the cells using cell culture, mouse and ex-vivo human organ models (J Virol 2014, 88(21):12915-22; Nature Communications 2015, 6:6985; PLoS One. 2014, 9(2):e87302). We also investigated in depth the various distinct functions played by autophagy in innate immune responses to viral infections (Sci Rep 2015, 5:9730; Sci Rep 2015, 5:12985; PLoS One 2015, 10(4):e0124646)

(ii) Antiviral Therapies Development: including a highly potent antiviral drug that showed dramatically greater efficacy over existing antivirals that are in medical use today, a therapeutic peptide and a nanotherapy (Sci Transl Med 2018; 10(428):eaan5861; J Virol 2015, 89(3):1932-8; J Immunol 2016, 196(11):4566-75)

(iii) Developing Human Brain Organoid Models to Study Neurodevelopmental Disorders: e.g. an optimized methodology to build an in-vitro human brain like 3D tissue (cerebral organoids, or “human mini-brains in a dish”) using advanced bioengineering techniques in human stem cells (Cell Transplant 2018, 27(3):393-406; Neural Regen Res 2019, 14(5):757-761; Cell Transplant 2019, 28(9-10):1173-1182)

Duties & ResponsibilitiesThis postdoc position will address some of the most important questions in science and medicine today, using cutting-edge tools, including CRISPR-Cas gene editing, stem cells, and organoid and mouse models. This research is likely to give rise to paradigm-shifting fundamental discoveries and impactful publications in outstanding scientific journals. Therefore, this is a great opportunity for a highly motivated ambitious junior scientist who wants to advance to an excellent academic (tenure-track faculty), or attractive industrial leadership, position in the future.

An ideal candidate would be a confident neurobiologist well-equipped and published in neurobiology/neuroscience concepts and techniques, who wants to apply his/her expertise, learn about viral pathogenesis and stem-cell models, and bridge together these areas in investigating the viral causes of brain diseases, currently a “hot” topic in science.

Minimum Requirements
  • PhD earned or expected to be earned in ~6 months
  • Publications, or expected publications, in peer reviewed journals
  • Successful completion of criminal history records check.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the US and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Knowledge and skills in neurobiology or related areas is required, plus experience working with mouse models, brain histology, imaging, synaptic assays, protein-protein interactions and/or electrophysiology.
  • Critical and independent thinking skills and motivation (being self-driven) are essential for success in this position. A great range of freedom will be given to thoughtful mature scientists.
  • Evidence of productivity.
Minimum Hiring Salary

Commensurate with experience.

To ApplyApplicants MUST submit the following with their applications:

(1) a full Curriculum Vitae that includes education or other academic appointments, complete publication record and research skills

(2) a brief statement of research interests

(3) contact information for three references.

Review of applications will begin on 09/9/2021. Position is open until filled.

Additional Information

To find out why living and working in Greater Grand Forks is way cooler, check out Grand Forks is Cooler.

All information listed in this position announcement will be used by Human Resources, the Hiring Department, and EO/Title IX for screening, interviewing and selection purposes.

Confidentiality of Application Materials

Pursuant to NDCC 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications that identify an applicant are confidential, except records related to the finalists of the position, which are open to the public after the search committee has identified the top three finalists who will be invited to campus.

EEO Statement

The University of North Dakota is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or other protected characteristic. Women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants are invited to provide information regarding their gender, race and/or ethnicity, veteran’s status and disability status as part of the application process. This information will remain confidential and separate from your application.

Veteran’s Preference

Veterans claiming preference must submit all proof of eligibility by the closing date. Proof of eligibility includes a DD-214 or NGB 22 and if claiming disabled status, a current letter of disability from the VA dated within the last 12 months.

Clery Statement

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the University of North Dakota publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The report includes the university’s policies, procedures, and programs concerning safety and security, as well as three years of crime statistics for our campus. As a prospective employee, you are entitled to a copy of this report. The report and statistical data can be found online at You may also request a paper copy of the report from the UND Police Department located at 3851 Campus Road, Grand Forks, ND, 58202.


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