Two postdoctoral associate positions are available to study fundamental
aspects of development, focusing on the following two projects.
Characterize the receptor for a cell density
sensing factor in Dictyostelium.
We previously found that Dictyostelium
cells sense the density of cells of one type using a secreted 80 kD
glycoprotein; this is essentially the eukaryotic equivalent of a quorum
sensor. The cells sense this factor using a novel 2-transmembrane
Opportunities are available to characterize the basic biochemistry of this
receptor, determine the functional domains of the receptor, and elucidate its
signal transduction pathway.
Mechanisms for counting cell number
When Dictyostelium cells starve, they
form aggregates of roughly 20,000 cells. To determine how the cells can sense
their number, we isolated mutants which have an abnormal number of cells in
the aggregates. We found a mutant which oversecretes a factor the cells use to
sense the number of cells in a group. The factor is a 450 kD complex of
polypeptides (Brock and Gomer, Genes&Development. 13, 1960-1969.
(1999)). Opportunities are available to study both this novel cell number counting
factor and its sensory transduction pathway, determine the effect of
disrupting the genes encoding each of the components of the factor, whether
the remaining components are secreted in a disruptant, the stoichiometry of
the factor components, and the binding kinetics to each other.
Applicants should be within two months of
obtaining their Ph.D., or have received their Ph.D. within the last two
years. Send CV and cover letter
by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or send by regular mail to
Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology,
6100 S. Main Street
Houston, TX 77005-1892