Postdoc (NIH-funded): Cell & Dev Biology of Catenins in Neurons - How are Dendrites Shaped?

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Houston, TX

ID: 7063198
Posted: January 22, 2020
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

We seek a creative and productive individual who has a beginning or ongoing interest in neuron cell & dev biology. For initial studies, some familiarity with cell culture, immuno-precipitations/ running gels and microscopy would be a plus. The applicant should be finishing their PhD soon or have recently completed it. We are probing the biology of catenin proteins in asking the following question: how are dendrite morphologies generated? The shaping of dendrites must take place properly for normal neuron connectivity to arise in the central nervous system, with alterations contributing to pathologies including mental retardation and dementia. Through the binding of novel protein-partners, we discovered that delta-catenin regulates the branching and length of dendrites. We propose to identify both the upstream pathways involved (e.g. ligands and kinases), and the downstream mediators (e.g. cytoskeletal modulators) that promote these dramatic branching versus lengthening outcomes. We will additionally examine related catenin proteins and their complexes. Laboratory members can select from a number of experimental systems including primary rat hippocampal neurons, mammalian cell lines, and frog embryos, plus undertake collaborative ventures involving other models. Pierre McCrea PhD (PI) has extensive mentorship experience. Prior trainees have gone on to successful academic as well as other rewarding scientific careers.

Environment. The Texas Medical Center in Houston houses UT MDACC and multiple other top-flight scientific institutions within walking distance (Baylor College of Medicine; UT Health Science Center; Rice University; Methodist Research Institute; TX A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology), or within bicycling distance (U Houston). This immense depth of collaborators/ programs/ cores insures a cutting-edge research/ ideas environment. Houston boasts a diverse culture near the Gulf Coast, and affordable living in our nation’s fourth largest city. MDACC offers well-regarded professional development opportunities and benefits. This is an NIH pay-scale position.

Please send:
1) Cover letter or email stating your general career objectives and research interests
2) NIH-Biosketch or CV
3) Names of three references

Pierre McCrea, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Genetics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston TX 77030 / 713.834.6277
McCrea Lab Website at

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability or veteran status except where such distinction is required by law. All positions at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center are security sensitive and subject to examination of criminal history record information. Smoke-free and drug-free environment.


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