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Postdoctoral position in Molecular and Cellular biology (Voorhees Lab)

A postdoctoral position is available in the lab of Rebecca Voorhees in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

Work in the Voorhees lab is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of protein biosynthesis and quality control. We are particularly interested in how proteins are synthesized, transported to the correct cellular compartment, and ultimately assembled into functional complexes. Additionally, we study the coupled surveillance pathways that recognize and degrade aberrant protein and mRNA products that fail during any step of their maturation. Our work focuses on mammalian systems, where we use a combination of in vitro, in vivo, and structural approaches to elucidate new pathways responsible for the coordination and regulation of protein biosynthesis and degradation.

We are now seeking a postdoctoral candidate to probe the molecular basis of membrane protein biogenesis in the endoplasmic reticulum. Aspects of this work will involve experiments in two systems: cell free translation extracts and mammalian tissue culture. The successful candidate will spearhead the design and generation of fluorescent reporters in mammalian cell culture and use genetic and biochemical strategies to identify new factors involved in protein biosynthesis and quality control. Previous training in cell biology, and experience in generating stable mammalian cell lines and using lentiviral expression systems is an advantage.

The following papers illustrate the system:

Voorhees, R.M., Hegde, R.S. (2016) "Structure of the Sec61 channel opened by a signal sequence."Science, 351(6268): 88-91.

Voorhees, R.M., Hegde, R.S. (2015) "Structures of the scanning and engaged states of the mammalian SRP-ribosome complex." eLife, 4.

Voorhees, R.M.†*, Fernández, I.S.*, Scheres, S.H., Hegde, R.S. (2014) "Structure of the mammalian ribosome-Sec61 complex to 3.4 Å resolution." Cell, 157(7): 1632-43.


Applications are encouraged from talented and motivated individuals who have a Ph.D. or are nearing completion of their Ph.D. with experience in cell biology, mammalian cell culture, biochemistry, and other types of mechanistic biology. Interest or experience in the design and execution of genome-wide screens and generation of stable mammalian cell lines is desirable. Top candidates will have a strong track record of research productivity, excellent communication skills, enthusiasm for basic research and a collegial approach to science. Candidates should send a cover letter, a detailed curriculum vitae, and names and contact details for three references to voorhees@caltech.edu

Start Date and Project Duration

The start date is flexible and depends on the candidate. Preference is for candidates who can start in 2020/2021. The position is funded for two years and potentially longer depending on progress.

The California Institute of Technology

Caltech is consistently ranked among the top research universities in the world and hosts a diverse and collaborative scientific community. Caltech is located in Pasadena, California, a vibrant city 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. More info about the Voorhees lab: voorheeslab.caltech.edu

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.