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Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Associate to study cell cycle

Steven James sjames at gettysburg.edu
Sun May 26 21:38:49 EST 2002

Dear colleagues -

   Your assistance in disseminating the following postdoctoral advertisement will be greatly appreciated.  This is an unusual position that combines research with the opportunity to develop teaching skills at a prestigious liberal arts college in southern Pennsylvania.  This position is ideal for a molecular biologist seeking to prepare for a career at a predominantly undergraduate institution (PUI).

   Responses by e-mail are welcome.


   Steven James
   Associate Professor
   Biology Department
   Gettysburg College
   300 N. Washington St.
   Gettysburg, PA   17325


Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Associate

Molecular and cellular biology

Department of Biology, Gettysburg College

           A NSF-funded POSTDOCTORAL POSITION is available beginning August 2002 to study cell cycle control in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. We are investigating the Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK) and DDK-interacting proteins, with the goal of understanding (1) their roles in DNA synthesis and checkpoint control, and (2) how modulation of their expression/function may facilitate developmental changes leading to asexual sporulation.  The successful applicant will have completed a Ph.D in molecular biology, cell biology, or a related field with experience in protein biochemistry, cloning, and genomics.  Experience with filamentous fungi, yeast, or other microorganisms is highly desirable.

           The Associate will play a lead role in project design and execution, in student training/mentoring, in the writing of publications, and in presentations at professional conferences.  Opportunity to co-author grant proposals, portions of which may be transferred to the first tenure-track position, is anticipated. 

        The position will provide an ideal opportunity for a person committed to excellence in teaching who wishes to prepare for a career as a faculty member at a predominantly undergraduate institution (PUI), or smaller Ph.D department.  As part of a well-rounded pre-faculty training experience, the Associate will have the opportunity to teach in departmental courses during each year of the appointment, and to develop a course in their own specialty, if desired.

        Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.  Please send curriculum vitae, a description of research and teaching interests and qualifications, a list of undergraduate and graduate coursework, and the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of three references to: Dr. Steven W. James, Department of Biology, Gettysburg College, 300 N. Washington Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325.  These can be sent as e-mail attachments if convenient (e-mail: sjames at gettysburg.edu), so long as they are virus-free.  A more detailed project description and additional information about this position can be found below this message, and at http://www.gettysburg.edu/~sjames/postdoc.html.

        Gettysburg College is committed to creating a more diverse campus environment.  As part of that process, the College gives strong consideration to candidates from historically underrepresented groups.  The position offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits package.


    The Associate will participate in a NSF-funded project to investigate the control of DNA synthesis by Dbf4-dependent kinase.  In eukaryotes, Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK) triggers DNA synthesis at origins of replication by phosphorylating at least one component of the pre-replicative complex, Mcm2p.  This in turn leads to activation of the replicative DNA helicase and the subsequent unwinding of DNA and establishment of the replication fork.  In the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, DDK is composed of a regulatory subunit, nimODbf4, and a catalytic kinase subunit, cdc7asp.   The substrate of nimOp-cdc7p kinase is encoded by nimQMcm2.  A temperature sensitive mutation in the nimO gene (nimO18) blocks DNA synthesis and causes a checkpoint defect leading to aberrant mitosis in the absence of DNA replication.  These phenotypes are copied by a nimO deletion  (James et al., 1999).  Mutations in two additional genes, snoA and snoB (suppressor-of-nimO), partially alleviate th!
e heat sensitivity and checkpoint defect of the nimO18 mutation.  snoA suppressors act indirectly by stabilizing nimO18p or by elevating nimO18p levels, whereas snoB suppression may occur through direct association with nimO18p (James et al., unpublished).  The NSF project is devoted to isolating the snoA and snoB genes, and to defining molecular mechanisms by which snoAp and snoBp influence nimOp to control the onset of DNA synthesis.  Also, we will investigate the potential role of these genes to stimulate the increased cell cycling that occurs during asexual differentiation to form conidia.  Epitope-tagged nimO and cdc7asp alleles will be used to examine suppressor effects on nimOp cell cycle dynamics, including turnover, phosphorylation, localization, and changes in expression or function during asexual differentiation.  Development of a nimOp-cdc7p kinase assay, using the tagged alleles and Mcm2pnimQ as a substrate, will permit more detailed functional analyses of the Asp!
ergillus DDK and suppressors.

James, S.W., K.A. Bullock*, S.E. Gygax*, B.A. Kraynack*, J. A. MacLeod*,R.A.
     Matura*, K.K. McNeal*, K.A. Prasauckas*, P.C. Scacheri*, H.L. Shenefiel*,
     H.M. Tobin*, and S.D. Wade*.  1999.  nimO, an Aspergillus gene related to
     budding yeast Dbf4, is required for DNA synthesis and mitotic checkpoint
    control.  Journal of Cell Science 112: 1313-1324.


     Gettysburg College is a highly competitive national liberal arts college with over 2400 undergraduates.  Gettysburg College is among the top baccalaureate institutions in preparing students for a Ph.D in the life sciences.  The Biology Department offers a diverse curriculum taught by 10 full-time faculty.  Students may earn a B.A. or B.S. in Biology, or a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  A new 80,000 square foot science complex, being completed in July of 2002, will house the PI laboratory + radioisotope laboratory (with Packard Tri-Carb 2200 LSC, fully equipped for in vivo labeling and nucleic acid and protein electrophoresis/blotting; licensed for  3H, 32P, 33P, and 35S).  Other supporting facilities include electron microscope laboratory (Zeiss 109 TEM and new JEOL 5200 SEM), cold rooms,  darkroom/photolab, and media preparation lab.  The Biology Department has excellent instrumentation for cell and molecular biology research including ultracentrifuges (Bec!
kman TL-100 and new XL-100K), superspeed centrifuge (IEC B-22M), microplate spectrophotometer (Spectramax 250), fluorescence microscope (Nikon Optiphot), new gel photodocumentation and image analysis system, lyophilizer (Labconco Freezone 6 liter), and the PI maintains a fully equipped molecular genetics laboratory with high-end computers and bioinformatic software.

        Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is a community of 10,000 in a pastoral setting that hosts over 1 million visitors per year to the adjacent Gettysburg National Military Park.  Gettysburg is located 30 miles from the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, MD and 70 miles from Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C.  The cost of living in Gettysburg is modest and the quality of life is high.  This institution and community are excellent places to develop a PUI faculty career.


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