postdoctoral position

John McCusker mccusker at ABACUS.MC.DUKE.EDU
Thu May 1 13:19:47 EST 1997

Postdoctoral Position:
A postdoctoral position is available to study quantitative genetics and/or
fungal pathogenesis.  A combination of novel genetic and molecular
approaches are being used to study these processes using S. cerevisiae as a
model system: Genetics (1994) 136: 1261-1269; J. Infec. Dis. (1994) 169:
859-867; Nature Genetics (1993) 4: 11-18; Infec. Immun. (1994) 62:
5447-5455; Infec. Immun. (1995) 63: 478-485.

One of the barriers to the genetic analysis of fungal pathogenesis has been
the relative (compared to S. cerevisiae) genetic intractability of the
pathogenic fungi.  S. cerevisiae is not only a model eukaryote, this
species is also a close relative of many pathogenic fungi and is an
opportunistic pathogen in its own right.  There is an immense S. cerevisiae
database, which includes the complete genome sequence, and yeast genetics
is very highly developed.  Therefore, we can now use both standard yeast
genetics techniques as well as novel technologies, such as whole genome
analysis (e.g. Nature Genetics 14: 450-456 (1996)), to study fungal

Quantitative genetics is the study of complex traits, i.e. polygenic with
primarily additive interactions between loci.  Since most of the genotypic
diversity/phenotypic variation in natural populations is quantitative in
nature, quantitative genetics is of considerable fundamental importance.
Quantitative genetics has been most extensively studied in higher
eukaryotes where detailed molecular analysis can be difficult.  One of the
goals of the quantitative genetics aspect of research in my laboratory is
the development of S. cerevisiae as a microbial model for quantitative
genetics.  Quantitative genetics is highly relevant to fungal pathogenesis
because the differences in virulence phenotype between virulent S.
cerevisiae clinical isolates and the avirulent laboratory/reference strain
genetic background are quantitative in nature, e.g. the ability to grow at
high temperatures.  Therefore, quantitative genetic analysis will help us
understand the emergence of an opportunistic pathogen from a harmless

Extensive molecular biology expertise is required and experience with
yeast/fungal genetics is highly desirable.  Duke is an EOAAE.  Applicants
who are not U.S. citizens/permanent residents should provide current visa
status.  Please send resum=E9 by e-mail with the names of three references

Dr. John H. McCusker
Dept. of Microbiology, 3020
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710
e-mail: mccusker at abacus.mc.duke.edu

John H. McCusker, Asst. Prof.
Dept. of Microbiology, 3020
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710

phone:  (919) 681-6744
fax:    (919) 684-8735
e-mail: mccusker at abacus.mc.duke.edu

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