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Postdoctoral Fellow in Virology
Boston College, Biology Department in Boston, Massachusetts
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Date Posted January 16, 2020
Employment Type Full-time
Application Deadline Open until filled

Postdoctoral Fellow in Virology

We recently discovered that viruses have genes that are mimicking the human hormones. The role of these microbial hormones in human disease including cancer, diabetes and autoimmune disorders is unknown. Focusing on viral insulin/IGF-1 like peptides (VILPs), we showed that VILPs are active ligands of human insulin and IGF-1 receptors.

The main goal of our lab is to better understand the role of these viral hormones in (i) host-pathogen interactions (ii) human health and disease and (iii) characterize these microbial hormones to better understand hormone action to make better therapeutic hormones like insulin. In addition to the potential effects on metabolism and physiology of the host, these microbial mimickers have the potential to cause autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes. To this end, we initially focus on two different but related projects: (a) characterization of viral insulins and their role in diabetes and cancer and (b) exploring the role of the microbiome in type 1 diabetes onset. Our work uses a combination of molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, virology, tissue culture studies, mouse models of diabetes analysis of human samples and bioinformatics to better understand how microbial mimics function in microbe survival, host biology, and diabetes.



• Appointee recently awarded a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate (e.g., Sc.D., M.D.) in Virology, Microbiology or a related field.

• The ability to perform creative and independent research

• Experience with large dsDNA viruses and basic virology assays (plaque, isolation, infection, apoptosis, proliferation…)

• Experience with cloning, making viral knock out models of viruses; bacterial artificial chromosome and/or CRISPR

• Experience with basic experiments, isolating DNA, RNA and protein from tissues and cells, qPCR and Western Blot, microscopy.

• Experience of mammalian cell culture of primary cells and cell lines

• Transfection of animal models and cell lines using AAV and lentivirus models.

• Demonstrated scientific excellence; evidenced by publication track record as well as track record of presenting at national and international meetings.

• Experience with cloning

• Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

• Good interpersonal skills, being a good citizen/colleague in the lab.

Highly desired:

• Experience with bioinformatics (R)

• Experience with RNAseq

• Experience with virome research and next-generation sequencing library preparation/analysis is highly desired.


Altindis lab is based at Boston College Biology Department. Our Department provides, state-of-the-art support facilities including core laboratories for Imaging, Sequencing, Mass Spectrometry, FACS analysis. We also have an animal room at out Animal Care Facility. We offer a remarkable training including the opportunity to collaborate with top scientists in the world. Because Dr. Altindis is an Adjunct investigator position at Joslin Diabetes Center (Harvard Medical School), the postdoc will be able to use Joslin Core facilities and will have close collaborations.

• The appointment is temporary and the initial contract will be for one year that will be extended every year, typically up to 3 years

• The postdoc is expected to apply for independent funding opportunities and awards during his/her stay in the lab

• The appointment involves substantial full-time research and may include mentoring students in the laboratory

• The appointment is typically viewed as preparatory for a full-time academic and/or research position.

• The appointee works under the mentorship of Dr. Altindis but can be co-mentored by other mentors if needed.

• The appointee is expected to prepare manuscripts and publish the results of his or her research during the period of the appointment and/or to have publications in press or under review during this period.

• The appointee is expected to help preparation of the laboratory’s grant applications and apply to postdoctoral fellowships.

• The appointee will be supported to join to one national or international meeting every year as she/he has enough data to apply.

The positions are available from October 2019. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the positions are filled, and the salary will be based on the NIH scale. More information: https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/schools/mcas/departments/biology/people/faculty-directory/Emrah-Altindis.html

The application should be addressed to altindis@bc.edu and contain

1. Letter of motivation with a short description of your previous research and why you consider you are a good match for the position.

2. Curriculum vitae, including a description of relevant skills and experiences, as well as a full publication list.

3. Names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers to 3 reference persons.


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