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The Cooper lab is seeking a cell biologist with interests in live-cell imaging to study adhesion dynamics during cell movement.
Tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent protein ubiquitination regulates cell-matrix adhesion dynamics and movement of epithelial sheets. We know that tyrosine phosphorylation of specific adhesion proteins destabilizes adhesions. We found that phosphorylation also ubiquitin ligases to adhesions and that inhibiting ligase recruitment stimulates adhesion disassembly. This suggests a cycle of protein binding, phosphorylation, ubiquitination and destruction that regulates adhesion growth. In principle, this mechanism regulates the balance between adhesion assembly and disassembly, and potentially could ensure that adhesions grow at the leading edge and shrink behind. Nevertheless, the sequence of events in individual adhesions has not been determined. The in vivo significance of these regulatory events is also unknown.
Our present efforts are directed to:
Measure the dynamics of protein appearance in and disappearance from focal adhesions and build a quantitative model for adhesion assembly and disassembly.
Use optogenetics to artificially recruit, exclude or activate specific regulatory proteins and establish the molecular mechanism.
Extend the in vitro observations to in vivo development or disease systems.
Candidates will be encouraged to build on these ideas and develop new directions for their research projects.
Successful applicants will hold a PhD or MD and have extensive experience and interest in cell and/or developmental biology. In addition, applicants should have a 2+ years of experience working on projects in mammalian molecular, cellular or developmental biology. Hands on experience with cell imaging or murine developmental biology is desirable. The candidate should be enthusiastic, scientifically rigorous and inquisitive. Since the Cooper lab is small, the candidate will need the technical skills, confidence and drive it takes to start new directions. The candidate will be responsible for all aspects of their research project. They must be able to function independently and also be highly collaborative. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential.
To apply please submit your CV, a cover letter detailing your research interests and suitability for this position, and the names of at least two references.
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At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Researchers are discovering new ways to detect cancers earlier, improve treatments, and learn how to prevent cancers from growing. Although Fred Hutchinson opened its doors in 1975, its history began about 20 years before that. In 1962 Fred Hutchinson envisioned a center devoted to studying cancer, a disease that took his brother’s life. Today Fred Hutchinson is contributing to the next waves of breakthrough treatments and prevention strategies. Fred Hutchinson collaborates with the Seattle Cancer Alliance, the National Cancer Institute, and the University of Washington.