BCL-2 family members are well recognized regulators of programmed cell death and are responsible
for regulating the homeostasis of tissues and defects in this pathway contribute to a variety of human
diseases. Myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 (MCL-1) is a unique anti-apoptotic molecule as its
expression is highly regulated and it plays critical roles in promoting the survival of a myriad of cellular
lineages. Recently, the Opferman laboratory revealed that in addition to its canonical role in
antagonizing cell death that MCL-1 also promotes normal mitochondrial function in cells. These
findings provide an attractive model for how both of MCL-1’s diverse functions may contribute to normal
cell homeostasis and function. Additionally, MCL-1 is a highly amplified gene in human cancer leading
to the possibility that both of these functional aspects may contribute to malignant cell growth and
evasion of apoptosis. Therefore, the Opferman laboratory is taking a multidisciplinary approach to
dissect mechanistically how these functions of MCL-1 are regulated and to understand how these
functional roles of MCL-1 contribute to normal development and oncogenesis.
This post-doctoral position is an ideal opportunity for enthusiastic candidates that have recently
earned/expect to earn a PhD and/or MD, have experience in cell biology, molecular biology, and
biochemical techniques. The strongest candidates will have demonstrated success in conducting
original research as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications.
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