Please submit complete application material to Suzette Rodriguez at email@example.com
The Glial and Glioma Stem Cell Laboratory led by Claudia Petritsch, PhD, focuses on oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) and glioma cells and addresses how OPCs decide on whether to self-renew or differentiate and how cell fate decisions are derailed in gliomagenesis. Ultimately, we aim to define the molecular networks that control cell fate in the brain and how these networks are disrupted in diseases to favor proliferation and self-renewal at the expense of differentiation. Such studies have the potential to identify novel disruption points, to which therapies for glia cell pathologies, including glioma and demyelinating diseases, can be targeted. We incorporate a wide range of in vitro and in vivo, molecular and cellular approaches, including single cell analyses by RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, genome editing, live cell imaging and in situ tissue analyses using novel cell fate assays. We have access to patient-derived cells, novel transgenic mouse models and derivative cell lines. We strive to develop novel models for gliomagenesis that faithfully recapitulate the human condition and have high predictive power in preclinical testing.
The candidate will address one or more of the following projects:
- Molecular and cellular mechanistic analyses of asymmetric cell division in OPCs using a candidate gene approach. Candidates are from an expression screen, that was recently conducted in the laboratory. This work is expected to reveal the underlying mechanism for cell fate decisions in the brain.
- Generate novel tools to study asymmetric divisions. Genome editing and live cell imaging approaches will be combined with microfluidics and single cell RNA-seq analyses, to unravel the molecular network that controls the earliest steps of differentiation. This project should reveal novel regulators of self-renewal and stem and progenitor cell differentiation.
- Defining the contribution of OPCs to the origin of cancer stem cells and therapy resistance. We are currently developing transgenic mouse models with OPC-driven expression of oncogenic drivers, including but not limited to BRAFV600E, to address to which extent OPCs can give rise to cancer stem cells. These studies are expected to yield important insights into the underlying causes for progression and therapy resistance in gliomas.
- Define the mechanism for OPC and oligodendrocyte defects in the human brain. We aim to establish ex vivo and in situ tools to study human OPCs and oligodendrocytes at different ages (young vs. old) and distinguish them from neoplastic and differentiation-defective OPCs and oligodendrocytes from diseased human brains. Data from this project will improve our understanding of the heterogeneity of oligodendrocytes and their role in various pathologies.
- A PhD in relevant areas.
- Experience in one or more of the following: transgenic mouse work, aseptic cell biology techniques (preferably with primary cell cultures), single cell analyses (preferably RNA-seq, ATAC seq), fluorescence time lapse imaging and data analyses, genome editing, multiplex tissue analyses (CyTOF, MIBI)
- Ability to carry out independent research
- Competitive publication record
- Willingness to apply for fellowships
- Strong written and verbal communications skills
Please address the following material to Claudia Petritsch, PhD, and email to Suzette Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cover letter
- Names for three references or letters
- Optional: A short research proposal explaining why the candidate is applying to the laboratory
- Optional: A list of specific qualifications for the projects and areas in which the candidate wants to gain novel experience
- Optional: A description of past achievements