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Job Title

Field

Department

Principle Investigator

Post-doctoral associate Human Evolutionary Genetics and Epigenetics Anthropology Laboratory of Connie Mulligan

 

Job Description

Post-doctoral position to work on two ongoing NSF and internally funded projects:

1) Investigation of an epigenetic mechanism to mediate the effects of maternal stress on maternal and infant health in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We are testing for associations between maternal stress exposures, newborn health outcomes and changes in DNA methylation and gene expression in mothers and their infants. More broadly, we are interested in the idea that mechanisms may have evolved to allow the genome to respond to psychosocial stressors, specifically behavior and complex phenotypes may be shaped by early life experiences that alter gene expression through epigenetic alterations. Samples and data have already been collected and research is funded by a newly awarded NSF grant. See http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.4161/epi.21180 and http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12487/epdf.

2) Investigation of genetic, epigenetic, and biological signatures of war trauma exposures and impact of a program intervention in Syrian refugees. This is a collaboration with Catherine Panter-Brick (Anthropology, Yale University) and Rana Dajani (Hashemite University, Jordan) to integrate genetic and epigenetic analyses into an ongoing study to measure the health effects of a program intervention to reduce psychosocial stress in Syrian refugees. Genetic variants are assayed to predict the impact of past stress exposures and the effects of the program intervention on self-reported mental health. Epigenetic variants will be tested as possible mediators of the effect of stress on mental health outcomes. See project website at http://www.elrha.org/map-location/yale-psychosocial-call2/. In addition, samples are currently being collected for an intergenerational study to investigate the epigenetic impacts in offspring of war-exposed mothers and grandmothers. The bigger question is to determine if environmentally-induced methylation changes are heritable across two generations in humans.

Qualifications

A PhD, good publication record, and strong background in the generation of genetic data (microarray, gene expression, NGS, SNP detection) and data analysis (gene association analysis, regression analysis, genetic ancestry estimation, linkage analysis, etc) are essential. A background in evolutionary genetics and experience with methylation data (Illumina chips, pyrosequencing, etc), RNA sequence/gene expression array data and/or additional computational or bioinformatics experience (e.g. computer programming, simulation analysis, etc) is a plus. Candidates who speak French or Swahili are encouraged to apply. In addition to the projects listed above, there are excellent opportunities for the successful candidate to develop new lines of research as well as productive collaborations outside the lab.

The University of Florida is a leading research institution with a university-wide commitment to genetics research. The Department of Anthropology (www.anthro.ufl.edu) has 30 full-time faculty with diverse interests and is one of the top rated programs in the country (6th among public institutions, 11th overall). The University of Florida Genetics Institute (www.ufgi.ufl.edu) is an inter-college institute with a dedicated research building intended to enhance opportunities for collaboration. Gainesville is located in north central Florida (away from the hurricanes!), with average temperatures ranging from 45F to 90F. Beaches on the gulf and Atlantic coast are ~ 1½ hours away.

To Apply

Via email, send a CV, statement of research interests, and names and contact information for three references. Applications and inquiries should be addressed to Connie Mulligan at cmulligan@ufl.edu.

Review of materials will begin March 31 and will continue until the position is filled. Start date is flexible and the successful candidate can begin as early as May, 2017. Salary is commensurate with experience. Position may be extended for a total of three years. Informal inquiries prior to submitting a formal application are welcome. AA/EOE.