Research Opportunities

Postdoctoral Position Available
Laurie S. Kaguni Lab
Michigan State University, U.S.A.: http://www.bmb.msu.edu/faculty/kagunil.htm
and Institute of Biomedical Technology, University of Tampere, Finland:
http://www.uta.fi/ibt/institute/research/kaguni

Biophysical Analysis of the Mitochondrial Replisome

A major challenge to understand the various mechanisms by which replication machines work is to understand how these replisomes are assembled. This project involves structural analysis of a key component of the mitochondrial replisome, the oligomeric mitochondrial replicative DNA helicase. We are currently pursuing approaches that include X-ray crystallography and 3D electron microscopy on various helicase forms. We are also exploring interactions with the two other known components of the mitochondrial replisome, the mitochondrial replicase pol γ and the single-stranded DNA-binding protein, using a variety of biophysical approaches. These studies should provide a framework for understanding the myriad human disease mutations that localize to protein components of the mitochondrial replisome.

Applicants for the postdoctoral position should have a documented record of productivity in molecular genetics or biochemistry research. Experience working in a team environment with good time management and multi-tasking skills is expected, plus the ability to guide and supervise more junior personnel. Applicants should submit a statement of research interests and qualifications, curriculum vitae and the names and contact details of three academic referees to lskaguni@msu.edu.

Postdoctoral Position Available
Institute of Biomedical Technology
University of Tampere, Finland

Nuclear-mitochondrial Interactions in Drosophila Models of Human Disease
Collaborative Project of the FinMIT Centre of Excellence in Research on Mitochondrial Disease and Ageing
http://www.uta.fi/ibt/finmit/

Laurie S. Kaguni and Howard T. Jacobs, PIs

Our studies in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster have provided evidence that the phenotypic effects of several different mutations that lead to OXPHOS defects can be suppressed partially by specific genetic backgrounds. Such suppression may be linked to increased expression and/or copy number of the mitochondrial genome. This collaborative project, funded by the Academy of Finland, builds upon these observations, by carrying out a study of the interactions of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from wild Drosophila strains, their association with copy number and effects on phenotype, including interactions with the enzymatic machinery of mtDNA replication and expression. In a second project area, we will probe mtDNA replication in vivo in normal and disease-related states, to gain insight into mechanisms by which mtDNA copy number is regulated. These studies should provide a paradigm for understanding nuclear-mitochondrial interactions in human health and disease.

Applicants for the postdoctoral position should have a documented record of productivity in molecular genetics or biochemistry research. Experience working in a team environment with good time management and multi-tasking skills is expected, plus the ability to guide and supervise more junior personnel. Applicants should submit a statement of research interests and qualifications, curriculum vitae and the names and contact details of three academic referees to laurie.s.kaguni@uta.fi or howard.t.jacobs@uta.fi.