Two postdoctoral associate/research scientist positions are available at The Ohio State University/Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, OH) to study hepatitis E virus (HEV) life cycle and pathogenesis. HEV causes both acute and persistent infections in humans resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. We study HEV life cycle, immunity and pathogenesis using state-of-the-art cell culture and animal models. HEV is unusual because it circulates in the bloodstream as ‘quasi-enveloped’ virions without being detected by neutralizing antibodies. We study how HEV usurps cellular membrane trafficking pathways to aid in its noncytolyic egress and how quasi-enveloped HEV particles infect cells. For this project, a strong background in virology and cell biology is required. We recently discovered a secreted ORF2 protein in HEV that plays an immunomodulatory role. Thus, a second project involves detailed characterization of the structure and function of this secreted ORF2 protein. For this project, a strong background in structural biology and/or immunology is preferred. The HEV research in the Feng lab has been continuously funded by the NIH. Our goal is to gain a deep understanding of how HEV uses only 3 viral proteins to establish persistent infection in cells and in the host. Our research is largely hypothesis-driven with a strong emphasis on discovering novel paradigms in fundamental biology. Highly motivated candidates with strong critical thinking and experimental skills are encouraged to apply. Interested candidates are encouraged to read key publications relevant to these projects (Feng et al., Nature, 2013, Feng & Lemon, Trends Microbiol, 2014; Feng et al., Annu Rev Virol, 2014, Yin et al., J Virol. 2016, Yin et al., PNAS, 2018).
The successful candidate is expected to have excellent technical and communication skills, perform self-directed research, and assist the PI in preparing manuscripts and grant applications.
Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent with strong research experience in molecular biology, virology, or cell biology. Applicants with experience in RNA Seq, proteomics, and/or bioinformatics are particularly encouraged to apply. Competitive salary will be commensurate with experience (NIH recommended salary for postdocs). Interested applicants should submit a single PDF file consisting of a CV, a brief description of their research achievements and interests, and arrange three references to Dr. Zongdi Feng (Zongdi.Feng@nationwidechildrens.org).