While it has been known for some time that both cellular and viral mRNAs are subject to post-transcriptional modifications that do not change their inherent coding capacity, the importance of these “epitranscriptomic” changes as regulators of gene expression has only recently come into focus. The most prevalent epitranscriptomic mark is addition of a methyl group to the N6 position of adenosine (m6A) and this modification is not only essential for embryonic viability and development in both plants and animals but also greatly influences viral replication, as documented, for example, in a recent publication from this laboratory (1) and discussed in more detail in a recent review from my group (2). The field of viral epitranscriptomics, while clearly important for understanding viral gene regulation, is nevertheless currently at a very early stage of development. As a result, this area of research offers a tremendous opportunity for a postdoc to contribute to an emerging but clearly important area of research that they eventually will be able to take with them when they start their own research group.
Candidates should be less than two years out from their Ph.D and should have documented expertise in the fields of virology and/or molecular biology. I will require three letters of reference and a copy of the applicant’s CV. If interested, please apply online at https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/9170.
1. Kennedy EM, Bogerd HP, Kornepati AV, Kang D, Ghoshal D, Marshall JB, Poling BC, Tsai K, Gokhale NS, Horner SM, Cullen BR. (2016) Posttranscriptional m(6)A editing of HIV-1 mRNAs enhances viral gene expression. Cell Host Microbe; 19: 675-685. PMCID: PMC4867121.
2. Kennedy EM, Courtney DG, Tsai K & Cullen BR. (2017) Viral Epitranscriptomics. J Virol; 91. PMCID: PMC5391447.
Bryan R. Cullen, Ph.D., D.Sc.
James B. Duke Professor
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Director, Duke University Center for Virology
Duke University Medical Center, Box 3025
213 Research Dr., Room 0036 CARL Building
Durham, NC 27710