Characterizing the molecular machinery of cancer cells at the nexus of translation, metabolism, & signaling

A post-doctoral research fellow position is available to study the molecular mechanisms by which impairments in accurate control of mRNA translation, cell growth, and overall cellular protein synthesis rates lead to cancer. The potential candidate will utilize the first mouse models for components of the translation machinery in combination with novel proteomics and pharmacological strategies to study the dynamics of translation control in gene expression, cancer, and disease. Highly motivated individuals with a recent Ph.D., M.D. or Ph.D/M.D and a background in mouse genetics, biochemistry, or cellular and molecular biology are encouraged to apply. Evidence of scientific accomplishment is required and bioinformatics skills are desirable. Requests should be addressed to: and
A Research Technician position is currently available to study the molecular mechanisms that contribute to cancer development. The employee will have the opportunity to publish their research in preeminent scientific journals such as Cell, Nature, Cancer Cell, and Molecular Cell. Previous employees holding this position have successfully obtained entrance into some of the most prestigious medical schools and graduate schools in the country. 

Absolute Qualifications: Highly motivated individuals who have clearly demonstrated a passion for scientific research holding a recent B.A. or B.S. (but not M.S.) in relevant fields such as biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, etc. Applicants must have a GPA higher than 3.4 to be eligible. Previous independent laboratory experience outside of required courses is mandatory; experience in computational analysis, RNA biology and experience with handling mice is highly preferred. Applicant should be an effective communicator, be able to take the initiative to address research issues, be able to work independently, be detail-oriented and organized, and also be a team player that works well with other members of the lab. Applicant must exhibit a strong commitment to performing scientific research and desire to pursue a Ph.D. in biological sciences. A two-year commitment is highly preferred. Only applicants who can provide three professional letters of reference on their research capability from academic professionals will be considered for the position.

Preferred qualifications: Proficiency in MS Office and Adobe software including Word, Excel, Photoshop, Illustrator and PowerPoint. 

Responsibilities and technical expertise: The employee will work very closely with and receive training from postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and clinical fellows within the lab. Primary job duties include: performing experiments utilizing western blot analysis, RNA isolation, PCR, tissue culture, mouse genotyping, immunohistochemistry, and mouse dissection. Secondary duties include: laboratory organization, ordering, and ensuring safety compliance.

Resume (containing names and contact information of professional references) and cover letter should be sent to: christine.milentis at 
Cancer has historically been studied as a problem whereby a series of specific molecular lesions in signaling components or individual genes imbues a normal cell with immortal features. On the contrary, for decades, critical perceived “housekeeping” complexes such as the ribosome or translation initiation complexes have largely been thought to act as backstage participants in directing how the cancer genome is functionally expressed into proteins.

We embarked on an ambitious multidisciplinary approach, developing the first genetic loss and gain-of function mouse models of distinct components of the translation initiation machinery in combination with new quantitative measures of the translational landscape of gene regulation, to pave a fundamental new way of thinking about the origins of cancer. In particular, this research has revealed that the core translation machinery is rewired in cancer cells to directly cause cellular transformation. This realization opened the door for novel therapies to eradicate cancer that would otherwise not have been thought possible.

Most importantly, our research has lead to the realization that the ribosome and core translation initiation machinery do not just simply carry out “housekeeping roles”, but are, rather, an intimate part of cell signaling and possess intrinsic regulation in gene expression. Together, our research efforts seek to define how alterations in the translational machinery in cancer elicits control over expression of individual mRNAs and how a novel code of 5'UTR sequence elements tightly control protein production in normal and transformed cells.