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Li Lab Postdoctoral Position

A postdoctoral researcher position or staff scientist (research assistant professor) position is available in the laboratory of Dr. Xin Li, Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester Center for RNA Biology, Genome to Therapeutics, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and Department of Urology. Research in the Li Lab ( is at the interface of reproductive and RNA biology.

Our lab studies RNA-mediated epigenetic regulation in male germ cells. DNA is not the only information carrier. Epigenetic information carried by RNA, DNA methylation, histone codes, or three-dimensional nuclear structures also affects individual phenotypes. These epigenetic markers change with age, lifestyle, and environmental exposure. Plant small RNAs have been shown to provide the sequence specificity to establish and maintain epigenetic status across generations, the exact counterpart in animal has not been found. We strive to understand how various germ-line RNAs prepare and shape epigenetic information flowing across generations.

We are adopting an interdisciplinary approach that includes genetics, epigenetics, RNA biochemistry, reproductive biology, early embryology, and bioinformatics, and testing our findings across different model organisms including mammals and birds. Currently, our ongoing projects are centering on piRNA regulation in germ cells. Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) is a group of small non-coding RNAs that are highly expressed in the germ line and are essential for human fertility. In addition to piRNAs that protect the germ-line genome from transposon activation, mammals and avian produce a distinct and abundant set of non-repetitive piRNA sequences whose function is unknown. We want to understand: 1) how piRNAs are produced? 2) How do piRNA functions? 3) How are new piRNAs originated during evolution?

Required Qualifications

  • A Ph.D. or equivalent experience
  • At least one first-author publication
  • Previous postdoctoral experiences are preferred
  • Good communication and organization skills
  • A background on RNA biochemistry or microscopy is preferred

Rochester Center for RNA Biology is a mecca for RNA researchers, with a long history of nurturing RNA biologists and discoveries. According to The Scientist magazine’s annual survey of “Best Places to Work for Scientists in Academia”, the University of Rochester was ranked as one of the top 15 institutions in the nation. The city of Rochester is a highly livable community with access to outdoor activities and a strong cultural environment without the hassles of a big city.

Please provide a cover letter describing your past projects and career goals. Please also describe what you hope to get out of  this  position  and  what  you  hope  to  bring  to  the Lab. Enclose your detailed CV with names and contacts of three references to