Research Associate-Fixed Term

Michigan State University
May 15, 2025
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Fixed Term Apply ow
Working Time:Full time
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Research Associate-Fixed Term

Apply now Job no: 864308 Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Human Medicine Department: Pediatrics And Human Development 10022641 Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience Location: Grand Rapids Categories: Research/Scientific, Fixed Term Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Position Summary

The Chen Lab with the Michigan State University Department of Pediatrics and Human Development is currently recruiting postdoctoral Research Associates to augment our research program.

Conventional drug discovery is focused on finding agents that modulate one molecular feature, typically a protein target. This approach was adopted a few decades ago, even before the emergence of omics technologies. Today's technologies allow the profiling thousands of molecular features including proteins, mRNAs, and metabolites, all of which can contribute to disease development. Finding one magic bullet from these thousands of features is a daunting task. Moreover, focusing only on a single feature does not fully utilize all the information generated from new omics technologies.

The Chen Lab has developed a systems approach that considers how drugs affect a disease gene expression signature, which is comprised of a set of up-/down- regulated disease genes. This approach has led to the discovery of therapeutic candidates for seven indications including hepatocellular carcinoma (Gastroenterology, 2017), melanoma (Molecular Pharmacology, 2022), Alzheimer's disease (Nature Aging, 2021), Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 2022), and SARS-CoV-2 (iScience, 2022). Moreover, we have discovered that the potency to reverse gene expression correlates with drug efficacy, providing strong evidence of using this approach in drug repurposing (Nature Communications, 2017). We have developed a drug-repurposing platform called OCTAD (Nature Protocols, 2021), allowing researchers to predict repurposed drug candidates for cancers and cancer subtypes. Currently we are developing new AI approaches to support novel compound screening and lead optimization. Our recent conference papers demonstrated the feasibility through improving the training data quality (ICDM, 2020), pre-training graph neural network (KDD, 2021) and tree search based multi-objective optimization (KDD, 2022, Best Paper Award). We aim to design novel compounds that could control cell lineage development, modulate the microenvironment, and treat cancer and aging.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Pharmacology or a related field

Minimum Requirements

Candidates must possess a terminal degree (PhD) in Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, or a related field.

Desired Qualifications

Candidates with experience in computational drug screening and an interest in running an independent lab after training are preferred.

Required Application Materials
  • Cover Letter
  • CV
  • Review of Applications Begins On




    Department Statement

    Established in 1968 with the formation of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development seeks to balance behavioral science, basic biological research, and clinical pediatrics into a comprehensive approach to the health and development of the child and the family.

    MSU Statement

    Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

    Advertised: May 15, 2023 Eastern Daylight Time Applications close: May 15, 2025 Eastern Daylight Time

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