University of Michigan Dearborn

United States

October 13, 2021


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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

Dr. Lauren Surface's newly established lab in the University of Michigan School of Dentistry is recruiting postdoctoral research fellows. Research in the Surface Lab focuses on two main directions, united by similar methodologies of employing genome-wide approaches followed by molecular and organismal investigations, to understand the molecular responses of bone cells. Postdocs are encouraged to pursue research that is of interest to them that fall within these directions.

As we age, our quality of life critically depends on the skeletal and craniofacial bones, in both health and disease. The skeleton is not only of immense clinical importance, notably in the weakening of bones seen in osteoporosis, but also is a model for studying communication across organs, as bone cells help to coordinate many aspects of organismal homeostasis, including phosphate regulation, disruption of which can have major consequences for health. The research the Surface Lab pursues addresses both aspects of bone health in aging and disease.

The first direction focuses on the molecular mechanisms of bisphosphonates (commonly prescribed drugs used to treat osteoporosis). Our long-term goal is to understand the molecular, cellular, and organismal pathways essential for the responses to these drugs. Using a CRISPRi screen, we previously identified over 300 genes that affect the response to bisphosphonates. Two genes, ATRAID and SLC37A3 , were of particular interest due to the strength of their effect on BP response, and we found these genes were essential for the lysosomal release of these drugs. Future studies will aim to investigate both the function of these proteins, and the larger set of genes identified as bisphosphonate regulators, and how they determine the organismal response to these drugs. will build on these studies, in a variety of directions, to investigate factors that may affect the patient response to these drugs.

The second direction seeks to identity how cells in bone sense and respond to changes in serum phosphate concentration, with this response being key in the endocrine control of mineral ion metabolism. Organismal phosphate (Pi) homeostasis is tightly controlled to maintain a consistent serum Pi level, disruption of which can have major consequences for the body. Indeed, phosphorus is key to the regulation of cellular signaling, enzymatic activity, metabolic energy, lipid metabolism, as well as muscle, kidney and neurological functions. How bone cells sense changes in Pi remains an outstanding question in endocrinology. Using cell-based approaches, include genome-wide CRISPR screens, our goal is to identify factors in bone cells responsible for sensing and responding to changes in extracellular Pi concentration, and translate these findings to understanding organismal Pi homeostasis and overall mineral ion metabolism.

Qualifications: The candidate should have a PhD, MD, or DDS in a relevant field. They should believe in kindness towards others, have an enthusiasm for learning and asking questions, and an ability to work independently as well as in a group environment

Mission Statement

MDentistry: advancing health through education, service, research and discovery.

MDentistry Core Values: Compassion, Leadership, Excellence, Responsibility, Trust, Creativity, and Inclusion.

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future. The University of Michigan is committed to foster learning, creativity and productivity, and to support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information, not only in the classroom but in the workplace by:

  • Creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of roles, responsibilities or differences.
  • Providing support, direction and resources enabling us to accomplish the responsibilities of our jobs and to reach the goals that are set for professional and personal growth.
  • Work Locations

    This position is located at the School of Dentistry at 1011 N. University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078.

    Background Screening

    The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

    Application Deadline

    Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

    U-M EEO/AA Statement

    The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

    U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

    COVID-19 vaccinations are now required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all three campuses, including Michigan Medicine, by the start of the fall term on August 30, 2021. This includes those working or learning remotely. More information on this policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint websites.

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