Positions

Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellow in Cell and Gene Therapy for Cardiac Arrhythmias

Postdoctoral openings in gene- and cell-based therapy for cardiac arrhythmias and myocardial infarction are immediately available in the Bursac lab. We are looking for highly motivated candidates with expertise in cell and molecular biology, single cell electrophysiology, optical mapping of action potential propagation in Langendorff-perfused hearts, and small or large animal studies. The project involves development of novel in situ and exogenous cell- and gene-based therapies for cardiac arrhythmias and will include work in ion channel engineering, genetic manipulation of excitable and unexcitable cells, and application of tissue and genetic engineering techniques to improve electrical conduction and prevent or terminate arrhythmias in injured or chronically diseased hearts. Post-myocardial infarction induced VT and chronic AF will be the two main applications of this work.

Qualifications include PhD and 0-3 years of postdoctoral experience in single cell and tissue/organ cardiac electrophysiology, molecular biology, genetics, and other relevant areas of biomedical sciences. The ideal candidate will be highly self-motivated and possess strong training in electrophysiology, molecular biology, animal studies, biochemical and histological assays. Candidates with experience in optical mapping, generation of transgenic animals, and genome editing (CRISPR/Cas9) techniques will be given a preference. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals, participate in conferences for the intellectual exchange of research ideas, engage in existing and new collaborations within and outside Duke University, and assist with training of undergraduate and graduate students, as needed. The environment of the Bursac group is highly interdisciplinary and provides ample opportunities for scientific growth and pursuit of both academic and industry careers. Interested candidates should send their resume, statement of research goals, and at least three names for recommendation letters to Dr. Nenad Bursac (nbursac@duke.edu)

Postdoctoral Fellow in Genome Editing for Striated Muscle Regeneration

Immediate postdoctoral openings in genome editing for regeneration of striated (cardiac or skeletal) muscle are available in the Bursac lab. We are looking for highly motivated candidates with experience in genome engineering technology, including CRISPR/Cas9 editing, and next generation sequencing. The main therapeutic application will involve endogenous or stem cell-based regeneration of infarcted heart and injured or diseased skeletal muscle. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to generate new human pluripotent stem cell lines by CRISPR/Cas9 editing, perform gRNA library screening to identify candidate effector genes, and differentiate hiPSCs into the cells of cardiovascular, skeletal muscle, or immune system lineage. Tissue engineering of human cardiac and skeletal muscle from hiPS cells will be further applied for disease modeling (cardiomyopathy, Pompe disease, DMD), in vitro mechanistic studies, and in vivo regenerative therapy applications. 

Qualifications include PhD and 0-3 years of postdoctoral experience in molecular biology, genetics, and other relevant areas of biomedical sciences. The ideal candidate will be highly self-motivated and possess strong training in molecular biology, genome (CRISPR/Cas9) editing, NGS, pluripotent stem cell culture and differentiation, and biochemical and histological assays. Candidates with experience in bioinformatics, cardiac or skeletal muscle biology research, and animal handling will be given a preference. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals, participate in conferences for the intellectual exchange of research ideas, engage in existing and new collaborations within and outside Duke University, and assist with training of undergraduate and graduate students, as needed. The environment of the Bursac group is highly interdisciplinary and provides ample opportunities for scientific growth and pursuit of both academic and industry careers. Interested candidates should send their resume, statement of research goals, and at least three names for recommendation letters to Dr. Nenad Bursac (nbursac@duke.edu)

Postdoctoral Position in Use of Human Skeletal Muscle Organoids for Studies and Treatment of Muscle Disease

A postdoctoral position is immediately available in the area of human skeletal muscle disease modeling and treatment using 3-dimensional (3D) cell culture. Functional miniature human skeletal muscle tissues (“microtissues”, “organoids”) will be made using progenitor cells derived from muscle needle biopsies or human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). These human muscle organoids containing robust contractile myofibers and regenerative satellite cell pool will be applied to study exercise-induced changes in muscle physiology and metabolism, test drug toxicity, and develop therapies for insulin resistance. Furthermore, human primary and iPSC-derived muscle progenitor cells and requisite human non-muscle cells will be co-cultured to develop in vitro organoid models of Pompe disease (glycogen storage disease type II) and various muscle dystrophies (e.g. DMD, LGMD, FSHD, MM, etc). These biomimetic models will be explored to elucidate disease mechanisms and as a test bed to develop new gene (CRISPR/Cas9) and drug therapies. Overall, experiments in these in vitro model systems will span from cutting-edge genetic engineering to physiological tests of muscle contractions and calcium cycling and, if successful, will involve further validations in animal models of muscle disease in vivo.

Qualifications include PhD in cell and molecular biology, biomedical engineering, or other relevant areas of biomedical sciences. The ideal candidate will be highly self-motivated and possess strong training in molecular and cell biology, 3D cell culture/tissue engineering, biochemical and histological assays. Experience with culturing and differentiation of human iPS cells, genome engineering, and skeletal muscle biology are highly desired. Our group is a diverse and stimulating environment that provides excellent opportunities for scientific growth and pursuit of a variety of careers. Interested candidates should send their resume, statement of research goals, and at least three reference names for recommendation letters to Dr. Nenad Bursac (nbursac@duke.edu). 

Postdoctoral fellow in Cardiac Tissue Engineering

Our group has developed robust methods to engineer highly functional human ES and iPS cell derived heart tissues for use in drug development, disease modeling, and cardiac regenerative therapies. We are looking for a talented postdoctoral fellow with expertise in cardiac biology and differentiation of human iPS cells that would pursue studies of human cardiomyocyte proliferation and differentiation in engineered human tissues in vitro and rodent models of myocardial infarction in vivo. This fellow will be involved in screening of small molecule inducers of cardiomyocyte proliferation and hypertrophy and study mechanisms of their action in vitro and in vivo.  Studies will also involve physiological measurements of cardiac electrical and mechanical function at a variety of spatial scales from a single cell to whole organ. This work is the part of a large interdisciplinary project involving cardiac cell and developmental biologists, bioengineers, and clinical scientists.

Qualifications include PhD in developmental and cell biology, biomedical engineering, or other relevant areas of biomedical sciences. The applicant is required to have extensive knowledge of cardiac biology and experience in human ES and iPS culture and cardiomyocyte differentiation. Expertise in modern techniques of genetic engineering, molecular biology, and animal experimentation are highly desired. The candidate needs to be self-motivated, independent, good communicator, and able to work within a large team of scientists with diverse backgrounds. Our group provides a stimulating environment with excellent opportunities for scientific growth and pursuit of academic career. Interested candidates should send their resume, statement of research goals, and three letters of recommendation to Dr. Nenad Bursac (nbursac@duke.edu).

  

Undergraduate Research Assistants

We are always interested in motivated undergraduates who would like to be involved in assisting ongoing research projects or engage in an independent project of their own.

To Apply

If interested, please send your inquiries to Dr. Nenad Bursac (nbursac@duke.edu).