UNC- Chapel Hill


Modeling and Image Analysis of Motility Signaling Networks

The Labs of Drs. Tim Elston and Klaus Hahn are seeking a postdoctoral research associate to develop mathematical models and image analysis tools to investigate molecular mechanisms that regulate the spatiotemporal dynamics of signaling during cell migration. The Hahn lab develops engineered proteins to monitor and perturb signaling networks with precise spatiotemporal resolution in living cells and animals.  The goal of this project is to combine these experimental approaches with quantitative image analysis and mathematical models developed in the Elston lab to elucidate signaling networks that coordinate the behavior of different subcellular systems and organelles during migration. This position is funded by a grant through the Army Research Office. Please contact Dr. Elston at telston@med.unc.edu or Dr. Hahn at khahn@med.unc.edu. UNC-Chapel Hill is located in central North Carolina midway between the coastal island beaches and the Smoky Mountains National Park. It is in a center of academic, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical research, neighboring Duke, NC State, and the Research Triangle.

Systems Biology of G Protein Signaling

The University of North Carolina, Schools of Medicine and Arts and Sciences

G protein fig

Heterotrimeric G proteins serve as a signaling nexus in a myriad of normal and diseased cell states. Many extracellular signals (e.g. hormones, peptides, cytokines, lights) are perceived by 7-transmembrane receptors, often referred to as G protein coupled receptors  (“GPCR” in figure at left), that stimulate the activation state of the cytoplasmic  G protein complex. Interestingly, the majority of non-animal cells (protists, fungi, plants, amoeba and many others) bind GTP without the need for a GPCR. This recent discovery opens up new opportunities to find novel mechanisms that regulate G protein signaling.  This project tightly integrates experimental investigations with mathematical modeling to discover and characterize novel signaling motifs that regulate pathway activity in the glucose sensing system of Arabidopsis. The project is a continuation of a well established collaboration between the labs of Drs. Alan Jones and Tim Elston  (Fu, et al 2014 Cell 156:1084-1095). The ideal applicant will have experience with deterministic and stochastic modeling methods, and a willingness to learn the experimental techniques needed to test their mathematical models.  Interested individuals should contact Tim Elston (telston@med.unc.edu) and Alan Jones(alan_jones@unc.edu ).