Employment and Positions

Please visit this site often for future openings or contact jason.howard@duke.edu for additional information.

For additional opportunities, please visit the job listings on Duke University's Human Resources website.


Post-Doctoral Fellow Positions
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Duke University Medical Center
Heitman Lab

The Heitman lab at Duke University is seeking Post-doctoral Fellow applicants. The lab focuses on molecular determinants of development and virulence in the pathogenic basidiomycetes Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii with complementary studies in both model and pathogenic fungi
[Cryptococcus amylolentus, Filobasidiella depauperata, Cryptococcus heveanensis and other related basidiomycetes including Kwoniella and Malassezia species, species from the Candida pathogenic complex (C. albicans, C. lusitaniae), and the zygomycete Mucor circinelloides]. Areas of research interest include: modes and impact of unisexual reproduction; the structure, function, and evolution of the mating type locus that contributes to virulence, establishes cell type identity, and orchestrates the sexual cycle; the role of the protein phosphatase calcineurin in fungal virulence and as a novel antifungal drug target including collaborative efforts employing structural biology and targeted drug design with Amplyx Pharmaceuticals; comparative fungal genomics of a species cluster of human fungal pathogens; the application of genomewide mutagenesis and transcriptional analysis to define the molecular networks that operate during infection of the host and development; RNAi based pathways operating during mitotic and sexual development and epimutational gene silencing; and the mechanisms of action of natural products and antifungal drugs.

Cryptococcus has emerged as an exemplary model fungal pathogen. High quality genomes are complete for five related sibling species, and hundreds are in progress. The system affords well-developed molecular and genetic tools (congenic strains, genome-wide deletion and insertional mutagenesis approaches) and a series of robust animal models, including mammalian and heterologous hosts (insects, nematodes, plants).

The lab is part of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, providing strong collaborative opportunities with other investigators.
Many lab alumni are now in independent faculty positions, including Michael Lorenz (University of Texas, Houston), Andy Alspaugh (Duke), Christina Hull (University of Wisconsin), Ping Wang (Children’s Research Institute, New Orleans), Xuewen Pan (Baylor College of Medicine), James Fraser (University of Queensland), Julian Rutherford (University of Newcastle), Wei-Chiang Shen and Joe Chen (National Taiwan University), Sun Bahn (Yonsei University), Xiaorong Lin (Texas A&M), Kirsten Nielsen (University of Minnesota), Alex Idnurm (University of Missouri), Audrey Odom (Washington University), Jill Blankenship (University of Nebraska), Shane Cutler (University of Utah), and Chaoyang Xue (Public Health Research Institute/UMDNJ).

Please send pdfs of your curriculum vitae, reprints/preprints, a statement of research accomplishments and interests, and letters of recommendation to Joseph Heitman at heitm001@duke.edu.

Cryptococcus neoformans research highlight: completion of the genome sequence (Science 307: 1321-1324, 2005), the genome spans 20 Mb and comprises 14 chromosomes, and production of infectious spores.


Post-Doctoral Fellow Position
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Duke University Medical Center
Luftig Lab

A postdoctoral position is available to study oncogenic viruses in the laboratory of Dr. Micah Luftig on an NIH Training Grant at Duke University School of Medicine. Specifically, the laboratory studies the mechanisms by which Epstein-Barr virus transforms human B cells as a model for lymphomagenesis.

The laboratory has three main areas of focus:

  • We have defined the host DNA damage response as a critical suppressor of EBV transformation. We are currently investigating the viral latent proteins responsible for activating this response early after B-cell infection and the mechanism by which the virus overcomes this response during B cell immortalization.
  • We have also recently defined a new dynamic pattern of latent EBV infection of human B cells that involves a switch in viral latent promoter usage that we believe fundamentally controls the cellular behavior, mechanism of cell survival, and immune recognition of EBV-infected cells in the host. We are currently working from the molecular mechanism through the in vivo consequences of this switch.
  • We are always focused on using cutting edge approaches to study the virus/host interface. We employ both reverse genetic and chemical genetic approaches to define new host factors critical in both restricting and facilitating EBV transformation. These screens coupled with single-cell imaging and transcriptomics are positioning the laboratory to discover new paradigms controlling cell biology using Epstein-Barr virus as the guide.

The successful candidate for this position will be a motivated and well-trained Ph.D. in cell biology, genetics, microbiology, or a closely related field, preferably with a background in cancer cell signaling or virology. This candidate will be eager to work in a robust academic environment helping to train graduate students and undergraduates while making important fundamental contributions to the study of B cell lymphomagenesis and EBV biology.

Applicants are invited to send their curriculum vitae, summary of past work, and contact information for three references to Dr. Micah Luftig at micah.luftig@duke.edu.

Due to NIH fellowship requirements the successful applicant must be a US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident. Duke University Medical Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.