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Joint Postdoc positions in Chemical Biology in Yilong Zou and Qi Hu’s labs at School of Life Sciences, Westlake University 

 

Job Description 

1. Position type:Postdoctoral Fellow(2-3 open positions) 

2. Research area: 

    Chemical Biology is an exciting rising research field at the interface of chemistry and biology. It deeply integrates chemical tools to investigate and manipulate biological systems and has offered numerous novel medicines for improving human health. Recently, multiple frontiers in chemical biology such as targeted protein degradation using bi- or multi-functional small-molecules and DNA-encoded small-molecule screening are opening new avenues for concurring many diseases.  

    A major branch of chemical biology is to use chemical tools to investigate cellular metabolism and target diseases marked by aberrant metabolism. As a critical component of the cellular metabolome, the lipidome contains a wide spectrum of structurally distinct lipids and collectively plays important roles in every aspect of cellular functions including membrane compartmentalization, signal transduction and energy homeostasis. Dysregulation of lipid metabolism is implicated in a variety of human diseases including obesity, neurodegeneration, cancer, and various organ failure. At the Laboratory of Functional Lipidomics and Metabolic Regulation, we are broadly interested in understanding how the chemical nature of cellular metabolites support their specific biological functions. Our current focus is to study the role of lipid metabolism in mammalian development and diseases including cancer and organ degeneration. 

 

    In this joint postdoc program, we aim to attract top talents in chemical biology to tackle the most challenging problems in lipid regulation and lipid metabolism-related diseases. Postdocs will be mentored and supported by both the Laboratory of Functional Lipidomics and Metabolic Regulation (Principal Investigator: Dr. Yilong Zou) and the Chemical Biology Laboratory (Principal Investigator: Dr. Qi Hu) in the vibrant research environment at Westlake University. Our overarching goal for this program is to integrate molecular, cellular, genetic, system and chemical biology approaches to discover novel lipid molecules and pathways, to develop new probes and techniques for detecting and tracing lipid molecules in vitro and in vivo, and to identify novel therapeutic targets and drug candidates for treating human diseases associated with lipid dysregulation. 

 

    Specific aims of this program include but are not limited to: 

    1) Investigating the regulatory mechanisms of protein lipidation, and designing novel chemical probes to target protein lipidation and de-lipidation enzymes; 

    2) Characterizing the biochemical mechanisms of aberrant lipid modification-induced cell death (such as ferroptosis, an iron-dependent, non-apoptotic cell death program) and identifying ferroptosis-modulatory agents; 

    3) Characterizing and targeting lipid metabolic enzymes that contribute to lethal diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration; 

    4) Developing advanced technologies that use bi- or multi-functional small molecules for modulating protein activity, stability and localization  

 

    In our laboratories, we strive to provide the best research platform for postdocs to explore and grow. For more information about our laboratories, please visit:  

    Laboratory of Functional Lipidomics and Metabolic Regulation: 

        https://yilongzou-lab.com 

        https://www.westlake.edu.cn/info/1623/5069.htm 

 

    Chemical Biology Laboratory:  https://www.westlake.edu.cn/info/1623/3977.htm 

 

3. Bibliography of the PIs 

      Dr. Yilong Zou received his Bachelor's degree from the Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology in Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 2009. After a gap year working as a Research Assistant in Dr. Li Yu's group also in Tsinghua University, he joined the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA to pursue his Ph.D. In graduate school, he worked with Dr. Joan Massagué on mechanisms of pluripotent stem cell differentiation and cancer metastasis. In 2016, Dr. Zou obtained his Ph.D. degree and then started his postdoctoral training in the Chemical Biology and Therapeutics Science Program at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, under the mentorship of Dr. Stuart L. Schreiber. Dr. Zou’s research is published in Nature (in press), Nature Chemical Biology, Cell Stem Cell, Nature Communications, Genes&Development, and other journals. Dr. Zou is an awardee of the NIH K99/R00 Pathway-to-Independence award and the Broad Institute Shark Tank Award. Dr. Zou is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Westlake University, directing the Laboratory of Functional Lipidomics and Metabolic Regulation. 

 

      Dr. Qi Hu received his Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Master’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China. He then joined the School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University and received his Doctoral degree in biology in 2014. In 2015, he joined Prof. Kevan Shokat’s lab  in the University of California, San Francisco for postdoctoral training. Dr. Hu was awarded the prestigious Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2015. His Ph.D. research focused on illustrating the molecular mechanism for Caspase-9 activation by the Apaf-1 apoptosome. In his postdoc, Dr. Hu has developed small molecule inhibitors of cancer-associated mutant Gαs. He has published several research papers on journals such  as Cell, Nature, PNAS and Cell  Research. 

 

4. Requirements: 

    1) Have obtained or about to obtain a Ph.D. or equivalent degree; the doctoral degree can be in chemistry, chemical biology, biochemistry, or biology; or an M.D. in medicine; 

    2) The ability to work in a highly collaborative research environment; 

    3) Excellent English writing, reading and speaking skills.

  

Compensation and Benefits 

The research team offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with the selected candidate’s qualifications and experience. Applications for relevant projects and programs will be encouraged and supported. 

For post-doc(s) who selected for China Postdoctoral Science Foundation or Advanced Programs of Zhejiang Province will be entitled to receive the same amount funds from the Hangzhou government. 

For post-doc(s) who full-time work in Hangzhou after completing their post-doc research will be eligible for applying allowance of 400,000 RMB from the Hangzhou municipal government. 

  

How to Apply 

To apply, please send the following documents in English as PDF files to zouyilong@westlake.edu.cn and huqi@westlake.edu.cn, 

and indicate the following information in the email subject: “Joint postdoc application – NAME – CURRENT INSTITUTE”. 

    1) A cover letter (briefly stating the applicant’s research experiences and future interest) 

    2) A detailed CV (including a complete publication list) 

    3) Names and contact information for three references 

    4) Doctoral Degree Certificate 

    5) Any other documents that describe the applicant’s academic achievements 

Postdoctoral Associate in the Zou Lab

Multiple postdoc positions are currently available in our laboratory. Westlake University provides first-class research environment and infrastructure. We are committed to provide a flexible, collegial and rigorous research environment for postdocs to perform truly innovative research in our laboratory.

To apply, please email the following documents in PDF format to zouyilong@westlake.edu.cn

1. A cover letter, stating your past research and training experiences, your overall career goal, and brief description of research interest, etc. 

2. A complete resume, containing education history, publication list, award list etc.

3. Please arrange 3 reference letters to be sent to zouyilong@westlake.edu.cn directly. A reference letter from the candidate's Ph.D. mentor is required; however, if for special reasons your Ph.D. mentor can not provide a reference letter, please state in the cover letter, and find arrange an alternative reference letter.  

4. Other documents that are supportive of the candidate's scholarship

Graduate Student

We always welcome passionate graduate students to join our group! We take research training very seriously and we are committed to provided the best environment for young scientists to reach their full potential.

 

To join us, please find the Graduate Programs at Westlake University here: 

https://en.westlake.edu.cn/admissions_aid/graduate/

For international students, please find essential information here:

https://en.westlake.edu.cn/admissions_aid/internationalstudents/

Research Assistant

We have room to host and train Research Assistants in our lab. The minimum requirement is a bachelor's or master degree (or soon to be obtained) in biology or chemistry. We encourage students who are interested in obtaining additional research experiences prior to applying for PhD/MD programs in the future to apply our lab. To apply, please directly email your interest and complete resume to zouyilong@westlake.edu.cn.  We will contact the candidates who passed the initial application screening for interview. This post is effective until all positions are filled. 

About Hangzhou

Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang province in east China. It is about one hour by bullet train to the southwest of Shanghai, and is famous for its long history, rich culture, and beautiful scenery. Hangzhou is repeatedly rated the best commercial city in China by Forbes, as well as the happiest city (No.1) in China by Xinhua.net. Its most famous site of visit, the West Lake, is attracting millions of visitors every year from around the globe. To learn more about Hangzhou: 

Youtube:

Video 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEg4jEVdNd

Video 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lKdK2WSmok&feature=emb_title

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangzhou.