Postdoctoral Associate - Pediatric Oncology

Duke Nursing | Durham, NC, United States

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Posted Date 6/08/2021

Established in 1930, Duke University School of Medicine is the youngest of the nation’s top medical schools. Ranked tenth among its peers, the School takes pride in being an inclusive community of outstanding learners, investigators, clinicians, and staff where traditional barriers are low, interdisciplinary collaboration is embraced, and great ideas accelerate translation of fundamental scientific discoveries to improve human health locally and around the globe.

Comprised of 2,400 faculty physicians and researchers, the Duke University School of Medicine along with the Duke University School of Nursing and Duke University Health System create Duke Health. Duke Health is a world-class health care network. Founded in 1998 to provide efficient, responsive care, the health system offers a full network of health services and encompasses Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Primary Care, Private Diagnostic Clinic, Duke Home and Hospice, Duke Health and Wellness, and multiple affiliations.

Michael Deel’s Pediatric Oncology Laboratory


This is a funded position for a postdoctoral research fellow to pursue projects related to chromatin dysregulation in fusion-positive rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a mesenchymal cancer of children and young adults.


The selected candidate will join our efforts to discover tractable vulnerabilities within the transcriptional programs of PAX-FOXO1 fusion oncogenes. These chimeric fusions encode transcription factors that are characteristic drivers of fusion-positive rhabdomyosarcoma. PAX-FOXO1 induces chromatin dysregulation by establishing de novo enhancers and chromosomal neighborhoods of super enhancers. Transcriptional activation resulting from PAX-FOXO1 binding at enhancers and super enhancers requires the recruitment and assembly of co-activators and genomic regulatory elements. Thus, the dependency on co-activators and chromatin regulatory machinery presents vulnerabilities within PAX-FOXO1 transcriptional programming. Using a multipronged approach, the selected candidate will discover tractable vulnerabilities and will investigate mechanisms by which these vulnerabilities can be harnessed for new therapeutics.

The selected candidate will work under the guidance of Dr. Michael Deel, a junior principal investigator in the Levine Sciences Research Center at Duke University. This position will provide a motivated postdoctoral fellow with the ability to spearhead cancer research projects that incorporate a variety of approaches in biochemistry, molecular biology, proteomics, genomics, and model systems. The postdoctoral fellow will have opportunities to exercise independence and to enhance his/her leadership skills through providing oversight to other laboratory trainees. The selected candidate is expected to be able to work well within a team and to possess excellent written and verbal communication skills. The postdoctoral fellow will have an opportunity to enhance those skills through collaborations, oral presentations, and grant and manuscript writing. If interested, the postdoctoral fellow will also be encouraged to participate in available workshops in bioinformatics, academic writing, or other scientific or career development topics.

Duke provides an outstanding academic environment for professional growth and development. Our laboratory groups is a small but growing group of inquisitive young researchers who are passionate about making advances that can improve therapies for childhood cancer. We share a weekly interlaboratory meeting with two well-established cancer biology laboratories that provides additional intellectual rapport. We are a part of an exceptional cancer biology community with excellent core facilities and resources. Duke is located in the Research Triangle of North Carolina. The Triangle is wonderful place to live with vibrant restaurants and entertainment, four-seasons of pleasant weather, beautiful outdoor scenery, and a robust network of young professionals. We hope you will consider joining us!

For more information, visit us our website at

How to apply:

Applicants should send their CV, a letter of research interests, and contact information for 2-3 references to Michael Deel MD, Assistant Professor, Duke University School of Medicine,

Required Qualifications at this Level

Education/ Training:

Ideal candidates will have a recent PhD or MD/PhD in the life sciences including biochemistry, genetics, cell, molecular or cancer biology, or who anticipate completion of their degree prior to starting the position.


Previous experience in cell culture, virus production, qPCR, and protein chemistry is required. Experience in mouse work, bioinformatics, and/or chromatin biology is a plus.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essential job functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

Healthcare & Public Health

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