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Postdoctoral Positions

Applications for postdoctoral positions in the Khvorova Lab currently are being accepted.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR ALL POSITIONS:  Applicants must have (or expect to obtain shortly) a PhD in Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, or a related field; and be bright, ambitious, independent, collaborative, and ideally, have research experience in nucleic acid molecular and cell biology. Applicants should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, two-page statement of research interests, and contact information for three references to MaryBeth.Dziewietin at


Excellent training opportunity for an industrial career in drug development

Oligonucleotides represent a new class of drugs that have the promise to become a major class of future therapeutics. There are several classes of oligonucleotides that can efficiently silence genes in various tissues with acceptable levels of toxicity. There also are new chemistries being developed to further improve oligonucleotide tissue distribution and cellular uptake.

The successful candidate will be a key part of an interdisciplinary team working with biologists and chemists to develop novel types of therapeutics for the treatment of neurological diseases, liver diseases, and orphan indications. The work will include compound identification, screening, characterization, in vivo efficacy and PK/PD studies, novel assay development, etc. In addition, exposure and training in nucleic acid preclinical development, project management, and other skills will be provided.


Develop and characterize novel RNA chemistries to promote efficient oligonucleotide internalization and tissue distribution

Oligonucleotides represent a new class of drugs that have the promise to become a major class of future therapeutics. There are several chemistries and formulations developed by us and others that effectively support oligo internalization and favorable PK/PD. In most cases, in vivo efficacy is limited by (1) poor PK, (2) inefficient tissue distribution, or (3) compound entrapment in biologically inactive intracellular compartments. The objective of future studies will be the development of novel chemistries that promote receptor-mediated cellular internalization and/ or endosomal escape.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the design and synthesis of novel RNA precursors, optimization of RNA synthesis and conjugation protocols, and interface with the biology part of the lab. In addition, exposure to preclinical development programs and oligonucleotide manufacturing will be available.


Discover, characterize, and adapt mechanisms of small RNA extracellular and intracellular trafficking for the development of novel classes of oligonucleotide drugs

A serious limitation in realizing the potential of oligonucleotide-based therapies has been the exceedingly inefficient transit of oligonucleotides from outside cells to the intracellular compartments where the biologically relevant activity happens. On the other hand, there are multiple lines of evidence supporting the notion that nature has implemented evolutionarily conserved mechanisms and pathways for efficiently trafficking small RNAs across cellular boundaries. The objective of future studies will be the systematic evaluation of mechanisms of cellular uptake of different classes of oligonucleotides and their comparison to mechanisms of native RNA trafficking; experimental approaches will include combinations of advanced RNA chemistry, high temporal and spatial resolution microscopy in living cells, mass spectrometry, cell biology, and others.

The successful candidate will work closely with the Victor Ambros and Silvia Corvera labs and the UMass imaging group and will receive training in RNA chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, and preclinical development.


As an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, the University of Massachusetts Medical School recognizes the power of a diverse community and encourages applications from individuals with varied experiences, perspectives and backgrounds.

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