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Two NIH-funded post-doctoral positions are available immediately in Robert Cornell’s Laboratory of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, Iowa.


The research goals of our laboratory are to understand the gene regulatory networks that govern lineage specification and terminal differentiation during embryonic development, as well as those that govern homeostasis in adult stem cells.  We study melanocytes (with relevance to melanoma and general questions of stem-cell biology), periderm cells (with relevance to cleft palate), and dopaminergic neurons (with relevance to Parkinson’s disease). In these efforts we primarily use zebrafish and cell culture models, and we collaborate with mouse biologists.

List of publications from the Cornell group:



One project focuses on the transcription factor TFAP2A. Our research questions relate to: how it regulates the timing of the switch between stasis versus growth and differentiation in melanocyte stem cells; what role it plays in making chromatin accessible for transcription; and how it interacts with KCTD15 in regulating transcription in melanocytes. This project is a collaboration with Deborah Lang at Boston University and Trevor Williams at the University of Colorado, Denver.


A second project focuses on the pathological mechanisms whereby common and rare genetic variants contribute to risk for orofacial clefting. This project applies reporter assays to zebrafish, human cell lines, and mice, as well as high-throughput sequencing approaches (ATAC-seq, 5C) to primary and cultured cells. This project is a collaboration with Elizabeth Leslie at Emory University and Axel Visel at the Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory.

Job Requirements

Recent PhD or MD/PhD in genetics, developmental biology or biochemistry.

Strong experience in molecular biology.

Highly motivated, enthusiastic, and creative candidate with excellent interpersonal skills and a strong publication record.

Desirable qualifications

Experience with bioinformatics is desirable.

Experience with zebrafish is not necessary.

To apply

To apply for this position visit our website at; requisition #2986.  Candidates will need to provide:

A cover letter describing accomplishments and interest in the laboratory’s research projects


Contact information for three references

The University of Iowa is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.  Applicants’ credentials are subject to verification.

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