Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute brings together world renowned clinicians, innovative researchers and dedicated professionals, allies in the common mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. Combining extremely talented people with the best technologies in a genuinely positive environment, we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all ages; we conduct research that advances treatment; we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers; we reach out to underserved members of our community; and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.
This position will assist scientists in performing scientific research, development and/or clinical tasks of varying complexity. In general, this position will assist in the set up, operation and maintenance of laboratory instruments and equipment, monitoring experiments, making observations and calculating and recording results.
The position requires an individual with basic biology and protein chemistry background to study the regulation of apoptotic factor survivin isoform expression and the functional role of Numb in asymmetric red blood cell division. Molecular biology, protein chemistry, and confocal microscopy techniques will be used extensively in these experiments.
Alternative Splicing of Survivin in Programmed Cell Death
Apoptosis allows for the regulated destruction and removal of damaged or unwanted cells. Unregulated or defective apoptotic processes are associated with a wide array of diseases. The expression of many apoptotic factors is regulated via alternative splicing. The resulting variants often have mutually antagonistic roles, suggesting that alternative splicing is a crucial mechanism for regulating life and death decisions. Survivin is highly expressed in the vast majority of malignancies. The overabundance of survivin-WT is a hallmark of many cancers and is correlated with poor overall patient survival. Conversely, survivin-2B (an isoform containing an additional exon, exon-2B) acts as pro-apoptotic factor and sensitizes cells to apoptosis, and is associated with an overall increased survival rate. The idea that pro-apoptotic survivin-2B acts as a natural antagonist for the anti-apoptotic survivin-WT may lead to novel approaches for cancer prevention and/or therapeutics through regulation of the expression of survivin variants. Our current research focuses on the mechanisms by which alternative splicing of survivin is regulated and the functional connection between survivin isoforms and programmed cell death.
Functional Role of Numb Protein in Asymmetric Red Blood Progenitor Cell Division
Maintaining a tight balance between stem cells and differentiated blood cell populations is critically important for normal blood function; this balance is often disrupted in blood cancers. Our earlier studies showed that Numb is distributed selectively to one daughter cell during progenitor asymmetric cell division. The inheritance of Numb guides the daughter cell towards red cell differentiation. Our current research focuses on molecules and pathways relevant to Numb in balancing self-renewal with differentiation in asymmetric red blood progenitor cell division.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.