Postdoctoral Fellow- RNA biology, noncoding RNAs

Staff Name: 
Sandra L. Wolin, M.D., Ph.D.
RNA Biology Laboratory
Research Area Keywords: 

RNA biology, noncoding RNAs, RNPs, RNA surveillance

Position Description: 

The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is working to solve the most pressing problems in the field through basic, translational and clinical cancer research to create the cancer medicines of tomorrow and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of cancer researchers. Read more about CCR, the benefits of working at CCR and hear from our staff on their CCR experiences.

The NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is dedicated to preparing the next generation of cancer researchers and offers a training environment that is second-to-none in quality of science and mentoring by outstanding principal investigators, including nine members of the National Academy of Science and eight members of the National Academy of Medicine. CCR offers fellows access to cutting-edge technologies and cores, a highly collaborative environment, awards and research forums to recognize outstanding post docs, continuous scientific symposia and lectures featuring leading researchers, a strong commitment to translational research, and a vibrant clinical research program housed in the world’s largest dedicated research hospital, the NIH Clinical Center.

Postdoctoral positions are available in Dr. Sandra Wolin’s laboratory at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick. We study how noncoding RNAs function, the RNA surveillance pathways that remove defective and harmful noncoding RNAs and the mechanisms by which defects in RNA decay pathways contribute to diseases such as cancer and autoimmunity.

A major focus of our studies are noncoding RNA-protein complexes called Ro60 RNPs. These RNPs were discovered because they are major targets of the immune system in patients suffering from two rheumatic diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren’s syndrome. The major protein component, the Ro60 autoantigen, is present in most animal cells and ~5% of bacteria. Mice lacking Ro60 develop a lupus-like disease, indicating that the normal function of Ro60 is important for preventing autoimmunity. Our studies of Ro60 revealed that this protein is ring-shaped and binds misfolded RNAs in its central cavity. In all studied organisms, Ro60 also binds noncoding RNAs called Y RNAs. By studying Ro60 in bacteria, we discovered that this protein is tethered by Y RNA to a ring-shaped nuclease, forming a double-ringed RNP machine specialized for structured RNA degradation.Our current studies are focused on uncovering additional roles for these RNPs in both mammalian cells and bacteria. A more complete description of our science can be found at

Our group is part of the newly formed RNA Biology Laboratory in the Center for Cancer Research. We are part of the National Cancer Institute’s RNA Biology Initiative, which includes more than 50 laboratories evenly split between the Frederick and Bethesda campuses. The environment is highly collaborative and collegial, with the ability to interact with a wide range of scientists and clinicians. The position is ideal for motivated candidates who are seeking additional training in RNA biology.

Multiple Positions Available: 
Number of Positions: 
C.V. Required: 
Number of References Required: 
Experience Required: 

Candidates must have a Ph.D. and/or an M.D. and should have no more than one year of postdoctoral experience. Candidates should also have significant experimental training in molecular biology, genetics or biochemistry, as evidenced by publications.

Additional Information: 

This position is located at CCR’s campus in Frederick, Maryland.  Frederick is the second largest city in Maryland but retains a “small town” feel, surrounded by mountain views, wineries, orchards and a vibrant Main Street community.  It is less than an hour’s drive from the NIH main campus as well as the Appalachian Trail, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Gettysburg. The city offers many outstanding schools, a balanced and thriving economy and a highly educated workforce. 

How To Apply: 

Please send a cover letter discussing your interests in the position, your CV and a list of 3 references and their contact information by email to Dr. Sandra Wolin (

Contact Name: 
Sandra Wolin
Contact E-mail: 

HHS, NIH, and NCI are Equal Opportunity Employers