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Postdoctoral Fellow Positions | Rotation Projects


Postdoctoral Fellow Positions

We invite applications from postdoctoral scientists with a background in biochemistry and/or yeast genetics who share our interest in mitosis and cytokinesis.  We have projects available in all of our research areas.

For all positions, successful applicants will have a proven ability to perform basic research in structural biology, biochemistry and/or yeast genetics, at least one first-author publication, and less than 3 years of relevant postdoctoral experience. To apply for a position, please send a cover letter, CV and the names and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Kathy Gould at  General information about being a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University can be obtained at

Rotation Student Projects

Rotations projects are available in most of our research areas.  Here are a few possibilities:

Rotation project 1: Determine how myosin II attaches to the plasma membrane for cytokinesis

Myosin II forms supramolecular structures in the cytokinetic ring. In yeast and other organisms, their C-termini are clustered on the plasma membrane while their motor domains form a bouquet arrangement attached to actin filaments at a distance from the membrane. We want to know what keeps the myosin tails anchored at the membrane while tension is applied during cytokinetic ring constriction. In this project you would use TurboID proteomics results, membrane binding assays, biochemistry and live cell imaging to gain insight into Myosin II arrangements for cytokinesis.

 Rotation project 2:  Analyze how polarity kinases affect the timing of cytokinetic ring assembly and constriction using live cell imaging

In many organisms, positive and negative signals cooperate to position the division site for cytokinesis. In the rod-shaped fission yeast, polarity kinases concentrated at cell tips inhibit division site assembly there so that medial symmetrical division is favored. We have identified a substrate, the F-BAR Cdc15 that scaffolds the cytokinetic ring, shared by multiple polarity kinases. We want to determine whether all of these polarity kinases inhibit Cdc15 function and if they do, whether there are any differences in the inhibitory mechanisms. This project will involve live-cell imaging, site-directed mutagenesis, protein kinase assays, and in vitro protein binding assays.

Rotation project 3: Understanding the architecture of the yeast spindle pole and its functional implications

Centrosomes, one of the major cellular microtubule organizing cetners (MTOCs), are essential for proper chromosome segregation and maintenance of genome integrity in metazoans. Major centrosomal functions, proteins, and structural organization are conserved in yeast spindle pole bodies. For this reason, yeast spindle pole bodies can provide insights into organization central to function. In this project, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the knowledge of protei interactions central to spindle pole function using a lot of live cell imaging and some biochemical reconstitution.