Post-doc grant (“Juan de la Cierva”)

The 2012 application period for the post-doc “Juan de la Cierva” programs is about to open. Our group might consider applicants with a good research trajectory willing to pursue  a successful career in the field of molecular biology of reproduction and germinal cell culture. We will appreciate previous experience on molecular and cell biology, but expertise in different fields should not be a problem. Multidisciplinary approaches to our current working lines might be of great value for us. A background in molecular biology, cell culture, image analysis, statistics, bioinformatics, bioengineering, and such would be an important added value for the group.

It is possible to apply if you plan to attain your PhD before July 2012.

We currently have three lines for this position (all of them supported by projects granted by the National Plan of R&D):

  • Research on the molecular basis of sperm DNA damage: DNA in mammal sperm is associated to protamines (PDNA) and histones (HDNA), an organization with likely epigenetic effects. HDNA include important sequences (telomeres and genes involved in early development), and may be more vulnerable to insults. Moreover, apoptotic markers such as PARP (poly-ADP ribose polymerase) may be related to increasing DNA damage. We are applying qPCR and flow cytometry in spermatozoa from small ruminants to characterize DNA damage and its effects in sperm fertility.
  • Primordial germ cell culture (zebrafish): The main goal of this project is to establish the culture conditions for primordial germ cells (PGC) and spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) allowing genetic manipulation of these cells in culture (gene transfer and knock out) and their further selection. We also propose to generate molecular tools to facilitate a better isolation of PGCs and SSCs in zebrafish.
  • Evaluation of the effect of different agents on the sperm chromatin, and their effects on fertilization ability and offspring performance. Recent studies have changed our perception about the contribution of sperm chromatin to the embryo development, suggesting that some sequences of the paternal genome, susceptible to different kind of  insults, are essential for the gene control of the embryo. Fish are perceived as good models in this field: in trout the ability of sperm carrying a 10% of fragmented DNA to fertilize was described by our team and the obtained larvae displayed modified telomere length as well as overexpression of different genes related to growth and development. In this project we will develop models of genetic and epigenetic damage generation in trout and zebrafish sperm, and then we will evaluate the offspring overall performance using phenotypic and molecular markers, including massive gene expression using microarrays

 If you want to work with us, send your CV and a brief proposal letter. If we consider your offer, we will fully support and help you during the application process.

Important: the position relies on a successful application to the Juan de la Cierva program, therefore it is not guaranteed. Requirements are a good CV (specially publications) and less than 3 years of post-doctoral experience (Ph. D. after September 2009).

Applicants may submit their CV before February 1st to

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