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POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE- Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Work Arrangement:  On-Site
Requisition Number:  226569
Regular or Temporary:  Regular

Durham, NC, US, 27710

Personnel Area:  MEDICAL CENTER
Date:  Jun 4, 2023
School of Medicine Established in 1930, Duke University School of Medicine is the youngest of the nation's top medical schools. Ranked sixth among medical schools in the nation, the School takes pride in being an inclusive community of outstanding learners, investigators, clinicians, and staff where interdisciplinary collaboration is embraced and great ideas accelerate translation of fundamental scientific discoveries to improve human health locally and around the globe. Composed of more than 2,500 faculty physicians and researchers, more than 1,300 students, and more than 6,000 staff, the Duke University School of Medicine along with the Duke University School of Nursing, Duke University Health System and the Private Diagnostic Clinic (PDC) comprise Duke Health. a world-class academic medical center. The Health System encompasses Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Primary Care, Duke Home and Hospice, Duke Health and Wellness, and multiple affiliations.


     This position is 100% grant funded and is 1 year to start with extensions contingent on continued funding, performance, and needs of the lab.

     The David Lab at Duke University (www.ladlab.org) is recruiting a postdoctoral fellow to join a team of scientists developing and using new DNA sequencing tools to study diet and the gut microbiome. We are particularly interested in creating new ways to measure and analyze food intake, which is essential for monitoring and improving human health. We are developing DNA sequencing-based techniques that allow us to track the dietary plant and animal species that people consume. Our techniques allow us to generate objective data on intakes of over 450 plant and animal species that individuals eat and is robust to differences in memory/recall; the output data are also standardized across languages and cultures using the universal language of DNA. We are applying these tools to biospecimens from populations across North Carolina and the world. Data resulting from these studies will allow us to compare our biomarker of diet to traditional surveys of dietary intake, as well as perform systems biological studies of human food intake. The results of our studies will also allow us to create new models of disease risk and examine geographic, cultural, behavioral, and socioeconomic determinants of diet. These projects are funded by awards from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the National Institutes of Health, the Gerber Foundation, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 


     Beyond the expected research, there will be opportunities for individualized support from the PI (Dr. David) including regular 1-on-1 mentoring and guidance in manuscript and grant writing. Such support and guidance will be targeted at helping the successful applicant achieve their chosen goals in their future research career. There are also opportunities for the postdoctoral fellow to practice mentoring of graduate students if desired, as well as to develop independent projects that can be taken to future independent research positions.


    Work Performed

    Depending on applicant interest and background, potential projects may involve:

    * Investigation of dietary patterns as revealed by genomics in both domestic and international settings, as well as relationships between these patterns and health.

    * Development of new techniques for quantification of food intake or detection of methods of food processing and preparation.

    * Beyond these projects, there will also be opportunity for regular interaction with other scientists at Duke through the David Lab’s affiliations with the Duke’s Microbiome Center (Co-Directed by Prof. Lawrence David) and Departments of Molecular

      Genetics & Microbiology and Biomedical Engineering. The David Lab also regularly collaborates with nearby groups performing genomic and nutrition studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. 



     We are interested in applicants who have a doctoral degree in fields like molecular biology and experimental techniques related to genomics, metabolomics, or the microbiome. We are also interested in applicants who may have a doctoral degree relevant to mathematical, computational, or statistical analyses of 'omics, epidemiological, or other projects related to data science and machine learning. Expertise in nutrition, anthropology, agriculture, phylogenetics, or environmental science may additional be helpful. We are broadly interested in inter-disciplinary thinkers and expertise across all of these areas is not expected or required.  

DEFINITION: The Postdoctoral Appointee holds a PhD or equivalent doctorate (e.g. ScD, MD, DVM). Candidates with non-US degrees may be required to provide proof of degree equivalency.1. A candidate may also be appointed to a postdoctoral position if the candidate has completed all of the requirements for a degree but the degree has not been formally conferred: in this case, the candidate may present evidence of completion of the degree requirements, together with a statement documenting the date on which the degree is to be conferred. If the degree is not conferred by this projected date, the postdoctoral appointment may be terminated.2. Note for international candidates: Generally, immigration classifications (e.g., H-1B, J-1, etc.) require that the requisite degree be conferred before a petition can be filed or a visa document issued to sponsor the individual. The term of the appointment is limited (see Section 5 of the Postdoc Policy for length of appointment). The appointment involves substantially full-time research or scholarship, and may include teaching responsibilities. The appointment is generally preparatory for a full time academic or research career. The appointment is not part of a clinical training program, unless research training under the supervision of a senior mentor is the primary purpose of the appointment. The Postdoctoral Appointee functions under the supervision of a mentor or a department at Duke University. The Postdoctoral Appointee is expected to publish the results of his or her research or scholarship during the period of the appointment.


     EXPECTATION: The conscientious discharge of research or scholarship responsibilities, which may include teaching responsibilities for Postdoctoral Associates Conformance to standards of responsible conduct in research Compliance with good scholarly and research practice Maintenance of a laboratory notebook and/or other comparable records of research activity, which remains the property of Duke University upon termination Adherence to University standards regarding use of isotopes, chemicals, infectious agents, animals, human subjects, and the like Open and timely discussion with the mentor regarding all facets of the Postdoctoral Appointee’s research activities. Postdoctoral Appointees are encouraged to consult the AAMC Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors for suggested guidelines for the Postdoctoral Appointee-mentor relationship Prompt disclosure to the mentor regarding the possession and desire to distribute materials, reagents, software, copyrightable and potentially patentable discoveries derived from the Postdoctoral Appointee's research. Collegial conduct towards members of the research group and others as described in the Duke University School of Medicine Honor Code of Professional Conduct and other relevant conduct policies pertaining to other schools at Duke University. Compliance with all applicable University and departmental policies and procedures.


Minimum Qualifications


See job description for education requirements.



See job description for requirements.



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