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Job Opportunity: Postdoctoral Opportunities in the Zwiebel Lab at Vanderbilt University

Posted by on Wednesday, July 5, 2023 in Job Opportunities .

Position Details: One or more PostDoctoral positions are available to work on projects exploring the chemical ecology of Anopheline malaria vector mosquitoes. Projects will focus on the role of  ionotropic receptors in mediating olfactory responses and the behavior of Anopheline mosquitoes.


Full Description: Female mosquitoes are major vectors of human disease and the most dangerous are those that preferentially bite humans. Host selection and discrimination by mosquitoes are mainly odor mediated. Understanding the physiological and (epi)genetic causes/effects of host choice in vector mosquitoes is challenging, controversial and of significant practical importance for controlling mosquito borne diseases such as malaria, filariasis as well as Dengue, West Nile and Zika virus fevers.


A core focus of the Zwiebel lab research is the molecular neurobiology and chemo-sensory biology of vector mosquitoes ( where research efforts are directed towards both fundamental and applied goals. We are currently recruiting 1-2 postdoctoral fellows to augment efforts in this area. Our research uses a wide range of techniques seeks to describe the (epi)genetic and cellular mechanisms linking the basic molecular components of the peripheral olfactory system with the host preference displayed by Anopheline malaria mosquitoes. The postdoctoral fellow(s) will be involved in projects that describe the olfactory sensitivity of Anopheline mosquitoes as well as identifies the transcriptional and genetic changes that potentially alter IR expression and olfactory receptor neuron responses to host odors among mosquitoes that display different preferences for humans as a blood-meal host. To investigate these processes as well as the mechanisms underlying such functional changes in the receptors, the receptors will be functionally assessed in response to host odors under a variety of conditions. These findings will be extended to investigate altered in vivo responses at the receptor neuron and behavioral levels.


Application Details: Strong candidates will hold a PhD degree in an appropriate biological field with expertise in modern molecular and cellular biology as well as experience working in insect systems and common molecular biological techniques as a requirement. In addition, experience with DNA/RNAseq, cell-based membrane protein expression and assay systems is a significant asset. Candidates should be fluent in spoken and written English and otherwise have excellent communication skills. The candidate must demonstrate a solid ability to work independently as well as within a group environment and have interest in mentorship. The postdoctoral scientist will have considerable freedom to develop related research projects according to her/his/their interests.


Location: The Zwiebel group is part of the Department of Biological Sciences which covers a broad spectrum of biology, from molecules and cells to tissues and organisms to populations and ecosystems. We are also affiliated with Vanderbilt’s Brain Institute and Institutes for Chemical Biology and Global Health. Vanderbilt University is a research institution operating at a global crossroads of teaching and discovery. Located in Nashville, one of the most vibrant and growing small cities in the USA.


Form of employment: A initial 1 year will be offered, extendable for a further 4 years.

Please send a cover letter and CV including 3 references to Professor LJ Zwiebel at Vanderbilt University.


Contact: LJ Zwiebel (

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