cell quANT3

Research Opportunities

We currently have positions open for postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates.

The ten year plan (until at least 2025), is for the lab to continue to pursue the genetics-powered quantitative physiological investigation of cellular information sensing and transmission systems. Work will continue on the model yeast cell signaling system and the pheromone response system, and extend to a number of model metazoan cell signaling systems. Work involves a complex combination of single cell measurement, directed genetics guided by mass spectrometric and other data, forward and directed genetics, and spatially accurate computer simulation.

We are interested in hearing from outstanding junior researchers with the backgrounds described below. The lab may consider


Research Fellows

Experimental Biology

We are interested in hearing from motivated and talented research fellows with successful graduate and/or postdoctoral experience in molecular, cellular, or developmental biology. Experience with yeast genetics and/or single cell measurements is a plus. Fellows will work as part of a multidisciplinary biological research team. The team is seeking to discover deeper truths about how cells sense external information, transmit it internally, and (ultimately) operate on that information to make decisions. This work is deeply grounded in careful directed experimentation on a prototypical or archetypical cell signaling system, the pheromone response system in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Such a research fellow must be a talented and dedicated experimentalist, and must have evidenced this by performing significant work as a graduate student and/or postdoc as reflected in important papers. The fellow must have real interest in participating in, and, eventually, leading, work that makes a significant contribution to scientific understanding. The fellow will join and continue to develop a research program of genetically-enabled quantitative physiological experimentation to understand information handling by this system. Because work will require working with researchers who are not veteran biologists (for example, fellows trained in experimental physics) the biology fellow should be articulate and willing to teach, must be unafraid to talk about concepts from math and physics, and must be numerate. Moreover, the fellow must (obviously) have an interest in learning to work across these disciplinary boundaries to address important problems in biology.

Experimental Physics

We are interested in hearing from prospective research fellows with successful graduate and/or postdoctoral experience in (for example) high-energy physics or condensed matter physics. Fellow(s) will work as part of a multidisciplinary biological research team. The team is seeking to discover deeper truths about how cells sense external information, transmit it internally, and (ultimately) operate on that information to make decisions. This work is deeply grounded in careful directed experimentation on a prototypical or archetypical cell signaling system. Such a research fellow will continue the development and use of optical microscopic (image cytometric) and flow cytometric methods to quantify molecular events needed for signaling in single cells. The fellow must be a talented and dedicated experimentalist, and will have evidence this by performing significant work as a graduate student who made use of mathematical and computer skills. The fellow must obviously have an interest in applying background and mindset from experimental physics to this set of important biological problems. The fellow must also have an interest in making a significant contribution to human understanding through his or her work. The fellow thus must have real interest in learning about contemporary biology and the tools the team brings to bear on the problem, including in particular learning about the experimental system under study and genetic manipulations.


Graduate Students

Graduate students with interest in the above topics should contact the PI directly.


Current or Recent Undergraduates

The lab continually considers applications for a limited number of student internships from current or recently graduated university undergraduates.


How to Apply

Researchers interested in potential postdoctoral study should email the PI (rbrent@fhcrc.org). Their initial communication should include a CV and a cover letter explaining how their work is relevant to the work of the lab and describing their scientific ambitions and how the proposed joint work would help them develop intellectually to achieve those ambitions.

In the next step, applicants who wish serious consideration should have sent three (or more) letters of recommendation. Such letters should be from people who know the applicant and think well of their work. Letters should describe the applicant and how (and how well) the applicant thinks and works. Letters should state why, in the writer's opinion, postdoctoral study in the lab makes sense for the applicant, how the lab could support the applicant's scientific and intellectual development, and how the researcher and their work will benefit the scientific goals of the lab. It is helpful but not essential that the persons writing the letters be known to the PI.

Graduate students interested in rotations or long-term study in the lab should write the PI directly.

Current and recent university undergraduates interested in internships who wish serious consideration, should write, describing their ambitions for future development, their research experience, how their experience to date might qualify them to work in this lab, and how work in this lab in particular will contribute to their future development. As a next step, applicants should make available a copy of their undergraduate transcripts and send the PI a letter from one or more of their undergraduate advisers. If possible, this faculty letter of recommendation should speak to the same issues as the prospective intern's cover letter.