Postdoctoral Positions

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Job #: F259
Posted Date: July 5, 2016
Closes On: Open Until Filled
Job Title: Research Associate - Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology, Dr. Marc Montminy
Status: Regular Full Time
Benefits Eligible: Yes
Laboratory/Department: Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology
Current work in the lab focuses on the identification of CREB target genes and characterization of agonists and antagonists that may be used to evaluate the importance of CREB in mediating cellular responses to various stimuli.
Position Description:

Our laboratory is focused on the mechanism by which hormonal signals trigger physiological changes in different organ systems by modulating key genetic programs. The second messenger cAMP mediates effects of a variety of extracellular cues on cellular gene expression via the PKA-mediated phosphorylation of CREB and via the de-phosphorylation of the CRTC family of CREB coactivators. We use biochemical and genetic approaches in both mice and Drosophila to characterize regulatory components of this pathway and to identify relevant target genes that contribute to the underlying physiology. We have generated mice with floxed alleles of CREB and CRTC family members to identify biological contexts in which this pathway is activated. Recent studies indicate that the CREB/CRTC pathway is critical in maintaining glucose homeostasis; it stimulates the hepatic expression of gluconeogenic genes in response to circulating glucagon during fasting; and it mediates effects of incretin hormones on insulin-producing beta cell viability in pancreatic islets under feeding conditions. Superimposed on it metabolic effects, the CREB/CRTC pathway also appears to mediate effects of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) on innate and adaptive immunity. Future studies will focus on the potential role of metabolic signals in modulating the immune system through the activation of CREB. A long-standing interest of the lab is to characterize regulatory components of the CREB/CRTC pathway. Using mass spectrometry, we have identified a number of cofactors that modulate CREB target gene expression, apparently via epigenetic mechanisms. Future studies with these candidate cofactors will provide valuable insight into the mechanisms by which ubiquitous second messengers like cAMP exert distinct transcriptional effects in different tissues. Interested applicants with PhD or MD degree and interest in signaling, transcription, bioinformatics, or metabolic physiology are encouraged to send their CV.

  1. Koo SH, et al. 2005 The CREB coactivator TORC2 is a key regulator of fasting glucose metabolism. Nature 437, 1109-11.
  2. Dentin R, et al. 2007 Insulin modulates gluconeogenesis by inhibition of the coactivator TORC2. Nature 449, 366-9.
  3. Altarejos JY, et al. 2008 The Creb1 coactivator Crtc1 is required for energy balance and fertility. Nat Med 14, 1112-7.
  4. Liu Y, et al. 2008 A fasting inducible switch modulates gluconeogenesis via activator/coactivator exchange. Nature 456, 269-73.
  5. Dentin R, et al. 2008 Hepatic glucose sensing via the CREB coactivator CRTC2. Science 319, 1402-5.
  6. Wang Y, et al. 2009 The CREB coactivator CRTC2 links hepatic ER stress and fasting gluconeogenesis. Nature 460, 534-7.
  7. Wang Y, et al. 2010 Targeted disruption of the CREB coactivator Crtc2 increases insulin sensitivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107, 3087-92.
  8. Song Y, et al. 2010 CRTC3 links catecholamine signaling to energy balance. Nature 468, 933-9.
  9. Wang Y, et al. 2012 Inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor regulates hepatic gluconeogenesis in fasting and diabetes. Nature 485, 128-32.
  10. Wang B, et al. 2011 A homone-dependent module regulating energy balance. Cell 145, 596-606.
  11. Blanchet E, et al. 2015 Feedback inhibition of CREB signaling promotes beta cell dysfunction in insulin resistance. Cell Rep 10, 1149-57.
Application Instructions: Applicants should submit a current CV and names of three references to:

Marc R. Montminy, M.D., PhD
Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
10010 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037