Giardia post-doc opportunity

Peter Agron agron at
Mon Aug 3 22:19:01 BRT 1998

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 18:08:19 -0800
From: "Frances D. Gillin" <fgillin at>
To: agron at
Subject: Giardia Post-Doctoral Research Opportunity

Postdoctoral position available ASAP:

To study molecular and cellular biology and pathogenesis of Giardia lamblia:

        Giardia is a major cause of waterborne intestinal disease and is
also of basic biological interest as one of the earliest known eukaryotic
organisms, with both prokaryotic and eukaryotic properties. Our group's
orientation is unusual because we focus broadly on this organism and are
not tied to specific techniques (Ann. Rev. Microbiol. 50: 679-705, 1996).
We ask cutting edge questions and design creative approaches to achieve
incisive answers.
        Our well-funded lab has completed the giardial life cycle in vitro
for the first time, by inducing the flagellated "trophozoite" form that
colonizes the small intestine to differentiate into cysts that survive in
cold water. We discovered a novel regulated secretory pathway for the
transport of cyst wall proteins during encystation. Cysts infect a new host
by responding to signals from the host that lead to a rapid and dramatic
differentiation. Excystation entails establishing cellular polarity, cell
division, attachment, increases in metabolism, and antigenic switching.
        Giardia is also a valuable model for study of the
prokaryotic-eukaryotic divergence and we are actively involved in
biological aspects of a giardial genome project (PNAS 95:229-234, 1998;
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, in press).
        Current questions include:

1. How are giardial genes regulated during differentiation?
2. What are the cell signaling pathways in differentiation and pathogenesis?
3. How are components of the cyst wall transported and how is this fibrous
structure  assembled?
4. What are the structure and function of the unusual cysteine-rich variant
surface protein of Giardia?
5. What can Giardial genes and pathways tell us about the evolution of the
eukaryotic cell?
6. How does Giardia make people sick?

Requirements: Experience in molecular biology and preferably biochemistry
and cell biology.

Current references are needed.
       For information or to apply, please contact Dr. Fran Gillin at:

  email:  fgillin at

Frances  D.  Gillin, Ph.D.
Professor, Dept. of Pathology
Division of Infectious Diseases
Member, Center for Molecular Genetics
University of California at San Diego
School of Medicine

FAX: 619-543-6614

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