|Line 1:||KU Leuven|
The Laboratory for Disease Mechanisms in Cancer (KU Leuven, Belgium) is looking for a motivated postdoc for our recently funded ERC consolidator project. Many labs, including ours, have performed exome and transcriptome sequencing on large series of tumor samples to discover cancer driver mutations. In most studies, only mutations that cause amino acid changes are considered, assuming that synonymous mutations in protein coding regions are meaningless. Nevertheless, several experimentally tested synonymous mutations have been ascribed a causative role in disease. Our data support that synonymous nucleotide changes can enhance gene expression and cell transformation via novel mechanisms, independent of splicing, and hence we hypothesize that the role of synonymous mutations in cancer is underestimated.
Two computational biologists in the lab are applying bioinformatics and statistics approaches to delineate the landscape of synonymous driver mutations in public cancer genomics datasets. The postdoc that we will hire will be responsible for assisting the computational biologists in selecting the synonymous mutations that are most likely to be cancer driver mutations. He or she will also be responsible for testing the effect of selected mutations on expression level of the mutant gene and on cell behavior and for setting up follow-up molecular biological studies to unravel how selected mutations exert observed effects on gene expression level. Finally, the selected candidate will be responsible for developing mouse models for ribosome defective disease together with a PhD student in the lab.