Postdoctoral position to study dynein structure and mechanism available

A postdoctoral position is available in the Reck-Peterson lab. This position will be a joint position with the lab of Andres Leschziner, also at UC San Diego. The two groups have a long-standing collaboration to study the mechanism and regulation of cytoplasmic dynein using a combination of biochemistry, single-molecule biophysics, cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and cell biology (1-6).

The two laboratories are fully equipped for all aspects of biochemistry, cell biology, single-molecule biophysics and cryo-EM. Dr. Reck-Peterson is the faculty director of the newly-formed Nikon Imaging Center at UC San Diego, which will house five state-of-the-art light microscopes. In addition, the Reck-Peterson lab is equipped with two total internal reflection microscopes for single-molecule imaging and recently built a lattice light sheet microscope for live-cell imaging. The Leschziner lab is a core member of the UC San Diego Cryo-EM Facility, which houses their own FEI Talos Arctica equipped with a K2 Summit, an FEI Polara, an FEI Titan Krios (to be installed in December), which will be equipped with a K2 Summit and a Quantum energy filter. The Facility also has a cryo-capable Tecnai Sphera used for general screening.

Research experience in the following area(s) is particularly desirable: (1) cryo-EM and/or (2) biochemistry of large protein complexes. Potential candidates should send a PDF including cover letter, curriculum vitae with list of publications, and names of three referees to Dr. Reck-Peterson (sreckpeterson@ucsd.edu) or Dr. Leschziner (aleschziner@ucsd.edu). Applications will be reviewed as they are received and until the position is filled.  UC San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.

1.     DeSantis ME#, Cianfrocco MA#, Htet ZM#, Tran PT, Reck-Peterson SL* and Leschziner AE* (2017) Lis1 has two opposing modes of regulating cytoplasmic dynein Cell 170: 1197-1208.

2.     Cianfrocco MA#, DeSantis ME#, Leschziner AE and Reck-Peterson SL (2015). Mechanism and regulation of cytoplasmic dynein. Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol. 31: 83-108.

3.     Toropova K#, Zou S#, Roberts AJ, Redwine WB, Goodman BS, Reck-Peterson SL* and Leschziner AE* (2014). Lis1 regulates dynein by sterically blocking its mechanochemical cycle. eLife 3:e03372

4.     Derr N#, Goodman BS#, Jungmann R, Leschziner AE, Shih W and Reck-Peterson SL (2012). Tug of war in motor protein ensembles revealed with a programmable DNA origami scaffold. Science 338: 662.

5.     Redwine WB#, Hernandez-Lopez RH#, Zou S, Huang J, Reck-Peterson SL and Leschziner AE (2012). Structural basis for microtubule binding and release by dynein. Science 337: 1532

6.     Huang J#, Roberts AJ#, Leschziner AE and Reck-Peterson SL (2012). Lis1 acts as a “clutch” between the ATPase and and microtubule-binding domains of the dynein motor. Cell 150(5): 975

# equal contribution, * co-corresponding authors

Other 2017 news

Our paper on how Lis1 regulates dynein in two opposing ways is out in Cell.

Check out our new work on the human dynein interactome in eLife.

Rachael McMinimy joined the lab as a Research Associate. Welcome Rachael!

Mike got a job at the University of Michigan/ Life Sciences Institute. Congratulations Mike! @cianfrocco_lab

John Gillies from the Division of Biology PhD program joined the lab. 

The lab marched for science in San Diego!

Jenna Christensen joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow.


Sam was named an HHMI-Simons Faculty Scholar.

Agnieszka (Aga) Kendrick joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow.

Martin started his new job as an Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Arkansas.

Our paper on peroxisome hitchhiking was highlighted by the Journal of Cell Biology in this issue and Nature Reviews Mol Cell Biol as a research highlight.

Mark defended his Ph.D. Congratulations Dr. McClintock! Mark is going to Simon Bullock's lab at the LMB MRC for postdoctoral studies.

Ian will be starting medical school at Northwestern University in the fall. Congratulations Ian!


Cassandra (Cassie) Niman joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow. 

The Reck-Peterson Lab at UCSD is up and running!  

Phuoc (Tien) Tran joined the lab as a lab manager.

The Reck-Peterson Lab is moving to the University of California, San Diego this summer!


Sirui defended her thesis. Congratulations Dr. Zou!

Sam and Andres Leschziner received the Bjorkman-Strominger-Wiley Prize for Collaboration from the Molecular and Cellular Biology department at Harvard for their ongoing collaboration to determine how dynein is regulated.

Anthony will be starting his own group at Birkbeck, Univeristy of London as a Sir Henry Dale Wellcome Fellow in October. Congratulations Anthony!

Sam was elected to serve as a member of the ASCB council for a 3 year term.

Sam and Tom Schwarz (Children's Hospital) received a grant from the Harvard/MIT Joint Research Grants Program in Basic Neuroscience.

Morgan received a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship.


Brian started his new job as an Associate at Flagship VentureLabs.

Brian defended his thesis on November 8th! Congratulations Dr. Goodman!

Weihong started his new job as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Oregon State University.

Nate started his new job as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Smith College.

Julie started her new job as the Director of Research Administration in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School.

Mike received a Damon Runyon Postdocotral Fellowship Award.

Sam received the American Society of Cell Biology WICB Junior Award for Excellence in Research.

Mark received a NIH NINDS F31 Graduate Fellowship.

Brian was accepted to the Flagship VentureLabs Fellows Program.

Nate defended his thesis on April 29th. Congratulations Dr. Derr!

Sam was promoted to Associate Professor of Cell Biology.

Read the Journal of Cell Biology's "People and Ideas" piece about Sam.


Sam was named a John and Virginia Kaneb Fellow.

Our paper showing a tug-of-war between dynein and kinesin was highlighted in a Science Perspective.

Bret defended his thesis on October 2nd! Congratulations Dr. W. Bret Redwine!

Our paper on the structural basis for microtubule binding and release by dynein was highlighted on the department website of Harvard Molecular and Cellular Biology (Dynein Puts Its Best Foot Forward).

Our paper on Lis1 was highlighted by Cell preview.

Sam was awarded a “Young Mentor Award” from Harvard Medical School.

Our paper on the role of Lis1 in initiating dynein transport was highlighted by the Journal of Cell Biology.

Our paper on dynein stepping was highlighted by Harvard Medical School's Focus website (Molecular Motor Struts Like Drunken Sailor), the Marine Biology Laboratory (Walk This Way: Scientists and MBL Physiology Course Students Describe How a Motor Protein “Steps Out” ), and Nature Research News and Views (Molecular motors: A staggering giant).


Sam was named “Associate Director of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program” at Harvard Medical School.


Weihong was awarded the American Heart Association Founders Affiliate Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Anthony was awarded the Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Sam was awarded a HMS Junior Faculty Armenise-Harvard Grant


Sam was named a Rita Allen and Milton E. Cassel Scholar by the Rita Allen Foundation.

Sam received the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Endowed Research Fund Award.


Sam was the recipient of the 2008 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.