Postdoctoral Fellow: Laboratory of Ronald Schnaar - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Join a team building new capabilities funded by the NIH Common Fund Glycoscience [] to reveal the molecular mechanisms by which major vertebrate cell surface glycans, gangliosides, drive biological and pathological processes relevant to human disease. Gangliosides, which are expressed on the surfaces of all vertebrate cells, play key roles in molecular signaling that impact human diseases including diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, intellectual disability, and many others. They regulate cell physiology by binding to proteins in their own cell membranes or in their local milieu. This newly funded project [] will provide adaptable and accessible chemical biology tools to investigate ganglioside functions in health and disease. We will use these new tools to reveal the “ganglioside interactome” – proteins that translate ganglioside recognition into the regulation of human physiology and pathology. There is a large upside to generating tools in this area of biomedical research, and we anticipate rapid development, validation, application, and dissemination of these tools. As an integral part of validating these new tools, we will identify the ganglioside interactome of human epidermoid cancer cells, human neuroblastoma cells, and primary rodent neurons, all cells that are impacted by ganglioside expression. Our goal is to provide new molecular insights into physiology and pathology, and generate resources and protocols so that others can easily follow our lead.

The project anticipates recruiting up to two new postdoctoral researchers with strong chemical biology interests to drive different aspects of this project including chemical and chemoenzymatic syntheses, click chemistry, photochemistry, membrane biochemistry, cell regulation, neurobiology, and mass spec proteomics (among others). The new fellows will join a focused glycoscience team of postdoctoral and graduate student biomedical researchers investigating the functions of glycans in immunology and neurobiology under separate NIH funding. Salary ($50,000 - $61,000 per year) and benefits will follow NIH and institutional guidelines, with compensation adjusted for prior experience.

Contact: Ronald Schnaar,