University of California, San Diego

A Post-doctoral position (PhD) is available in the laboratory of Amir Zarrinpar, MD, PhD, at University of
California, San Diego in La Jolla, CA. The lab is interested in the intersection of circadian biology, gut
physiology, and the gut microbiome and how the three interact to cause obesity, diabetes,
steatohepatitis, dyslipidemia, and other gut-mediated diseases. We investigate the development of
pathology as a dynamic process in a basic science and translational setting.
Specifically, the Zarrinpar lab is interested in the reciprocal interaction between the luminal environment
(both the gut microbiome and the content) and the gut and how the two maintain physiological
homeostasis and contribute to disease. Functional manipulation of the luminal environment is
performed with a novel engineered bacteria platform that allows long-standing changes with a single
treatment, essentially allowing us to “knock-in” genes into the gut microbiome to study their effects on
host physiological processes. This research is performed primarily in animal models, with the potential
to move into clinical populations. This position will focus on performing metabolic and circadian studies
in animal models of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. With the help of the incumbent,
the laboratory will be able to study the effects of specific bacterial functions and to test whether
functional manipulations of the gut microbiome can lead to therapeutic or diagnostic agents. Many of
the engineered bacteria affect bile acid physiology, circadian rhythms, and gut immune pathways.
Hence, the incumbent should be experienced with the relationship of one or more of these pathways in
context of obesity/dysmetabolism and help us distinguish how specific signals from the
microbiome/lumen affect can change host glucose homeostasis and metabolic phenotype.
Creativity, initiative, and persistence will be essential characteristics for the successful candidate.
Additionally, we are looking for enthusiastic, self-motivated individuals who thrive in a fast-paced
challenging research environment and can multitask and interact well with others as part of a cohesive
team. If you have the desire to make a significant impact in patients’ lives, the drive to work hard, and
the ingenuity to work smart, you will succeed within this team.
1. Independently design and conduct experiments to characterize the effect of a therapeutic
intervention (e.g. microbiome functional manipulation, circadian intervention) on host metabolic
phenotype (e.g. obesity, glucose homeostasis).
2. Propose and prioritize next steps for metabolic characterization and systematically trouble-shoot
technical hurdles.
3. As appropriate, identify, pursue, and implement new technologies to support and expand internal
4. Constructively contribute ideas, suggestions, insights at project meetings and ad hoc regarding
functional manipulation of the gut microbiome.
5. Maintain accurate and detailed records of experimental design and methods as well as
experimental results.
6. Ability to communicate and teach complex metabolic physiological approaches/strategies to
researchers in the laboratory.

 Ph.D. with 3+ years of experience in relevant metabolism or circadian biology field.
 Background in metabolic physiology, experience in preclinical diabetes/obesity studies.
 Familiarity with animal husbandry/handling, breeding, and metabolic phenotyping
 Experience in the development and performance of biochemical and mammalian cell-based
 The ability to design/troubleshoot/validate assays, and critically analyze assay data.
 Excellent technical and computer skills; familiarity with current molecular techniques and
software. Routine experience with Western blots, ELISAs, PCR, qPCR. Experience with large
data -omics (e.g. RNA-seq, metagenomics, metabolomics) is a plus.
 Prior experience in determining the effects of an intervention on host metabolic physiology are
absolutely required.
 Knowledge of bile acid physiology, incretin pathways, and the gut microbiome are highly desired.
Experience working in circadian biology is a plus.
 Ideal candidates will be self-motivated and have ambitions to further develop their scientific and
career skills. They will have a desire to be challenged, to learn, and to create new scientific
strategies. They will be aided in these efforts with co-mentorship by world-leading experts in the
 In addition to competitive compensation and benefits, candidates will have the opportunity to
learn and develop research publications and presentations, as well as receive mentorship for the
advancement of their career.
 Effective candidates are expected to develop independent projects over time.
 Ability to work productively and develop cohesive team relationships
 Development of appropriate metabolic studies with the ability troubleshoot through problems.
 Good oral and written communication skills
 Must be able to logically and effectively structure tasks and set priorities
 Must be able to respond effectively to constructive feedback
 Demonstrated ability to analyze data statistically and to present it logically
 Energy, enthusiasm, and a positive outlook
 Desire to improve clinical outcomes and patient health
If interested, please contact Amir Zarrinpar:

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