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CEEHRC / Postdoctoral Fellow in Developmental Epigenetics, Stem Cell and Placental Biology /

Project Title: Mitigating the adverse effects of advanced maternal age on reproductive success

  • Duration: 2 years in the first instance with funding available for up to five years
  • Start date: immediate
  • Salary: $50,000 -60,000 per year plus benefits commensurate with experience
  • Closing date: 28th May 2021

A postdoctoral fellow position is available in the laboratory of Drs. Myriam Hemberger and Wendy Dean in the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Cell Biology & Anatomy, Cumming School of Medicine, and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, at the University of Calgary. The core interest areas of the lab encompass genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of early development that lead to formation of a functional placenta, and how perturbation of these pathways contributes to pregnancy complications. The lab uses a range of cutting-edge technologies combining in vivo models and state-of-the art stem cell and organoid culture systems, transcriptomic and epigenomic profiling techniques and high-end imaging technology to address these questions. The PIs are leading experts in the relevant areas of developmental biology, epigenetics, and stem cell biology (for recent publications, please see Nature Reviews Genetics 2020, Development 2020, Aging Cell 2020, Nature 2019, Epigenetics and Regeneration 2019, Nature 2018 (2x), Nature Comms 2017). The lab provides an excellent research and training environment for the postdoctoral scientist.

Job Description:

The funded project focuses on the impact of advanced maternal age on declining reproductive performance. Specifically, it will investigate how epigenetic changes may contribute to defects in uterine adaptations to pregnancy that lead to severe placentation defects. The appointee will characterize the progressive accumulation of epigenomic alterations that occur with age in the female reproductive tract, and elucidate the key impact of candidate drivers of aging. Applicants must have a PhD in developmental biology, epigenetics, stem cell biology or a related subject area that has been obtained within the last 3 years, and a proven track record in academic research. The ideal candidate will have expertise in stem cell culture techniques, including the manipulation of these cells by CRISPR-based technologies, and in chromatin biology-associated techniques such as ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq and RNA-seq including the analyses of these high-throughput data. This exciting project is of great societal relevance and potential biomedical impact. The candidate will employ cutting-edge technologies such as epigenomic profiling techniques, high-end imaging techniques and stem cell and organoid culture approaches to recapitulate the feto-maternal interface (mouse and human), building on groundbreaking advances in this area over recent years.

The candidate will join an international and highly interactive research environment set within a recently refurbished open-plan laboratory space. State-of-the-art computational, imaging and molecular biology facilities are available. The candidate will also benefit from a thriving research environment within the Cumming School of Medicine and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and engage with a broad range of investigators with expertise in stem cell and cancer epigenetics, bioengineering and regenerative medicine. We actively promote an EDI-friendly environment.


We seek an outstanding, highly motivated postdoc to work on a funded project, available immediately.

The successful candidate will hold and/or be able to demonstrate:

  • Essential: PhD degree obtained within the last 3-years in developmental biology, epigenetics, stem cell biology or a related subject area.
  • Essential: Proven track record in academic research and eligibility for external fellowship awards.
  • Essential: An excellent understanding of early mammalian development through the use of stem cells, and a solid background in mouse and human genetics.
  • Essential: Hands-on expertise in handling and manipulating mouse and/or human stem cells, including the use of CRISPR technology.
  • Highly desirable: Expertise in chromatin biology, including the use of chromatin immunoprecipitation assays and in the generation of Next-Generation sequencing libraries (ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, ATAC-seq etc).
  • Highly desirable: Significant bioinformatic knowledge for analysis of high-throughput datasets.
  • Desirable: Expertise in histological staining techniques and image acquisition and processing (in situ hybridization, RNAscope, immunostaining, widefield and confocal microscopy etc)

Application details:  

For further information on this position, please contact or Interested applicants should apply by email to the above investigators and include a Cover Letter describing their motivation for this position, a detailed CV, a description of their research expertise, and the names and contact details of 3 referees.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

To succeed as one of Canada’s top universities, where new ideas are created, tested and applied through first-class teaching and research, the University of Calgary needs more of the best minds in our classrooms and labs. We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone.

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

University of Calgary
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