Welcome! Multiple postdoctoral positions are available in the Department of Oral Biology in the College of Dentistry as noted below. Applicants should have earned a PhD, or PhD along with a DMD/DDS, MD, or DVM degree, by time of hire. To apply, please submit a cover letter, CV, and the names and contact information for three references at https://apply.interfolio.com/60653. The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until all positions are filled. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive work environment.
Multiple postdoctoral positions are available to study gene regulation, genomics and physiology of pathogenic, commensal and/or beneficial oral streptococci. Projects include use of planktonic, biofilm, and microfluidic model systems to analyze modulation of intercellular communication systems by peptides and other small effector molecules, and by environmental inputs that include pH, carbohydrate source and oxygen. Other projects involve exploration of the genetic and genomic basis for expression by commensal oral streptococci of properties that are beneficial to their host and antagonistic to pathogenic species.
Work in the Brady Lab is directed at understanding mechanisms of membrane and cell surface biogenesis in the cariogenic pathogen Streptococcus mutans. The functional interactions and respective roles of components of the co-translational signal recognition particle (SRP) pathway and the YidC1 and YidC2 chaperone-insertases in membrane protein insertion are being evaluated with an emphasis on competence development and mutacin production. In addition, S. mutans has been found to produce functional amyloids that influence biofilm development and that can serve as targets for therapeutic anti-amyloid compounds. Study is currently directed at elucidating the structural basis and environmental control of amyloid fibrillization in in vitro and in vivo systems. Furthermore, S. mutans is capable of releasing DNA into the extracellular environment via membrane vesicles. The contribution of vesicle-released eDNA to biofilm formation and its functional interactions with bacterial cells and extracellular matrix components are under study. Post-doctoral candidates will be considered to evaluate development and stabilization of biofilm matrices related to amyloid formation and should have demonstrated expertise in the characterization of protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions, in protein structure analysis, particularly by solid state NMR, and/or in electron and confocal microscopy.
The Davey lab uses a combination of genetics, bacterial physiology, and gene expression analysis (RNA-seq and qPCR) to study the interrelationship between biofilm development and the pathogenicity of the oral anaerobe, Porphyromonas gingivalis. In particular, we are focused on molecular mechanisms that control changes in expression of cell surface structures, including capsular polysaccharides, sphingolipids, and fimbriae; and the subsequent impact on the interaction of P. gingivalis with host cells. (Project numbers: 2 R01 DE019117 07; and 1 R01 DE024580 01A1)
Laboratory of Dr. Lemos and Dr. Abranches
The Lemos-Abranches lab uses genetics, biochemistry, transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches to characterize the molecular factors that mediate virulence in opportunistic Gram-positive pathogens such as Streptococcus mutans and Enterococcus faecalis. In S. mutans, a major pathogen in dental caries and a leading causative agent of infective endocarditis, our current efforts focus on the characterization of the oxidative stress regulator Spx and its role in controlling stress responses and biofilm formation. The second S. mutans project focuses on the characterization of a collagen binding protein responsible for intracellular invasion of heart and oral tissues, a trait that is linked to increased virulence and, potentially, recurrent infection and chronic inflammation. The characterization of stress responses is also the theme of our research with E. faecalis, a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. In this project, we are investigating the interplay between the stringent response, a major bacterial stress response mechanism for adaptation to changing environments, with other prominent stress regulators and how these interactions influence the ability of E. faecalis to survive antibiotic stress and other adverse conditions.