The Thyme lab (https://www.thymelab.org/) uses zebrafish as a model system to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disease. We also employ protein engineering techniques to build tools to assist with our zebrafish studies. Experiments will potentially utilize the following techniques, depending on the project: molecular biology (PCR, cloning), zebrafish genome-editing, zebrafish line maintenance, antibody staining, RNA in situ analysis, high-resolution imaging, biochemistry (protein purification), bacterial directed evolution, high-throughput larval behavior, drug screens, and transcriptomics (bulk and single-cell RNA-seq). Analysis of most data from the lab requires cluster computing, and postdocs will be trained in this area as well as in python scripting or other languages if there is an interest or need.
The Thyme lab is a unique environment, as it merges the divergent approaches of Dr. Thyme’s graduate work in protein engineering and postdoctoral work in zebrafish neurobiology. The lab is an ideal fit for a candidate with an interest in either area who wants to explore a new and different direction without risk, as the lab’s diversity offers the possibility of backup projects in both fields. For example, possible applicants could include a biochemist who wants to gain experience with a model organism or anyone with zebrafish expertise who wants to think more about the details of proteins underlying neurodevelopmental disorders. Applicants could also include someone with experience in a different model system, such as Drosophila or C. Elegans, who is interested in developing skills with zebrafish. Those who want to bring a new field to the lab are welcome to merge their graduate skills with zebrafish research and create their own unique brand.
The lab opened in July 2019 and Dr. Thyme has already been awarded several highly prestigious new faculty awards, including the Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship and the limited submission Mallinckrodt Grant. Current research includes genes that increase risk for autism and schizophrenia, unstudied proteins with domains of unknown function (the dark proteome) and likely neurobiological roles, and conserved alternative splicing events that are important to normal neurodevelopment.
The lab location at UAB offers fantastic weather and a very reasonable cost of living, facilitating a positive postdoc experience. UAB is a world-class institution, ranked the number one young University in the US for multiple years in a row and in the top 10 among public universities for NIH funding. Birmingham is a fun mid-sized city at the heart of a metropolitan area with a population of 1.1 million people. It is less than three hours drive to Atlanta and Nashville, and just a little bit farther to New Orleans and Memphis. It is a great location for outdoor activities throughout much of the year, such as bouldering and whitewater sports. There are beautiful walks and hikes both directly within the city, such as the Jemison Park trails and Birmingham Botanical Garden, and a short drive away, such as Oak Mountain State Park. The city itself has recently entered the national spotlight for its booming food scene. There are a number of nightlife activities, such as cocktail bars and breweries. The city has a history as a theatre destination, and there are music festivals and movie nights. It is also a family-friendly location, with a low cost of living and the possibility of nationally-ranked public schools within a very short commute.
UAB also offers an IRACDA postdoctoral fellowship for those with a strong interest in training for teaching positions (applications typically due in February). The Thyme lab would consider applicants arriving at later dates, particularly those interested in applying to the IRACDA program, or in the immediate future.
To apply or inquire further, please send a brief email of interest and CV, along with the contact information (email) of at least two references.