Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, DNA Break Repair and Recombination

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Seattle, WA, United States


Cures Start Here. At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Careers Start Here.


A post-doctoral research fellow is available in the Smith Laboratory, that studies the molecular basis of recombination using both S. pombe and E. coli as model organisms. The responsibilities of this position will be to to study S. pombe meiotic recombination or E. coli recombination and DNA break repair by RecBCD enzyme

In S. pombe we use a variety of techniques – genetic, biochemical, and microscopic – to discover the molecular mechanism of meiotic recombination and how it is controlled to occur at the right time and place along chromosomes. Current studies include elucidating the mechanism of crossover interference, which involves DSB hotspot clustering by linear element proteins, DSB interference, and DSB competition. See Fowler, Hyppa, Cromie, and Smith, PNAS 115: E9333 – E9342 (2018), PMID: 30217891.

In E. coli, we use genetics, enzymology, and electron microscopy to study how RecBCD helicase-nuclease is controlled by Chi recombination hotspots. Current studies include testing our nuclease-swing model for Chi’s control of the nuclease during DNA unwinding. See Amundsen and Smith, NAR 47: 197 – 209 (2019), PMID: 30445486.


A Ph.D. in biology or related fields and experience in genetics or biochemistry is required. Experience with microbes is valuable but not essential. Compensation will follow the NIH guidelines for postdoctoral fellows. Start date is flexible.

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Quote Reference: 14977