Description: Postdoctoral fellowship positions are available in the laboratory of Dr. David Raleigh, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Neurological Surgery, and Principal Investigator and Preclinical Core Director in the Brain Tumor Center at the University of California San Francisco. Research in the Raleigh Laboratory focuses on developmental signaling pathways in cancer. Our research makes use of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, mouse genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, pharmacology and multidisciplinary collaborations to gain new insights into the molecular determinants of human malignancies. In addition to illuminating how developmental pathways function in cancer, our work aims to shed light on the fundamental mechanisms of developmental biology. Our team is comprised of biologists, computational scientists and clinicians working together to advance understanding of cancer biology and improve patient outcomes.
Most recently, our lab identified novel activators and effectors of oncogenic Hedgehog signaling in medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric brain tumor (Raleigh et al. J Clin Invest 2017, Raleigh et al. Mol Cell 2018). Hedgehog signals are transduced through primary cilia, and we found cilia-associated oxysterol lipids that bind to Smoothened and activate the Hedgehog pathway (Raleigh et al. Mol Cell 2018). This discovery affords us the opportunity to study how lipids drive cancer, and may teach us how lipids regulate developmental Hedgehog signaling. We additionally discovered that Hedgehog pathway misactivation in cancer induces cell proliferation through expression of CDK6 (Raleigh et al. J Clin Invest 2017). A clinical trial based on these data is under development by the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium. We also recently uncovered a FOXM1/Wnt signaling axis that drives cell proliferation in meningioma, the most common adult brain tumor (Vasudevan et al. Cell Reports 2018). Building on these foundational data, we are now studying novel epigenetic and transcriptomic biomarkers of meningioma behavior, intra-meningioma molecular heterogeneity, and whether blocking effectors of FOXM1/Wnt signaling is an effective strategy for meningioma treatment.
Highly motivated individuals with doctoral or medical training from broad scientific backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Potential projects include identification and characterization of genes involved in rare brain tumors, meningioma, and Hedgehog-associated cancers; investigation of the biosynthesis and trafficking of ciliary lipids that activate the Hedgehog pathway; creation of clinical biomarker assays to stratify patients with medulloblastoma and meningioma; and development of molecular therapy for medulloblastoma and meningioma patients.
Application Information: Please send current CV and cover letter to Dr. Raleigh at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Raleigh Laboratory website and additional information can be found at https://raleighlab.ucsf.edu.