Discovering The Developmental Origins of Obesity

The Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn, Poland


An announcement of research and training positions

Descriptions and qualification requirements are presented for positions in the laboratory of Professor Leslie P. Kozak to study the developmental origins of obesity at the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Technology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn, Poland.

The positions, funded by the Welcome Program of the Foundation for Polish Science, include: 4  post-doctoral positions (net monthly salary of 6800 PLN); 6 PhD graduate student positions (net monthly salary of 3,500 PLN)  and 3 Research Associates (net monthly salary of up to 3,500 PLN depending upon qualifications) and 4 under-graduate student ( net monthly salary 1000 PLN).

Deadline for the receipt of application is September 19, 2011.

 Project Descriptions:

  1. Determine the influence of diet, ambient temperature and genetics on the development of white adipose tissue and brown adipocytes in white adipose tissue and its long term influence on the sensitivity to obesity in an obesogenic environment.
  2. The capacity for adipose tissue expansion is established in part by the early nutritional environment, that is, a positive energy balance during the suckling period increases the capacity to expand adipose tissue. Previous research has shown that genes associated with the cytoskeleton and structures on the plasma membrane called caveolae are induced to increase the capacity of the adipocyte to expand. Conversely, adipose tissue that developed in a state of negative energy balance has a reduced capacity to expand in an obesogenic environment. We seek to determine the mechanisms controlling the transcription of Cav1, Cav2, Ptrf and Mest, key genes associated with adipose tissue expansion, at 10 days of age depending upon the early nutritional environment. Methods will utilize ChIP Seq methodology.
  3. Determine the stem cell origin for the genetic variation in the number of brown adipocytes that can populate white adipose tissues.
  4. Gene expression analysis of adipose tissue from mice during the lactation period under conditions of mal-nutrition suggests that post-transcription and translation mechanism involving protein phosphatases are important in the activation of transcription in response to the  nutritional environment. These putative regulatory mechanisms will be tested with gene KO and  suppression of protein levels with siRNA strategies.

Qualifications for PhD graduate students and post-doctoral students

  1. Students must successfully complete course work in biochemistry, eukaryotic genetics and molecular and cellular biology.
  2. Previous experience in a biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory work is essential for post-doctoral students, and desirable, but not essential, for graduate students.
  3. Experience with in vitro cell cultures is highly desirable.
  4. Students must be able to work with mice to study physiological and molecular functions and have knowledge of the practical aspects of mouse genetics necessary to use them in biomedical research.
  5. Proficient at communicating in written and spoken English.
  6. Candidates are sought with experience in bio-informatics/computational biology.
  7. Students who are motivated to become independent scientists in biomedical research.

Qualifications for Research Associates

All positions require candidates with a master’s degree in biochemistry or molecular biology or with equivalent practical experience, and skills in the use of computers that  include Microsoft  Office programs, especially Excel.

Research Associate I

Position involves research using methods for nucleic acid purifications, the quantitative analysis of gene expression and genotyping with PCR.  This person will also function as a laboratory manager being responsible for ordering reagents and equipment and maintaining records of such items.

Research Associate II

This individual will be responsible for managing the mouse colony and have a background and experience in mouse genetics.  The individual will be responsible for determining the phenotypic traits associated with obesity and diabetes.

Research Associate III

This associate will be skilled in in vitro studies with primary cell culture and established cell lines and have the ability to study the differentiation process of white and brown adipocytes in cell culture.

Application Procedure

Post-doctoral and PhD candidates are asked to submit:

  1. A curriculum vitae containing the following information:
    • Personal information (name, address, phone, e-mail)
    • Academic degree and Education (all candidates)
    • Candidate’s scientific achievements:
      • Students - average overall mark,
      • PhD students - Credit for master’s courses (including: mean examination grade for entire course, grade for the MS thesis, grade for defence of the master thesis,
      • Postdoctoral fellows – final credit for their doctoral course (average for entire course, doctoral exam including doctoral dissertation and defence).
      • Awards and Honors
    • Publications and abstracts to scientific meetings.
    • Description of Research laboratory experience.
    • Foreign traineeships.
    • Participation in seminars and scientific conferences.
    • Language skills (English language certificates).
  2. A statement describing the candidate’s expectations as to how the project will further their career goals.
  3. Three letters of reference.

Candidates for Research Associates and Student fellowships are asked to submit a Curriculum Vitae and 2 references.

Positions will be filled without regard to gender, age, race or nationality.

Procedures for application are available online through the website

Candidates are obliged to submit application items electronically to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Only the applications in English are allowable!

We reserve the right to contact only the chosen candidates. We kindly ask you to include in the Curriculum Vitae the following passage: "I hereby agree for my personal data, included in my job application, to be processed in line with the needs of recruitment, in accordance with the Law on Personal Data Protection of 29 August 1997 (Law Gazette from 2002, No.101, heading 926, as amended)."