The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard provides postdoctoral training in genomics for underrepresented minorities through a grant funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute. The program matches postdoctoral researchers with mentors according to their research interests. The postdoctoral researchers will collaborate with their mentor to design a long-term research project or a series of shorter projects.
Each selected postdoctoral researcher will be provided with a stipend, travel allowances to attend scientific conferences and meetings, and retirement and health benefits provided by the Broad Institute. Funding is provided for up to three years. In addition, participants will receive mentoring and professional development opportunities.
Aspiring postdoctoral researchers should submit their C.V. and a statement of research and career interests indicating overlap with Broad research activities. The program is open to underrepresented minorities who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Scientists must have a PhD in the physical, biological, or computer sciences, engineering, or mathematics. Applications are reviewed throughout the year.
As a trained structural biologist, LaTese Briggs plays an integral role in the Broad’s Chemical Biology Program, which is led by Core Member Stuart Schreiber. She works in chromatin biology, where she is analyzing proteins known as HDACs to assess their interaction with small-molecule inhibitors. The over-expression of HDAC proteins has been implicated in various cancers and in neurodegenerative disorders. The development of targeted biological probes will enable scientists to answer key questions about individual HDACs. In her research, LaTese uses a variety of tools designed to measure biomolecular reactions, including X-ray crystallography and surface plasmon resonance.
Diedra Wrighting spends her days in the lab researching the genetic variations that influence susceptibility to Type 2 Diabetes. As a postdoc in the lab of David Altshuler, a Core Member and leader of the Medical and Population Genetics Program, she is testing samples from hundreds of Swedish patients to identify variations that are associated with the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. She is looking at extremes: young, lean people who contracted diabetes even though they seemed at low risk, and older, obese people who do not have diabetes. What in their genome, she asks, puts them at risk, or protects them? Originally from San Francisco, Diedra moved to Boston in 2000 to attend Harvard Medical School, and she has never left. She shifted her research from iron absorption diseases to diabetes because she is interested in studying a disease that has a wide impact on society – and diabetes and obesity are now rampant in the US. She hopes that her work here will lay the foundation for her own laboratory someday.