Olson Laboratory

UTSW Moleculare Biology



Structural biology position available in the Olson Lab

We have discovered a novel muscle-specific membrane protein that is necessary and sufficient to induce the fusion of muscle cells to form multinucleated muscle fibers. The process of myoblast fusion has been the focus of intense interest for decades but, until now, no muscle-specific fusigen has been discovered. This fusigenic protein is highly hydrophobic and localized to the plasma membrane. One of our major goals is to understand at the structural level how such a protein can promote the merger of membranes between cells. We hope to recruit a structural biologist to determine the crystal structure of this fusigenic protein and then to introduce mutations to perturb its structure to further understand the mechanistic basis of its actions. This project has the potential to yield important new insights into general properties of membrane fusion, as well as a new therapeutic approach for muscular dystrophy. This project will offer a unique opportunity for a young scientist to establish a reputation in an important area of cell biology and to independently extend this work in the future.


Postdoc position

We have recently discovered a collection of novel cardiac and skeletal muscle specific genes encoding previously unstudied regulatory proteins and noncoding RNAs. A postdoctoral position is available to begin to decipher the functions of selected genes from this collection. This project offers the opportunity to discover new regulatory mechanisms in muscle cells and to establish new principles in cellular signaling and gene expression.


Please send inquiries to:

Eric N. Olson, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor

Department of Molecular Biology

UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

5323 Harry Hines Blvd.

Dallas, TX 75390-9148

(214) 648-1187 Phone

(214) 648-1196 Fax

e-mail: Eric.Olson@UTSouthwestern.edu