2018 Open for Rotations

Yes!  We are open for rotations for graduate students arriving summer 2018.  Dr. Jonathan Irish’s office is in PRB 740B.  If you are interested in a potential rotation, please read the information below and contact Jonathan by e-mail to set up a time to share your scientific background, talk through opportunities, and to meet lab members.

We expect to recruit ~1 student per year going forward.  In addition to crafting a project with Dr. Irish and weekly mentoring, students will be matched with support from Irish lab research staff and postdoctoral mentors for training in advanced technical and biological topics.  Projects will be tailored to fit the interests of the student and available opportunities. Students will work with Dr. Irish to select an appropriate Graduate Program and identify appropriate qualifying exam and thesis committee members.

Active research areas include:

  1. Programming immune cell identity.
    Projects in this area will dissect signaling mechanisms that are necessary and/or sufficient to program human cells to adopt different immune lineages.  A cellular immunology background will be useful for this project, but it is not required.  This project will be a good match for students interested in basic immunology, tumor immunology, or cancer immunotherapy.  Techniques on this project will include genetic manipulation of primary human immune cells, phospho-specific flow cytometry, and metabalomic screening.
  2. Computational biology & machine learning cell identity.
    Projects in this area will focus on data science, machine learning, and the application of computational approaches in cell biology, biomarker development, and medical diagnostics.  Programming experience would be a benefit for this project, although it is not strictly required and can be taught to a highly motivated student.  This project will emphasize dry lab computational biology and bioinformatics approaches and is likely to be fast moving as many datasets are already in hand.
  3. Neural stem cells, neuroimmunology, and brain tumors.
    Projects in this area will relate to neural cell biology, signaling in the brain’s stem cell niche, the brain tumor microenvironment, and tumor immunology.  These projects are part of collaborations with the Ihrie lab.  This project will emphasize wet lab skills and collaborative clinical research.  This project is more “high risk, high reward” and will provide significant opportunity to a student interested in building new tools and making fundamental discoveries in areas including neuroscience, brain biology, neural-immune interactions, and glioblastoma treatment.

All project areas in the lab:

  • provide opportunities to be part of a translational research team
  • have postdoctoral mentors available for interested grad students
  • focus on the study of primary human tissue or tumors
  • use single cell approaches (mass cytometry, scRNA-seq, quantitative imaging)
  • have funding from NIH grants and will support fellowship applications

Our group is highly collaborative, and additional projects exist in other cancer areas (lung cancer, melanoma), chemical biology / pharmacology, medical informatics, and more.  Rotations begin with training in our core technologies, such as phospho-specific flow cytometry, mass cytometry, and single cell data analysis.

Read more about what to expect in the Irish lab.

E-mail Dr. Jonathan Irish

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