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Epigenomics of Development and Disease

Graduate position available

PhD position in mathematical modeling of gene regulatory networks

A PhD student position is available starting Spring, 2017 to study how gene regulatory networks process cytokine signals during mouse hematopoiesis. The student will work on a National Science Foundation funded project with the goals of 1) Identifying gene regulatory networks induced upon cytokine stimulation using gene expression time series data and 2) Developing predictive computational models to dissect the order and timing of regulatory events controlling cell-fate choice.

Our lab employs a variety of intertwined experimental and computational approaches to study cell-fate specification. See for more information. The student will be joining an multidisciplinary team with expertise in developmental biology, computational biology, mathematical modeling, and high performance computing.

The student will be expected to perform computational analysis of RNA-seq data, formulate mathematical models of gene regulation, write software, and perform simulations. The opportunity to learn and perform experiments will also be available if the student is so inclined. The student will also be expected to collaborate with other members of the lab and interact with the larger integrative systems biology group comprised of faculty from the Departments of Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Computer Science, and the Medical School.

Interested candidates should contact Dr. Manu by email or phone:

Assistant Professor of Biology
Starcher Hall 209
University of North Dakota
+1 631 885 3040

Postdoctoral positions available

Two postdoctoral positions are available: please see links below.

1) Post-doctoral research fellow in epigenetics/bioinformatics

2) Post-doctoral research fellow in bioinformatics and systems pharmacology

Current Announcements

  • Congratulations to the winners of the Epigenetics pilot projects! 
    • Dr. Kumi Nagamoto-Combs, Assistant Professor in Pathology
    • Dr. Tristan Darland, Assistant Professor in Biology
    • Dr. Manu Manu, Assistant Professor in Biology
    • Dr. Jody Ralph, Associate Professor in Nursing.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Lucia Carvelli for her R01 award entitled: "AMPHETAMINE CAUSES TRANSGENERATIONAL EFFECTS".

  • Congratulations to Dr. Catherine Brissette for her R21 award entitled: "MICRORNAS INDUCED IN RESPONSE TO BORRELIA BURGDORFERI".

  • Call for 2015 New Project RFA and 2015-2016 Pilot Project Proposals! Visit the Epigenetics Current Funding Opportunities webpage for details!

  • Congratulations to Dr. Sumali Pandey, a post-doctoral fellow/research specialist in the Ohm lab for receiving a $19,500 pilot grant from the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) to study epigenomic remodeling associated marks in bronchial epithelium upon exposure to Aspergillus fumigatus spores.
  • Congratulations to Drs. Roxanne Vaughan, Joyce Ohm, Sergei Nechaev, Lucia Carvelli, Cindy Anderson and Archana Dhasarathy for their $10.5 million COBRE award!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Joyce Ohm for receiving her first NIH R01 grant for a total of $1,552,500; titled "Environmental Toxins and Stem Cell Epigenetic Remodeling". Other UND investigators who will collaborate with Dr. Ohm on this grant are Drs. Kurt Zhang, Brij Singh and John Watt. 



Our epigenetics research working group has been meeting regularly since 2010 and has grown to include approximately twenty laboratories from three departments in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, as well as talented scientists from the College of Nursing, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the USDA Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center. Most of the epigenetics group members are early career investigators or those with established research programs in other fields whose research has led them to the exciting area of epigenetics/epigenomics research. In addition to the five junior investigators who would receive project support through our COBRE (Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in the Epigenomics of Development and Disease) grant, this working group includes several well-established federally-funded investigators with expertise in cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, auto-immune disorders, and aging. The more established members of the group will serve as collaborators, mentors, and on the Internal Advisory Board to support the Center generally, and more specifically to assist the junior investigators with all aspects of our mission.


Group Research Interests

Featured UND Investigator

Sergei Nechaev

Sergei Nechaev

Sergei Nechaev, PhD was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in January 2012. UNDSMHS recruited Dr. Nechaev from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at NIH in North Carolina, where he was a postdoctoral researcher for five years. Dr. Nechaev earned his doctorate from the State Research Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms, Moscow, Russia.

Dr. Nechaev is the Project Leader for Project 1 of our proposed COBRE Center investigating the roles of RNA polymerase II pausing as a dynamic epigenetic mark during neural stem cell differentiation.

His pioneering work on RNA polymerase II pausing has resulted in a 2010 Science publication: Global Analysis of Short RNAs Reveals Widespread Promoter-Proximal Stalling and Arrest of Pol II in Drosophila.

In his spare time, Sergei enjoys mushroom hunting and cross country skiing, depending on the season.


Epigenetics Links

Genome Data and Technical Links

NIH Epigenomics Roadmap Project - a public resource of human epigenomic data intended to catalyze basic biology and disease-oriented research.

Genecards - a searchable, integrated database of human genes

UCSC Genome Browser - reference sequence information and working draft assemblies for a large collection of genomes

Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) - a comprehensive set of functional annotation tools to help investigators understand the biological meaning behind large list of genes

UNC (Chapel Hill) Histone antibody page - A useful collection of histone antibodies and assay conditions

Brian Strahl's interactive database for histone antibody specificity

Methprimer - a program for designing bisulfite-conversion-based Methylation PCR Primers.

Bisulfite sequencing Data presentation and Compilation (BDPCC) - an online DNA methylation analysis platform for analysis of primary bisulfate sequencing experiments

Grant information

NIH R01 Toolkit - A very complete resource for persons seeking and maintaining NIH funding