The Karatekin lab has 3 immediate openings:

1) POST DOCTORAL POSITION – Regulation of fusion pores and release kinetics.

A post-doctoral position is available immediately to study molecular mechanisms regulating fusion pore dynamics and release kinetics, with a focus on the fusion machinery found in photoreceptors.

Building upon approaches recently developed in the lab, the candidate will (1) study how fusion pores open and expand during neurotransmitter or hormone release in response to calcium using semi-reconstituted systems, (2) dissect mechanisms contributing to kinetics and cooperativity of rapid calcium-triggered exocytosis, with a particular focus on the release machinery in photoreceptors. Techniques and tools used will include electrophysiology, nanodiscs (artificial disc-shaped phospholipid bilayers) reconstituted with SNARE and synaptotagmin proteins, engineered cells expressing fusogens with flipped topology on their surfaces, single-particle fluorescence microscopy, and ultraviolet flash photolysis (for rapid elevation of calcium).

The project is funded through an NIH grant and is a collaboration with Wallace Thoreson (Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute, U. Nebraska Medical Center) and David Zenisek (Cellular & Molecular Physiology, Yale University).

2) POST DOCTORAL POSITION – Mechanisms of exocytosis in hair cells.

Hair cells of the auditory and vestibular systems signal sensory stimuli as graded changes in neurotransmitter release and employ unique anatomical and molecular components that differ from conventional synapses. Among the unique molecular features is the apparent lack of reliance on neuronal SNARE proteins and their various partners. Instead, hair cell exocytosis depends on a large protein called Otoferlin, by unknown mechanisms.

The candidate will investigate the unique features of hair cell synaptic transmission using a combination of molecular biology, electrophysiological approaches in zebrafish, and/or novel in vitro membrane fusion assays. The main focus of the candidate will be to use the zebrafish lateral line as a model system to explore mechanisms of otoferlin-dependent exocytosis. Depending on the expertise, interest, and motivation, the candidate can also contribute to the other aims of the project, working closely with Ane Landajuela: 1) identify requirements for otoferlin-dependent membrane fusion, 2) measure the calcium-dependent membrane binding properties of Otoferlin and look for Otoferlin-interacting partners in native cells.

This project is a close collaboration with David Zenisek (C&M Physiology, Yale) and Kallol Gupta (Cell Biology and Nanobiology Institute, Yale), and is funded by the NIH.


2) POST-GRADUATE RESEARCHER – Biochemistry and biophysics.

We are looking for a post-grad (with a B.S. degree or similar) with expertise in molecular biology, biochemistry, and/or tissue culture. The candidate will initially support various projects in the lab with molecular cloning, recombinant protein expression and purification, reconstitution of membrane proteins into liposomes and nanodiscs, and cell culture. Depending on interest, motivation, and ability, we hope the candidate to be increasingly involved with one or two of the ongoing projects and have increasing responsibilities (e.g. learning and running various fusion assays independently).


For all positions:

Problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, motivation, initiative, creativity, and good communication skills are essential. For the post-doctoral positions, expertise in two or more of the following areas is highly desirable: membrane biophysics, electrophysiology (especially coupled with UV uncaging of calcium or other compounds), cell biology/physiology, optics, molecular biology and biochemistry, quantitative analysis. Candidates with a background in physics, engineering or a related field are especially encouraged to apply.

Our lab is multidisciplinary, with 5-8 members, and offers a collegial, inclusive, and supportive environment. We value this positive environment very much and strive to foster it: your personality and whether you can contribute to this environment matters.

The lab is located at the Nanobiology Institute at Yale’s West Campus (westcampus.yale.edu). Dr. Karatekin holds a primary appointment at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, and a secondary appointment at the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; we interact closely with both departments. The scientific environment at the West Campus and both departments is exceptionally rich and highly collaborative.

Please send (as pdf files) a cover letter briefly describing your research interests, a curriculum vitae (including a publications list), and full contact information for three references to erdem.karatekin@yale.edu.


Because we use multi-disciplinary approaches, a variety of backgrounds from neuroscience, physics, engineering, to any area of quantitative biology is welcome.

Please note that if you want to join the lab as a doctoral student, you first need to apply to and be admitted into one of Yale’s excellent PhD programs. If you are already a graduate student at Yale, please contact Erdem to talk about potential rotation projects.

Skip to toolbar