About Us

Job Openings

Our laboratory investigates the neuronal/hormonal basis for complex eating and blood glucose control with the goal of designing new methods to treat body weight extremes and associated disorders of mood and metabolism. We mainly have investigated how the hormone ghrelin and its receptor influence eating (when hungry, for pleasure and upon stress), blood glucose, body weight, the body’s responses to gastric bypass surgery, and mood. We also study ghrelin secretion and the relationship of ghrelin cells to other gastrointestinal endocrine cells.   We are seeking motivated, hard-working, and imaginative researchers to join our team.

Three postdoctoral positions are available.   In addition, we have a Research Assistant/Research Associate position available.  Information about these positions follows:

The first postdoctoral project will focus on investigating the role of ghrelin in mediating blood glucose in the settings of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. We will take advantage of our mouse models targeting the ghrelin system, insulin/glucose clamp technology, as well as in vitro and ex vivo cell culture techniques.   The clamp studies will form the basis of the postdoctoral studies and will be performed under the additional guidance of my collaborator on campus, Eric Berglund, Ph.D.   

The second postdoctoral project will focus on determining the molecular mechanisms mediating ghrelin release and the release of other gastric hormones in several physiologically-relevant and pathologic settings.  For this work, we will take advantage of our mouse genetic models targeting the ghrelin system and targeting enteroendocrine cells, as well as cell culture techniques, RNAseq technology/bioinformatics, and various histochemistry techniques.  These studies will help us to determine the role of these gastric hormones in obesity, cachexia, diabetes, mood disorders, Prader-Willi Syndrome, and exercise, to name just a few of the conditions in which the lab is interested.

The third postdoctoral project will focus on studying the molecular and neuronal mechanisms mediating the ghrelin response to stress, including stimulation of ghrelin secretion by stress and the ensuing anti-depressant response. We will use state-of-the art neuroanatomical and ex vivo cell culture techniques along with our unique collection of mouse genetic models and mouse behavioral models.

Candidates for the postdoctoral positions must hold a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree and are expected to be self-motivated and contribute substantively to the design, implementation, interpretation and reporting of these investigational studies. Depending on the project, prior experience with clamp technology in rodents, genetically-engineered mouse models and related breeding strategies, mouse behavioral studies, stereotaxic brain surgery and other neuroanatomical techniques, histology, cell culture, and/or bioinformatics leading to publication in peer-reviewed journals is recommended.

The primary responsibility of the Research Assistant/Research Associate would be to help manage our animal colony.  Depending on the skillset, there would also be the opportunity to perform histochemistry, stereotaxic surgeries, and physiology studies  and/or to help out with lab management. 

Interested individuals should send a CV, statement of interests, and a list of three references jeffrey.zigman@utsouthwestern.edu.

UT Southwestern Medical Center is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.