Joint Postdoctoral Position in the Kleaveland and Lai Labs

The Lai and Kleaveland labs at Sloan Kettering Institute and Weill-Cornell Medicine, respectively, are excited to recruit for a joint position to investigate the roles of RNAi / Argonaute-2 catalysis in mammalian development and tissue homeostasis. While RNAi is well-appreciated to suppress selfish elements and is also a powerful experimental tool, a fundamental question remains largely unsolved: why do mammals preserve enzymatic activity of Argonaute-2? If you are curious and passionate about RNA and seek to integrate molecular regulatory mechanisms with in vivo phenotypes, we would love to work with you to discover the endogenous substrates of the RNAi pathway that are required for mammalian biology. The Lai/Kleaveland labs have a rich supply of mouse and human ESC knockin/knockout models, along with extensive unpublished data, to drive this effort forward. We offer a unique opportunity to train jointly in creative and collaborative environments, with access to a broad range of techniques used by the Lai/Kleaveland labs to study a range of RNA mechanisms and their biological impacts. Please visit the lab websites (; for more information.

Relevant papers on Ago2 catalysis in mammals:

Jee D, Yang JS, Park SM, Farmer DT, Wen J, Chou T, Chow A, McManus MT, Kharas MG, Lai EC (2018). Dual Strategies for Argonaute2-Mediated Biogenesis of Erythroid miRNAs Underlie Conserved Requirements for Slicing in Mammals. Molecular Cell 69: 265-278.

Kleaveland B, Shi CY, Stefano J, Bartel DP (2018). A Network of Noncoding Regulatory RNAs Acts in the Mammalian Brain. Cell 174: 350-362

Job Requirements

The project will involve molecular techniques, cell biology, bioinformatics and/or biochemistry, and the ideal candidate will be experienced with several of these approaches. Expertise in molecular neuroscience, stem cells, or mouse models is valued though not required. All relevant techniques can be learned from our groups and our strong network of Tri-I collaborators. We value kindness, grit, and diversity—women and minorities are specifically encouraged to apply. 

Contact: Interested applicants should send their CV, contact information for 3 references, and a cover letter that includes research interests and career goals to:

Ben Kleaveland, MD/PhD Weill Cornell Medicine

Eric Lai, PhD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Competitive salary and benefits will be provided. The salary range* is: $58,500 - $65,320.

Weill Cornell Medicine provides the above salary range in compliance with the New York City law on Salary Transparency in Job Advertisements. The salary range listed is for full‐time employment not including bonuses, clinical incentive compensation, or benefits. Actual salaries depend on a variety of factors including but not limited to internal equity, specialty, training, and hospital/community needs. The above salary range for New York City based roles represents WCM’s good faith and reasonable estimate of possible compensation at the time of posting.


Benjamin Kleaveland, M.D., Ph.D.

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs 1300 York Ave, Suite A-139 New York, NY 10065 Phone: