Open Positions

Postdoctoral Position in Structure and Function of Pain-related GPCRs.

A postdoctoral position is available in the research group of Tao Che, Department of Anesthesiology at Washington University in St. Louis.

The goal of the Che lab is to understand the structure, function, and pharmacology of pain-related G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), particularly opioid receptors. Opioid receptors are GPCRs whose role in pain sensation has made them major drug targets for pain medications such as oxycodone and morphine. However, opioids have exceptionally high abuse potential and often cause fatal side effects such as respiratory arrest and death. Towards a molecular understanding of opioid receptor signaling, we employ a combination of state-of-the-art structural (X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM) and pharmacological techniques to gain an atomic-level understanding of opioid receptor activation, and leverage these data using structure-based drug design to develop alternatives to current opioids.


Applicants should hold a PhD in a relevant subject area, such as membrane protein biochemistry, structural biology or pharmacology. Experience in recombinant membrane protein expression and purification using insect and mamalian cells is essential. Structure determination using x-ray crystallography and/or cryo-EM along with functional analysis using biochemical, biophysical, and pharmacological techniques would definitely be a plus. The ability to work in a team, as well as good communication skills, are expected.

Applications that include a brief description of research interests and career aims, as well as a CV with contact information of three references should be sent to

Interested prospective graduate students are welcome to rotate in the Che lab.