Postdoctoral Fellow in Reproductive Sciences

Obstetrics And Gynaecology

Competition No.  -    A105245379
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

Postdoctoral Fellow in Reproductive Sciences

David M. Olson Laboratory

University of Alberta

Edmonton, Canada

We are seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to lead basic and pre-clinical studies of the role of interleukin (IL)-6  and a novel antagonist of the IL-6 receptor, HSJ633, in mouse models and human fetal membrane ex vivo models of preterm birth. The fellow will be mentored by Dr. David Olson. Dr. Olson leads the Inflammatory Pathways to Preterm Birth Team, a highly productive international assembly of scientists which have collaborated successfully since 2005. The candidate will join this collaborative global preterm birth research consortium working to bring clinical products to market through our own technology translation companies, Livmor Diagnostics, Inc. and Maternica Therapeutics, Inc. (

The Olson laboratory is located in the Heritage Medical Research Centre at the University of Alberta. Investigators use animal models, human tissue explants, and primary cell culture to study the molecular processes that drive pregnancy and parturition. This postdoctoral project is focused on testing the efficacy of the highly specific therapeutic, HSJ633 (targeting Interleukin (IL)-6 receptor), in blocking preterm birth in the mouse while protecting fetal organogenesis against fetal inflammation. This allosteric small peptide antagonists selectively inhibits STAT3 (HSJ633) without forfeiting other signaling pathways involved in immune vigilance or cytoprotection (MAPK, Akt, NFkB), thereby optimizing efficacy while minimizing toxicity. Preterm birth remains an acute unmet medical problem in large part because the pregnant woman is a drug orphan- there are virtually no new products being tested to diagnose and treat preterm birth and fetal inflammation. Preliminary HSJ633 experiments  in vitro and in vivo have shown very promising results.

Candidates must be able to take a leading role in this project and work independently under the guidance of Dr. Olson and senior personnel in the lab. Skills that interested candidates must exhibit are an excellent attention to detail, good organizational skills, intellectual curiosity and passion for the research, and a willingness to work in a team and mentor undergraduate and graduate students. Extensive experience in rodent handling and breeding, animal pregnancy models, and rodent treatments (injection of agents) is required. Experience in models of inflammation, tissue explant work, and basic cell culture are an asset. The project will involve RT-qPCR, Western Blot, ELISA/multiplex, and cell migration assays. Candidates with doctoral degrees and a strong background in any one of these fields or in other closely related fields are welcome to apply. Interested candidates should send a cover letter detailing their interest in the position and prior experiences that qualify them for this position, their CV and the names of three references to David Olson ( This appointment is a full-time, 2 year contract with potential for renewal. Candidates should also be willing to apply for competitive fellowships to enhance their salary support.

David M. Olson, Ph.D., D.Sc., FRCOG, FCAHS
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Alberta
227 HMR

COVID-19 Vaccination: Proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 in compliance with the University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Directive. Fully Vaccinated means a status an individual achieves 14 days after having received the recommended number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization, and requires the individual to maintain the recommended number and type of vaccine doses as updated and required by Health Canada thereafter.

How to Apply


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered. The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.