Garcia-Marcos Laboratory


Our laboratory investigates signal transduction mechanisms with the ultimate goal of elucidating the molecular basis of human diseases and developing novel therapeutic approaches. Our main interest is in heterotrimeric G proteins, which are molecular switches primarily activated by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) located at the plasma membrane. In the recent years, we have pioneered the characterization of novel mechanisms of G protein regulation that deviate from the canon and that have important implications in cancer, embryonic development, and neurotransmission. Our multidisciplinary approach includes in vitro biochemistry to characterize protein complexes, culture cells and model organisms (yeast, frog embryos) for functional studies and synthetic biology tools to manipulate and monitor signaling with exquisite spatiotemporal resolution and fidelity.

There are several open projects in the laboratory that could accommodate new postdoctoral fellows. These involve the study of spatiotemporal control of GPCR/ G protein signaling with live-cell biosensors and other synthetic biology tools, and investigating the role of GPCR-independent G protein signaling in epithelial tissues in vitro and vertebrate embryos (zebrafish, Xenopus) in vivo. It is also expected that the applicant will be engaged in related secondary projects and collaborative efforts within and/or outside our laboratory.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED- We are looking for candidates with a recent Ph.D. and experience in Cell Biology and Biochemistry, as demonstrated by a strong publication record. Prior knowledge of GPCR/G protein signal transduction is preferred but not essential. We are looking for motivated and creative individuals with a commitment to academic research who can work independently as well as in team-based projects. Good oral and written communication skill are a must.

The atmosphere in the laboratory is collaborative and multidisciplinary. The successful candidate will interact on a daily basis with colleagues carrying out studies on different areas of research (cancer, development, neurobiology) and approaches (purified proteins, structural biology, primary and cell line cultures, BRET, mice, frogs, etc). Our laboratory is highly committed to the career development of trainees.

The Department of Biochemistry at Boston University offers a highly collegial atmosphere and a first rate research environment.

Skills: Experience with several of the techniques listed below is required:

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology: Cell culture, confocal and live cell fluorescence microscopy, molecular cloning, genetic manipulation of cell lines by CRISPR and RNAi, lentivirus production, etc
  • Biochemistry: Protein purification, protein-protein interaction assays such as pulldowns and immunoprecipitations, immunoblotting, enzymatic assays, etc.
  • Animal Models: zebrafish and/or Xenopus

Interested candidates should send a CV, cover letter and contact information for 3 references.

Mikel Garcia-Marcos, PhD. Associate Professor.


  • Maziarz M, Park J-C, Leyme A, Marivin A, Garcia-Lopez A, Patel PP, Garcia-Marcos M. Revealing the Activity of Trimeric G-proteins in Live Cells with a Versatile Biosensor Design. Cell: published: July 06, 2020.
  • DiGiacomo V, Maziarz M, Luebbers A, Norris JM, Laksono P, Garcia-Marcos M. Probing the mutational landscape of regulators of G Protein signaling proteins in cancer. Science Signaling. 2020 Feb 4;13(617). pii: eaax8620. PMID: 32019900.
  • Marivin A, Morozova V, Walawalkar I, Leyme A, Kretov DA, Cifuentes D, Dominguez I, Garcia-Marcos M. GPCR-independent activation of G proteins promotes apical cell constriction in vivo. Journal of Cell Biology. 2019; May 6;218(5):1743-1763. PMID: 30948426.
  • Leyme A et al. Specific inhibition of GPCR-independent G protein signaling by a rationally engineered protein. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS). 2017 Nov 28;114(48):E10319-E10328. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1707992114. Epub 2017 Nov 13.
  • de Opakua AI, et al.  Molecular mechanism of Gαi activation by non-GPCR proteins with a Gα-Binding and Activating motif. Nature Communications. 2017 May 18;8:15163. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15163.
  • Marivin A. et al. Dominant negative Gα subunits as a novel mechanism of trimeric G protein signaling dysregulation in human disease. Science Signaling. 2016. Apr 12;9(423):ra37. PMID: 27072656.
  • Leyme A. et al. Integrins activate trimeric G proteins via the nonreceptor protein GIV/Girdin. Journal of Cell Biology. 2015 Sep 28;210(7):1165-84. PMID: 26391662.


Cifuentes Laboratory

Postdoctoral positions are available for highly talented and motivated candidates willing to address fundamental questions of RNA regulation in viruses and vertebrate systems.

The available projects focus on the study of post-transcriptional RNA regulators such as microRNA and other small non-coding regulatory RNAs, RNA-binding proteins and epitranscriptomic modifications with the goal to integrate these mechanisms into a single post-transcriptional regulatory framework. To address this goal, the lab combines high-throughput genetic, genomic, and proteomic approaches applied to two independent but technically interconnected areas: vertebrate development and viral replication, using zebrafish and filoviruses as primary model systems. Additional information can be found at

Candidates should have a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent degree and at least a first author publication. Strong experience in molecular biology is required and knowledge of computational biology will be a plus, but even more important is their motivation to learn and problem-solving skills to adapt to the scientific challenges and become positive members of the lab. The position is funded for at least two years, contingent on performance.

To apply please send to Dr. Cifuentes ( a cover letter stating research interests, CV, and contact for three references.

Varelas laboratory

Graduate Student Positions

Interested students should apply to the PiBS program at Boston University (BU-PiBS). Once accepted to the program please email Dr. Varelas(xvarelas) to arrange a meeting to discuss projects and opportunities.

Postdoctoral Positions

Postdoctoral positions are available in the Varelas Lab to work on funded, multi-year, cell signaling projects. The overall goal of the Lab is to understand the roles and regulation of the Hippo pathway in a variety of areas, including stem cell biology, development, and diseases such as cancer. The successful candidate(s) will have opportunities to work with a vibrant group to learn and utilize a number of experimental approaches, including molecular biology and cell biology methods, and various animal models.

Candidates should hold a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree, or the equivalent, and preferably have expertise in developmental mouse models. Qualified candidates must also be able to work independently, demonstrate excellent communication skills and work well within a group. To apply send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names of three references to Dr. Varelas by email (xvarelas). Please note that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Harris Laboratory


Postdoctoral positions are available to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease, prion diseases, and other neurodegenerative disorders due to protein aggregation. The laboratory is interested in understanding the cellular pathways that mediate the neurotoxicity of Aβ, prions, and other misfolded protein aggregates, and developing therapeutic approaches to block these pathways. A number of exciting projects are underway, spanning basic biology to drug discovery. The candidate will join a vibrant, multi-disciplinary group that is a leader in research on neurodegenerative disorders.

We are seeking scientists with a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree, or the equivalent, and experience in one or more of the following areas: biochemistry, cell biology, chemical biology, protein structure, and mouse transgenic models.

Please send a curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and the names of three references to:

David A. Harris, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Biochemistry, Cell Biology & Genomics
Boston University School of Medicine
72 East Concord Street, K225
Boston, MA 02118 USA