Postdoctoral fellow / Assistant Staff Scientist - Immunology

Job Locations US-OK-Oklahoma City
 Arthritis & Clinical Immunology - Zhao


OMRF is an independent, not-for-profit biomedical research institute adjacent to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) campus in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City offers a dynamic and flourishing downtown area, with low cost of living, short commute times and a diversified economy.


OMRF’s excellence can only be fully realized by individuals who share our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Successful candidates will demonstrate commitment to these values. OMRF is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected characteristic.



We offer competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits including, medical, dental, and vision insurance, minimum 8% company retirement contribution, vacation and sick leave, paid holidays, onsite café, free onsite fitness center with access to personal trainer, free parking and much more! Relocation assistance available for those located 50 miles outside of Oklahoma City metro and out of state. Learn more about our benefits here.


The laboratory of Dr. Meng Zhao in the Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow/Assistant Staff Scientist to investigate the metabolic regulation of innate like T cells in the pathogenesis of human diseases. Our study has demonstrated that iNKT cells, especially the IFNg secreting subset of iNKT cells, suppress arthritis development, and have great potential as a therapeutic target (Zhao et al. Nature Comm 2018). The postdoctoral fellow’s project is built upon these exciting discoveries, and focuses on understanding the mechanistic interaction between metabolic remodeling and immune functions during the development of autoimmune or infectious diseases. The postdoctoral fellow will work with cutting edge resources including high resolution microscopy, novel genetically modified mouse models, metabolomic analysis, and single cell transcriptomic analysis.


Founded in 1946, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected nonprofit biomedical research institutes. OMRF has made The Scientist magazine’s annual list of the “Best Places to Work for Postdocs” for many years. Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Program is the home base for one of only 10 Autoimmune Centers of Excellence (ACE) in the US. Apart from the close mentorship from Dr. Zhao, the postdoctoral fellow will benefit from departmental journal clubs, seminar series, and the expertise from diverse approaches in the program and the institute. Moreover, postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to apply for OMRF Postdoc Travel Awards to support their attendance at scientific meetings nationally and internationally.


Selected publication

Zhao M*#, Quintana A*, Zhang C*, Andreyev AY*, Kiosses W, Kuwana T, Murphy A, Hogan PG#, Kronenberg M#. Calcium signals regulate the functional differentiation of thymic iNKT cells. EMBO J. 2021 Aug 16;40(16):e107901, PMID: 34169542 (* co-first authors, # co-corresponding authors)


Zhao M*, Svensson M*, Venken K, Sethi A, Engel I, Day JD, Elewaut D, Bottini N, Kronenberg M. Altered thymic differentiation and modulation of arthritis by invariant NKT cells expressing mutant ZAP70. Nat. Communications. 2018 Jul 6. 9:262 (* co-first author) PMCID: PMC6035278

Chandra S*, Zhao M*, Budelsky A, de Mingo Pulido A, Day J, Fu Z, Siegel L, Smith D, Kronenberg M. A new mouse strain for the analysis of invariant NKT cell function. Nat Immunology. 2015 Aug;16(8):799-800. (* co-first author) PMCID: PMC4711267

Minimum Qualifications

Applicants should have a Ph.D., M.D., or M.D./Ph.D. (or expect to receive a doctoral degree soon), possess excellent experimental and communication skills, and demonstrate solid training in immunology or mouse genetics with scientific publications. Previous research experience with molecular biology is highly valued.


OMRF has mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees, excluding those with an approved medical or religious accommodation, as a condition of employment. Applicants must have received, or be willing to receive, a COVID-19 vaccine by their start date to be considered for employment.


Special Instructions

Please send the CV to


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