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Interested in our Lab?

For Graduate Students:
Email Dr. Hay directly, at, with a pdf version of your CV. He will follow up to meet and talk about rotation opportunities.

For Undergraduate researchers:
We have had many undergraduate researchers over the years, and they have gone on to enjoy great success in a number of areas. We are now accepting highly motivated, serious and committed students to work on projects in the lab. Email with your CV with GPA, major, courses taken, intended hours in the lab per week, previous research experience, and future goals. Dr. Hay will follow up to meet and talk about opportunities available.

Postdoctoral position: Mitochondrial DNA quality control:
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes RNAs and proteins required for oxidative phosphorylation, the primary method of ATP production in nucleated cells. mtDNA often exists in a state of heteroplasmy, in which deleterious mutant mtDNA co-exists in cells along with wildtype mtDNA. Heteroplasmy for pathogenic mutations is common, and high frequencies of mutant mtDNA result in severe maternally inherited syndromes. mtDNA mutations also accumulate over time and contribute to a number of diseases of aging including Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and sarcopenia. Reducing heteroplasmy is therefore an important therapeutic goal. We have developed systems in which heteroplasmy for a specific lethal mtDNA deletion can be created at will in vivo. We find that mtDNA quality control is normally weak, but can be dramatically enhanced in multiple ways to promote the selective elimination of deletion-bearing mtDNA ref

Our goal is to use this system, and/or related systems in mammalian cells, to understand the basis for mtDNA quality control, and how to stimulate it, in somatic cells and in the germline.

Postdoctoral position: Engineering the plant mitochondrial genome:
We are interested in engineering the plant mitochondrial genome as a platform for synthetic biology and crop enhancement, something that thus far has only been possible in single-celled organisms such as yeast and algae. Work on this project occurs in collaboration with the lab of Elliot Meyerowitz, also at Caltech.

Postdoctoral Position: Gene drive for population replacement/alteration or population suppression. Our goal is to create strong gene drive methods that are robust to evolutionary pressures, and that can be implemented in diverse species.

Bruce A. Hay
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering
California Institute of Technology
1200 East California Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91125
Department Webpage

A CV, a summary of research background and interests, and letters of reference should be sent to in PDF format.

The California Institute of Technology

Caltech is consistently ranked among the top research universities in the world and hosts a diverse and collaborative research community. Caltech is located in Pasadena, California, a vibrant city 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles and minutes from hiking trails in the San Gabriel mountains.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.