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GCI Post-Doc Janane Rahbani Paves the Way to Principal Investigator

In the competitive academic landscape of cancer research, Janane Rahbani, PhD, shares his postdoctoral journey at the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute (GCI). Prof. Rahbani delves into the pivotal role that this phase played in shaping his journey toward becoming a Principal Investigator (PI), highlighting GCI’s collaborative spirit and his own recruitment initiatives.

Prof. Janane Rahbani joined the GCI as a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Prof. Lawrence Kazak in 2018. His research stood at the crossroads of mitochondrial energetics and mammalian physiology, unraveling causal links between thermogenesis and obesity. Reflecting on this time at the GCI, he shares, "My data extended fundamental and translational insight into the bioenergetic and transcriptional control of adipocyte thermogenesis and bridged molecular metabolism with animal and human physiology." Find out more about his work here.

The GCI, known for its collaborative and supportive environment, played a pivotal role in Prof. Rahbani’s decision to continue his research training within its esteemed walls. "GCI provides many opportunities and resources that help trainees establish successful research careers," he emphasizes. Prof. Rahbani took advantage of this postdoctoral training with Prof. Lawrence Kazak at the GCI to further solidify his technical skills and knowledge in the disciplines that converge into the field of metabolomics, including chemical biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, mouse physiology, cell signaling, and bioenergetics. This positioned him to make insightful contributions through impactful publications and to acquire new skillsets that increased his chances of transitioning into an independent researcher in academia.

Securing a position as a PI at the University of Chicago, Prof. Rahbani emphasizes the importance of developing a scholarly community, taking initiatives, and establishing collaborations, especially through active attendance at conferences. His cover letter strategically highlighted the alignment of his research directions with the department's interests, a tactic that contributed to his successful application.

Motivated by the intellectual freedom to design new research programs and mentor future scientists, Prof. Rahbani articulates the satisfaction derived from being a PI. His current lab focuses on cancer-associated cachexia and tumor growth: “I am interested in identifying how futile cycles and thermogenesis in adipose tissues contribute to muscle/adipose atrophy and how fat and skeletal muscle adapt their metabolism during early stages of cachexia. The second focus of my laboratory is to constrain tumor growth by targeting adipose tissue metabolism and promoting the greatest amount of energy expenditure.”

In Prof. Rahbani's journey from a GCI postdoc to a Principal Investigator, his integration of expertise, mentorship, and a passion for transformative science emerges as a testament to the collaborative spirit and scientific foundations fostered at the GCI.



Prof. Rahbani extends an invitation to prospective graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in developing novel treatments to limit tumor progression and improve cachexia in cancer patients.

If you are interested, please send an email to janane.rahbani [at] bsd.uchicago.edu with your CV, contact information of three references and a cover letter describing your past research and your future goals.


Get in touch with Prof. Janane Rahbani:

X (Twitter): @jananerahbani

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janane-rahbani-809b833a/

Email: janane.rahbani [at] bsd.uchicago.edu

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