A 2-3 year postdoctoral opportunity is available at Lab of Molecular Research (LMR) in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Maryland-Baltimore, to study the impact of intrinsic optic nerve (ON) adult neural progenitors (aNPCs) on nerve development and resistance to blinding diseases such as glaucoma and ON stroke. Projects include: 1) Defining retinal neuronal responses to aNPC-expressed growth factors. 2) Establishment and development of appropriate matrices to define the optimal three-dimensional requirements for ON-aNPC growth. 3) Effects of selective aNPC loss in disease severity, progression and repair following glaucoma and ON stroke. The lab utilizes transgenic, confocal, cell culture, molecular biological and electron microscopic techniques, coupled with a number of unique surgical approaches. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to fashion new projects of their own. With the additional training provided, they will be well positioned to ultimately submit their own competitive grant applications.
The successful candidate should have a Ph.D. and/or MD and experience in molecular and cell biological techniques and immunohistochemistry. Sterile (cell) culture experience is a plus. Applicants should forward their CV and the names of three references.
About University of Maryland-Baltimore: Lab of Molecular Research
Lab of Molecular Research/Diseases of the Optic nerve (Steven Bernstein, MD, PhD):
The LMR focuses on translational neurobiology. Our lab developed the currently used models of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). NAION is a pure white matter stroke, and the most common cause of sudden optic nerve-related vision loss in the middle aged and elderly. By identifying the cellula...r and physiological mechanisms involved in this disease, we have been able to identify previously unsuspected pathways that are involved both in pathology, and potential protection and treatment for this disorder. Our work focuses on both early treatment (prostaglandin, nanoparticle-based and soluble factors) and later treatment (neuroimmunomodulation). We employ both early and preclinical animal models, as well as cell culture techniques. With the help of the new models, we have been able to bring potential new therapies to the brink of effective clinical treatment for NAION. LMR projects include new approaches to regenerative medicine (stem cells) and retinal gene expression changes in disease. These approaches may generate enhanced, effective treatment options for currently untreatable ocular disease.