Miami, Florida
Oct 04, 2019
Nov 03, 2019
Position Type
Full Time

The Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work at Florida International University, ranked among top 50 public university schools of public health, is accepting applications for two postdoctoral positions for  highly motivated candidates with background in cellular and molecular biology, to investigate the function of the mitochondrial protein Translocator Protein 18kDA (TSPO) in microglia. We offer an inspiring intellectual, collaborative and multidisciplinary research environment to support your career goals and provide access to state-of-the-art facilities.


TSPO function in microglia: Translocator Protein 18kDa (TSPO), previously named peripheral benzodiazepine receptor, is a mitochondrial protein that has been validated as a biomarker of brain injury and neuroinflammation and is widely used in preclinical and clinical studies. Our laboratory has a long history of studying TSPO as a biomarker of neuroinflammation and during the last 5 years we have concentrated our efforts in understanding the function of TSPO in microglia. We have discovered that TSPO interacts with NADPH Oxidase-2 in microglia and are examining the molecular, cellular, and functional aspects of this interaction. We seek a postdoctoral fellow with expertise in the generation of cell-specific conditional knockout mice. Specifically, a microglia-specific conditional TSPO knockout.  The competitive renewal of this work is on year 20 and recently received an impact score of 10 (1 percentile).  This work will use TSPO-knockout mice that are already in house as well as microglia-specific conditional TSPO knockout mice (to be generated) in order to study the function of TSPO in primary microglia and at the whole animal level. We have a number of behavioral, cellular, and molecular approaches that are available for these ongoing studies. 

See below for selected previous publications:

Loth et al: Anovel interaction of TSPO with NOX2 in microglia (Under review), 2019.

Guilarte TR: TSPO in diverse pathologies and psychiatric disease: a critical review and a way forward: Pharmacol Ther 194: 44-58, 2019.

Coughlin JM et al: Imaging glial cell activation and white matter integrity in brains from active and recently retired National Football League players. JAMA Neurology 74: 67-74, 2017.

Guilarte TR et al: TSPO finds NOX2 in microglia for redox homeostasis. Trends Pharmacol Sci 37: 334-343, 2016. 

Loth MK et al: TSPO in a murine model of Sandhoff disease: presymptomatic marker of neurodegeneration and disease pathophysiology. Neurobiol Dis 85: 174-186, 2016.

Choi J et al: Translocator protein 18 kDa/peripheral benzodiazepine receptor ligands induce microglia functions consistent with an activated state. GLIA 59: 219-230, 2011.

Chen MK and Guilarte TR: Translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO): a molecular sensor of brain injury and repair. Pharmacol Ther 118: 1-17, 2008.

Chen MK et al: Peripheral benzodiazepine receptor imaging in CNS demyelination: functional implications of anatomical and cellular localization. Brain 127: 1379-1392, 2004.

Requirements: PhD degree in biological sciences with experience in neuroscience desirable. Strong background in cellular and molecular biology with expertise in generation of conditional knockout mice is preferable. Experience in studies using microglia is highly desirable but not a requirement. Ability to work independently, interpret, present, and discuss experimental data.   

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