Postdoctoral Scholar in Translational Neuroscience/Alzheimer's Disease

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Feb 10, 2020
Mar 11, 2020
Position Type
Full Time

The Department of Translational Neuroscience at Michigan State University (MSU) seeks a postdoctoral scholar for each of the research groups of Marcia N. Gordon, PhD and Scott E. Counts, PhD.  The research mission of the Department of Translational Neuroscience is to discover the origins and consequences of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases (AD and PD), and to develop novel interventions.  Translational Neuroscience laboratories are highly collaborative, well-funded and place a special emphasis on career development and advancement opportunities for trainees.  Current research program areas include innate immune activation, tau and alpha-synuclein biology, levodopa-induced dyskinesias, gene therapy, repurposing drugs and epigenetic contributors to degeneration.  We currently seek self-motivated, thoughtful postdoctoral neuroscientists interested in studying the causes of and assessing treatments for AD.  Ideal candidates will place a high value on collaborative science, yet must also be able and willing to function independently.

Dr. Gordon’s NIH-funded project examines the role of cellular senescence in modulating the pathologies found in the AD brain.  In addition to human tissue-based studies, the project will harness mouse models of tauopathy and amyloid deposition to elucidate which brain cell types become senescent and will examine the consequence of lifespan extension and senolytic drugs on tau pathology. The studies will utilize flow cytometry, cell sorting, single cell RNAseq, small animal surgeries, cell culture, and adeno-associated viral vector design and use. Dependent measures will include mouse behavior, histological assessment using markers of pathology and innate immune activation.

NIH-funded projects in Dr. Counts’ lab include 1) human tissue-based studies on the evolution of tau pathology and spread across memory and attentional circuits in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD, 2) human tissue and in vitro studies of the role of microRNAs in tau dysregulation during disease progression, and 3) studies on cerebrovascular contributions to MCI and AD using human tissue, 3D cell culture, and rat models of AD, vascular dementia, and mixed dementia. The projects involve general molecular, biochemical, histological, and microscopy techniques, advanced functional genomic methodologies, rat behavior, small animal imaging, and ex vivo cerebrovascular physiology.

The Department of Translational Neuroscience is located in the state-of-the-art Grand Rapids Research Center on the Grand Rapids campus of the College of Human Medicine at the edge of the “Medical Mile”. Beyond the presence of the MSU College of Human Medicine, the Medical Mile contains two major hospital systems, the Van Andel Research Institute and regional colleges and universities. Grand Rapids has been highlighted by Forbes as one of the fastest growing metropolitan area economies and by US News as one of the top 20 places to live in America.  It provides cultural and entertainment opportunities like that of a large city while possessing the advantages of short commute times, reasonably priced housing and quick accessibility to rural and beach communities.

 Postdoctoral scholars will be mentored in laboratory research skills, project management, personnel supervision, grant development, grant management, responsible conduct of research, and scientific communication. The Department of Translational Neuroscience places great value on working collaboratively with postdoctoral scholars to develop individualized career development plans to help them advance professionally. Pay scale will be commensurate with NIH postdoctoral guidelines depending upon years of experience.  MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.

Each of the two positions requires a doctoral degree in a biomedical research discipline, which includes at least 4 years of experience in a research laboratory and at least one first author peer-reviewed publication. Individuals should be familiar with common biological laboratory research practices and have a basic understanding of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and physiology. Experience in dementia research is desirable. Applicants should be experienced with conducting research studies independently, scientific record keeping, collection and analysis of figures and tables, fundamental statistical analysis, and preparing results for publication as scientific manuscripts. Good command of spoken and written English is a requirement.  Formal application for the positions through the MSU Careers portal will be required. 

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