Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), a leading independent biomedical research facility, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases, and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute is home to more than 300 scientists and support staff that work in on-site laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe.
VARI has seen immense growth in the past year, hiring over 6 new Principal Investigators to start research labs with the goal of improving health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations.
One of these new Principal Investigators, Hong-yuan Chu, Ph.D., will be joining VARI in January 2019. Dr. Chu’s research aims to study the synaptic, cellular, and circuit adaptations in the brain during disease progression using progressive mouse models of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
The project is to define the synaptic, cellular, and circuit mechanisms underlying progressive degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and the associated pathological neuronal activity of basal ganglia nuclei using mouse models of PD (Chu et al, Neuron, 2015, 2017). The ultimate goal is to design novel cell-type- and circuit-specific strategies to slow disease progression and to develop therapeutic tools for devastating motor dysfunction of the disease.
To achieve this goal, the successful candidate is expected to apply brain slice and/or in vivo electrophysiology combined optogenetic and chemogenetic approaches to interrogate and manipulate cellular and synaptic activity in the basal ganglia as progressive degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, and to link the cellular and circuit alterations to the expression of motor and non-motor symptoms of PD.
The successful candidate will have the opportunity to be trained with both traditional and state-of-the-art technologies for neuroscience research and will work in a highly interdisciplinary environment that allows close interaction with growing PD research community at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI).
VARI provides postdoctoral training opportunities to scientists beginning their research careers (https://vari.vai.org/postdoctoral/). The fellowships are to help promising scientists advance their knowledge and research experience and at the same time support the research endeavors of VARI under the mentorship of a VARI Faculty member. All VARI Postdoctoral Fellows are encouraged to apply for external funding as soon as it is practical and reasonable after hire. Receiving a fellowship award provides recognition for both the fellow and VARI!
A Ph.D. or equivalent degree, in Neuroscience, Physiology, or related field, is required.
Demonstrated proficiency as evidenced by first-author publication(s) in peer-reviewed journals and is interested in acquiring new skills.
Prior experience with patch clamp recording or in vivo extracellular recording is highly preferred.
Experience in at least one of the following skills would be favorable: rodent stereotaxic surgery, animal models of neurological disorders, immunohistochemistry procedures, rodent behavioral analysis, and virus-mediated neural circuit tracing.
Programming experience (e.g. Matlab, python) would be a plus.
DESCRIPTION OF A SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
A self-driven individual with a genuine interest in neural circuit study using cutting edge technologies.
A highly motivated individual with excellent time management and organization skills.
A detail-oriented researcher that thinks critically to effectively design experiments and solve complex research problems.
A collaborative, hands-on researcher who proactively shares knowledge and expertise with lab members.
Excellent written and oral communication skills.
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
Additional Salary Information: VARI Postdoctoral Fellows are full-time employees of the Institute and are eligible for VAI’s employee benefits. You will be eligible for the following benefits on your first day of employment:
•Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance
•Institute paid Life and AD&D insurance
•Short and Long Term Disability insurance
•Voluntary Term Life and AD&D Insurance
•Flexible Spending Accounts for medical and dependent care
•Ten (10) Vacation Days
•Nine (9) Paid Holidays
•Full-time employees are awarded the equivalent of 5 days of personal time off (PTO) days at the beginning of each calendar year. You will receive a pro-rated number of days based on the month in which you begin employment.
•401k Retirement Savings Plan (Eligibility begins the first day of the month after the date of hire.)
•Parking within the adjacent Michigan Street Development facility, with annual parking fees paid by VAI.
Internal Number: 1
About Van Andel Research Institute
Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premier research and educational institution. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI’s research division, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases, and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute is home to more than 300 scientists and support staff that work in on-site laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) is dedicated to strengthening science education, and preparing and motivating individuals to pursue science or science-related professions