The Barmada Lab at the University of Michigan Department of Neurology is currently seeking a full-time postdoctoral fellow. The overarching goals of the laboratory are to (1) determine how and why neurons die in the neurodegenerative diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and (2) identify therapeutic strategies that can block neuronal dysfunction and cell death in these conditions. The successful candidate will work alongside Dr. Barmada and existing lab members to design, perform, and interpret experiments with these objectives in mind.
In collaboration with research staff and the Principle Investigator this individual will lead a project focusing on the selective vulnerability of motor neurons in ALS and the progression of disease. Qualified individuals will study intrinsic neuronal phenotypes that predict susceptibility to ALS as well as patterns of neurodegeneration in vitro using a novel platform of fully automated fluorescence microscopy. He or she will be expected to isolate and maintain rodent primary neurons in culture, propagate human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from patients with ALS, differentiate these cells into motor neurons, design and clone live-cell reporters of protein and RNA metabolism, transfect or transduce rodent and human neurons with reporter DNA, organize and execute multi-day imaging experiments, and employ a suite of custom-written and commercial software for data extraction and analysis. Automated data acquisition and mining are essential features of many, if not all, experiments, and the qualified individual will be expected to be comfortable with computational techniques and methods used for data analysis. Furthermore, the candidate will consult with software engineers to refine or adapt methodologies to fit specific experiment requirements, aid in the development of new techniques, troubleshoot when necessary, and design new instrumentation equipment, and research models for data acquisition and analysis if required. He or she will also lead periodic research discussions and project meetings, and independently assemble results for presentation in local, national and international meetings. It is fully expected that the candidate will write manuscripts, chapters and research abstracts, and actively collaborate with other researchers to publish research findings.
Requirements include a bachelor's degree and a PhD in molecular biology, neuroscience, biochemistry or a related discipline. The qualified candidate will be expected to be experienced in basic and advanced molecular biology and cell biology techniques including gene cloning, protein isolation, DNA/RNA extraction and purification, quantitative real-time PCR, sequencing, primer design and mutagenesis using PCR, fluorescence microscopy, tissue culturing, transfection of DNA and RNA, construction and purification of lentiviral vectors, and viral transduction of cultured cells. A large part of the work in the laboratory involves programming or the use of custom-designed software for data analysis, and as a result the candidate must be comfortable with existing quantitative data analysis tools, and must be capable of applying new algorithms or techniques when necessary. Successful candidates will also have experience with stem cells and their differentiation or the dissection and culturing of primary neurons from rodents. Qualified individuals should have experience and knowledge of the biology of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular ALS. Importantly, applicants should be responsible, reliable and able to work congenially alongside a group of equally hard-working scientists.
For this full-time position, the successful applicant will be expected to start as soon as possible. Funding will be provided for the first 2 years; after this period, candidates will be expected to have secured their own source of funding through competitive fellowships….http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/jobs/486891-postdoctoral-fellow