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 Chu lab, a member of the Center for Neurodegenerative Science (https://vari.vai.org/research-groups/), is seeking an outstanding candidate for a postdoctoral researcher position.
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!
DESCRIPTION OF A SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE