Postdoctoral Position - Berk Lab (CVRI)
A full-time postdoctoral fellow position is available in the Berk laboratory at the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) in the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Two NIH-funded projects will elucidate the mechanisms by which oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to vascular pathology, including aneurysms, atherosclerosis (coronary and carotid arteries), and hypertension.
Project 1 will focus on the role of proteins secreted from endothelial cells (EC) and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) in response to oxidative stress. The goal of the first project is to define the role of cyclophilin A (CypA) in pulmonary hypertension. We made the exciting discovery that EC in the lung secrete CypA and that increased CypA in blood and tissue contributes to pulmonary hypertension. Furthermore, acetylated CypA is a more potent agonist and the mechanisms for its generation and signal transduction will be studied. We will also test two novel extracellular CypA inhibitors to prevent pulmonary hypertension in preclinical translational models. We are also characterizing the role of CypA in neurovascular inflammation, focusing on small vessel disease and microinfarcts.
Project 2 will study vascular remodeling in response to disturbed blood flow patterns, focused on carotid intima growth and atherosclerosis. Using a systems biology approach we identified two novel genes, Pnpt1 and RpL17, and validated them as important to remodeling. Pnpt1 is a 5’-3’ exoribonuclease that plays a key role in the import of RNA into mitochondria. Deletion of Pnpt1 leads to oxidative stress and intima growth. In contrast, RpL17 appears to be a scaffold that is required for growth, so deletion prevents intima growth. For both genes functional assays and in vivo models will define mechanisms that control their expression and function, followed by screening for compounds that regulate critical pathways identified in the projects.
The Aab CVRI (https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/cardiovascular-research-institute.aspx) is home to 12 NIH funded scientists who investigate cardiac function, thrombosis, and vascular biology. It is a very cooperative atmosphere with several multiple PI grants, and research cores that specialize in imaging, animal models of disease, bioinformatics, and generation of targeted gene approaches in mice.
Candidates should have a Ph.D., M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree granted within the past five years, with advanced training in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, or animal genetics. Experience with animal models and signal transduction is preferred. The successful candidate is expected to be highly motivated, have scientific independence, excellent English speaking and writing skills, and international peer-reviewed publications.
Applicants should submit their curriculum vitae, cover letter with description of current research, and contact information for three references to Bradford_Berk@URMC.Rochester.Edu.