The Glymphatic System, Brain Clearance and Neuroglia under physiological conditions and in disease models
The Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester invites applications for postdoctoral research associates and/or junior faculty positions in neuroscience to join the laboratories of Drs. Maiken Nedergaard (www.urmc.rochester.edu/labs/Nedergaard-Lab) and Lauren Hablitz (https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/labs/hablitz.aspx) to study the glymphatic system and neuroglia signaling under physiological conditions and in disease models.
The neurobiology of glia cells is one of the most rapidly developing areas in neuroscience. For the first time in experimental history, in vivo imaging technologies permit the study of fundamental function of astrocytes in awake behaving animals. These experiments have challenged the idea that cognitive function is based only on neuronal circuits. In addition, astrocytes play a crucial role in clearance of solutes and neurotoxins from the brain to meningeal and cervical lymph vessels. This brain-wide clearance system, named the glymphatic system, is the primary focus of the lab.
The glymphatic system represents unique opportunities for novel fundamental discoveries. The glymphatic system has provided break-throughs in understanding why we sleep, mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, how edema forms in stroke, and has provided new information on biological timekeeping. The lab uses multiple alternative approaches and works closely with fluid dynamicists to develop new models understanding how brain fluid flow and brain activity work together. A natural extension of this work includes the regulation of extracellular ion concentrations and the impact of extracellular K+ on neural circuits. We are seeking candidates interested in furthering this work, and expanding the field’s knowledge into models of stroke, chronic neuropathic pain and chronic stress. Technical approaches include utilizing and refining in vivo imaging in awake behaving mice, macroscopic fluorescence imaging and 2-photon and macroscopic imaging, optogenetics, patch clamping, LFP recordings, EEG recordings, ion-measurements, microdialysis, RNA-seq, and animal models of diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, circadian misalignment, stroke and more.
Candidates will be part of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine, located at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY. The University of Rochester currently ranks 32 on US News ranking, ahead of UC San Diego and NYU (https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/). The mission of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester (https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/ctn.aspx) is to create a unique platform for complex research of glial cells in health and disease. The lab has an extensive network of collaborators, and the two arms of The Center for Translational Neuromedicine (CTN) at the University of Rochester, NY and at Copenhagen, Denmark facilitates multi-national collaborations. The CTN features state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, joint weekly journal clubs and focus groups between Copenhagen and Rochester, and integrative training among undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs and faculty. By integrating international teams and training levels, trainees are exposed to all levels of science from benchwork to science writing to project development.
Career development including help with writing funding applications will be provided from the CTN, with additional support available from the University of Rochester Postdoctoral Association (https://ccc.rochester.edu/pda/home/) and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Office for Faculty Development (https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/education/faculty-development.aspx). Technical support in the lab includes a technician dedicated to preparing mice for imaging, including thin skull, acute and chronic cranial windows and implants. There is a possibility of new postdocs getting their own 2-photon or electrophysiology set up.
Specific projects will be determined according to the candidate’s interest and experience.
Please send your application including a short CV and a short letter of motivation to Dr. Hablitz or Dr. Nedergaard.
- The glymphatic system
To investigate the basic molecular and cellular mechanisms of glymphatic function and how it is affected in disease. We value the following skills and background knowledge: optical in vivo microscopy, optogenetic manipulations, glia biology, complex data analysis, the peripheral lymphatic system.
- Physiology of astrocytes- neuroglia signaling
Experiments will focus on astroglia involvement in regulation of sleep and contribution to cognition. Desirable skills include slice and in vivo patch clamp, extracellular recordings incl. LFP, ion-sensitive electrodes and 2-photon in vivo imaging. Optogenetics and sniffer approaches. Programming skills (Matlab, LabVIEW, Python, etc.) are desirable.
- Chronic neuropathic pain
To investigate neuroimmunological and glymphatic mechanisms of chronic neuropathic pain in murine sparse nerve injury and spinal chord injury models. Desirable skills and experience include small animal recovery surgery, in vivo LFP recordings, in vivo microdialysis for cytokines, 2-photon and macroscopic in vivo imaging, sleep and circadian behavioral analysis.
- Circadian control of cerebrospinal fluid distribution between the brain and body
Experiments will be designed to understand how and why CSF switches between the glymphatic system in the brain and lymphatic system in the periphery, and how this may change in response to models of shift work and jetlag. Experience with in vivo microscopy, in vivo circadian reporters, behavioral analysis, lymphatic biology, sleep or circadian biology, live animal surgery, and the immune system are valued.
About Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York
Born as a mill town powered by the falls of the Genesee River, boosted to boomtown status with the opening of the Erie Canal, and brought to the pinnacle of modernity and innovation by its entrepreneurial patriarch George Eastman, Rochester provides a richness and diversity of life that's hard to find outside of the country's largest cities. Its diverse economy was built on the foundation of technology driven manufacturing companies like Kodak, Bausch+Lomb, and Xerox and now ranks among the top knowledge-based economies in the world.
Close collaboration between the region’s businesses and rich array of universities and colleges – coupled with one of the most highly trained workforces in the nation – has given rise to optics, advanced manufacturing, alternative energy, business services, life sciences, and food processing companies that compete on a national and global level.
The region is also home to some of the country's finest educational institutions, including eleven public high schools ranked among the Best High Schools in America. Rochester is recognized as one of the most affordable housing markets in the country with median home sales prices more than 30% below the national average.
The region also boasts a high quality of life and is home to leading cultural institutions such as the Eastman School of Music (ranked 11th in the US for music conservatories), the George Eastman House and International Museum of Photography and Film, the National Museum of Play at Strong, and the Memorial Art Gallery, a wine country that has attracted international acclaim, the scenic beauty of the Finger Lakes, and numerous opportunities to hike, bike, golf, paddle, sail, ski, hunt, or fish. There are several state parks and ski mountains within 45m-1.5 hrs. drive. Rochester's farmers market is the winner of 'America's Favorite Farmers Market contest.' The city bustles with great restaurants, nightlife and numerous festivals throughout the year. Local gastronomy includes award winning coffee shops and 10 micro-breweries.