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Postdoctoral Scholar - Caraveo Piso Lab

Posted on May 17, 2022 by Northwestern University

Chicago, IL 60611
Immediate Start
Hourly Salary
Job Description
Academic basic neuroscience laboratory with the aim of understanding the cellular mechanisms that govern memory formation through the lenses of calcineurin, the only Ca2+ and calmodulin phosphatase highly conserved from yeast to humans. To tackle this fundamental question, we study two prominent Lewy Body Pathologies: Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and in Parkinson's Disease Dementia (PDD).

A postdoctoral research is needed for a neuroscience lab at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Dept of Neurology. The Caraveo-Piso laboratory is interested in understanding how calcineurin affects the biological activity of critical substrates at presynaptic terminals to drive changes in vesicle recycling and cytoskeleton; and how these local changes affect receptor trafficking, synapse formation, neuronal arborization to electrophysiological responses. To do so we use a variety of approaches including genetic, biochemical and cell biological techniques across several model systems that span from the baker's yeast, rodent primary hippocampal and cortical rodent neurons, human iPSC-derived cortical neurons to animal models of two prominent synucleinopathies associated with dementia and cognition: DLB and PDD.

Please note: Interested Candidates should e-mail a single PDF with a cover letter briefly describing their research interests and qualifications, a curriculum vitae, as well as the names and contact information for three references to Gabriela Caraveo-Piso at

Specific Responsibilities:

The applicant will participate in either of two projects:

Ykt6 in the secretory pathway; Ykt6 is an essential SNARE highly conserved throughout eukaryotic evolution. We recently found that phosphorylation regulated by Ca2+ signaling drives a conformational change that allows Ykt6 to switch from a closed cytosolic to an open membrane-bound form. We showed that phosphorylation is also a critical determinant for Ykt6 vesicular function activities in the secretory and autophagy pathways under normal and a-synuclein conditions. Ykt6 is highly expressed in the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex, yet its function has not been explored in these brain regions. The work will focused on understanding the role of Ykt6 in memory and learning under normal and in DLB and PDD-like conditions using primary rodent hippocampal neurons, cortical derived human iPSC-derived cortical neurons and in vivo using a conditional Ykt6 knockout mouse.
VPS13C in autophagy and Ca2+-dynamics; Autosomal recessive mutations in VPS13C resulting in loss of function were recently found to lead to early onset Parkinson's disease (PD). Patients demonstrated rapid and severe disease progression with early cognitive decline and Lewy Body pathology. We recently identified Vps13C as a novel interactor of Ykt6. The applicant will investigate a novel role for Vps13C in regulating neuronal autophagy and its functional dependence on Ca2+ dynamics using cortical derived human iPSC-derived cortical neurons.

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will join our group in a fully NIH funded position. The applicant must be highly motivated, collaborative and with good communicational skills. Significant tissue culture and microscopy experience is required. Applicants with experience in animal work, culturing human stem cells and CRISPR animal will be preferred.

Lab website: Job Requirements
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

Ph.D. degree in any of these areas: Neuroscience, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or Pharmacology. No prior experience in neurodegeneration is required.

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Reference: 1598830198

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