Postdoctoral Fellow - Neuronal Degeneration in Parkinson's Disease


Van Andel Research Institute


Grand Rapids, Michigan

Principal Investigator

Hong-yuan Chu


Visit Applications should include a cover letter describing research interests, experience, and potential contributions to the Chu lab’s research; an up-to-date CV, and a list of three individuals who have agreed to act as references along with their contact details.

This position will be open until filled and will be reviewing applications on an ongoing basis. If you have any difficulty uploading your application or any questions, please email Eric Miller at


Hong-yuan Chu will join VARI in January 2019 as a principal investigator. The Chu lab's research will study the synaptic, cellular, and circuit adaptations in the brain during disease progression using progressive mouse models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The lab, a member of the Center for Neurodegenerative Science, 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. The goal is to design novel cell-type- and circuit-specific strategies to slow disease progression and 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.


  • A Ph.D. or equivalent degree in neuroscience, physiology, or related field is required.
  • Demonstrated proficiency as evidenced by first-author publication(s) in peer-reviewed journals and is interested in acquiring new skills.
  • Prior experience with patch clamp recording or in vivo extracellular recording is highly preferred.
  • Experience in at least one of the following skills would be favorable: rodent stereotaxic surgery, animal models of neurological disorders, immunohistochemistry procedures, rodent behavioral analysis, and virus-mediated neural circuit tracing.
  • Programing experience (e.g. Matlab, python) would be a plus. 

Description of a successful candidate: 

  • A self-driven individual with genuine interest in neural circuit study using cutting edge technologies.
  • A highly motivated individual with excellent time management and organization skills.
  • A detail-oriented researcher that thinks critically to effectively design experiments and solve complex research problems.
  • A collaborative, hands-on researcher who proactively shares knowledge and expertise with lab members.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.