Postdoctoral Researcher, Dept. of Translational Neuroscience (five openings)


Michigan State University


Grand Rapids, Michigan

Principal Investigator

Nicholas Kanaan


Applicants must apply to job posting #639687 at:

Required Application Materials: Curriculum Vitae, names of three or more references, one to two page statement highlighting past accomplishments and future research and career goals.


Research associate, postdoctoral researcher positions available to work with Dr. Kanaan on tau protein biology and pathobiology, as well as Alzheimer's disease, other tauopathies and models of tauopathy. Dr. Kanaan is in the Department of Translational Neuroscience at MSU, which is home to a collaborative and active group of investigators with a strong focus on aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

The research associate, postdoctoral researcher will be expected to develop a research project that is focused on aspects of tau biology and pathobiology, with an emphasis on molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal dysfunction and degeneration in the context of Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies. Opportunities exist to study this area through a diverse set of approaches and model systems. Ongoing funded projects include:

1) molecular mechanisms of tau-mediated neuronal toxicity,

2) impact of post-translational modifications and pathogenic conformational changes in tau protein,

3) use of rodent models to study tau's role in dysfunction and degeneration,

4) use of postmortem human tissue samples to identify key pathological changes in tau,

5) development of novel tau biomarker assays for biofluids,

6) generation of novel monoclonal antibodies against specific forms of tau and other target proteins of interest.

The projects involve expertise in advanced molecular, biochemical, histological, and microscopy techniques, as well as in vitro cell culture and in vivo animal model techniques.

Duties will include:

1) helping in the day-to-day operations of the lab,

2) collaborative experimental design,

3) conducting independent research,

4) data analysis,

5) presenting data at conferences,

6) writing manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

The applicant will also gain exposure in mentoring graduate students and have the opportunity to explore career options.


Minimum Requirements

The position requires a doctoral degree in a biomedical research discipline which included at least four years of experience in a research laboratory.

Individual should be familiar with common biological laboratory research techniques and have an understanding of neurobiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, physiology, animal and cell modeling, and/or neurodegenerative disease biology. Applicants should be able to demonstrate his or her critical thinking skills, experience independently conducting research studies, fundamental statistical analysis, and the preparation of results for publication as a scientific manuscript and presentations at scientific conferences. The applicant must work well in a team-oriented environment. At least one first author paper in a peer-reviewed journal is expected. Good command of spoken and written English is a requirement.

Desired Qualifications

Training in the discipline of neuroscience with a focus on molecular neuroscience, neurological diseases (e.g., the field of Alzheimer's disease and tauopathies) and/or protein misfolding is highly desired.

Experience with one or more of the following research areas/sets of techniques is also highly desired:

1) advanced molecular biology and protein biochemistry techniques such as cloning, gene regulation, recombinant protein, protein and post-translational modification analyses, gene knockdown approaches;

2) cell culture modeling and analysis, including immortal cell lines and rodent primary neuron cultures, live-cell imaging, transfection and/or viral transduction, and synaptic analyses;

3) small rodent studies, including husbandry, stereotaxic surgical procedures, behavioral (motor and/or cognitive) analyses, gene-therapy-based approaches to express or knockdown genes, and necropsy;

4) human and rodent tissue processing, fresh tissue biochemistry assays, and fixed tissue immunohistochemical assays (including multi-label immunoflourescence);

5) advanced microscopy techniques, including stereological analysis, transmission electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, super-resolution microscopy and/or standard brightfield/fluorescence microscopy; and/or

6) monoclonal antibody production, validation and application in biochemical and immunohistological assays.

All applicants should have an understanding and experience applying statistical analysis including familiarity with Prism, R or similar statistical computing programs are a benefit. Highly competitive applicants will have multiple authorships including at least one to three first-author manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal.