Jobs

Postdoctoral Researcher in Neuroimmunology

Employer

Amsterdam UMC

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Principal Investigator

Rik van der Kant

Contact

R.h.n.vander.kant@vu.nl

Description

The Dementia Discovery group in the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam is seeking applications for a postdoctoral researcher position in neuroimmunology.

The Project: Understanding, and mimicking, the biological effects of the PLCγ2 P522R variant that protect against Alzheimer’s’ disease.

Phospholipase C-gamma-2 (PLCγ2) is a key enzyme involved in immune signaling and lipid metabolism in microglia and macrophages. A genetic hypermorphic variant in PLCγ2, PLCγ2 P522R, protects against AD as well as other dementias through unknown mechanism. The current project aims to understand how PLCγ2 P522R exerts its protective effect for dementia, and how this variant is different from other genetic PLCγ2 variants that cause immune disorders such as PLAID and APLAID. The project will employ gene-edited iPSC-derived microglia and macrophages to study the cell-biological and immunological pathways affected by PLCγ2 variants. As part of a translational program between the CNCR and the Amsterdam UMC Alzheimer center (Prof. Philip Scheltens), the project will also aim to develop reporter assays that will aid future discovery of PLCγ2 P522R-mimicking drugs.

The postdoctoral researcher's main tasks and responsibilities are:

  • Generate, grow and maintain iPSC-derived microglia and macrophages with different PLCγ2-variant genotypes.
  • Design and execute targeted in vitro experiments to probe molecular pathways in which PLCγ2 P522R specifically affects immune-cell function.
  • Perform broad transcriptomic and lipidomic characterization of iPSC-derived microglia and macrophages with different PLCγ2-genotypes.
  • Establish reporter assays that can aid  future discovery of PLCγ2 P522R-mimicking drugs.

The Amsterdam UMC Alzheimer Center is an internationally recognized clinic for patient care and scientific research in the field of dementia. Its mission is to make dementia treatable and eventually curable. With a staff of more than 100 employees, it is part of the department of neurology of the Amsterdam UMC, the largest academic hospital in the Netherlands. For more information please visit its website (Dutch).

Requirements

  • Ph.D. in immunology or neuroscience, with strong knowledge of immune function and signaling.
  • Experience with iPSC-derived or primary microglial or macrophage cultures.
  • Experience with transcriptomic analysis and/or gene editing is preferred but not strictly required.
  • Excellent organizing and communication skills.
  • A strong motivation to pursue a career in science.