Seeking a postdoctoral fellow to study the regulation of neuronal function by astrocyte derived extracellular vesicles. We are seeking a highly motivated individual for a postdoctoral scholar position in the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Bi-directional communication between astrocytes and neurons regulates synaptic formation, synaptic strength, and participates in the regulation of neural circuitry by coordinating activity among groups of neurons. Astrocyte dysfunction in the settings of HIV-infection, and other neurodegenerative conditions has been postulated to disrupt the activity of neural networks involved in memory and executive functions. Although HIV-associated perturbations in the composition and quantity of various cytokine, chemokine and growth factors released from astrocytes have been demonstrated, these observations have thus far been insufficient to explain how astrocyte stress contributes to neuronal dysfunction. Advancements in our understanding of the biology of extracellular vesicles have begun to implicate glial released microvesicles as primary mediators of glia to neuron communication. Extracellular vesicles are nanoparticles containing protein, lipid and miRNA cargo that are shed from cells in a stimulus dependent manner. Very little is currently known about these particles in the central nervous system, and interest is rapidly expanding to understand their biology, how these systems are perturbed by disease and if they can be manipulated in a therapeutic manner. The goals of this project are to understand how endogenous excitatory stimuli and inflammatory stimuli modify the protein, miRNA and metabolite cargo of astrocyte-shed exosomes, and to determine the molecular mechanisms by which astrocyte shed exosomes regulate/dysregulate the structure and function of their target neurons. We are particularly interested in understanding roles for exosomes in regulating protein trafficking/function, endosomal/lysosomal activity, energy metabolism, plasticity, survival, and immune function. We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow with not more than 2-3 years postdoctoral training and strong background in immunology, or neuroscience. We are seeking a highly motivated individual who can provide intellectual input, project leadership, and can also work well within a group. Interested candidates can contact Dr. Norman Haughey directly (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please include your CV and the names of three references. Please visit Haugheylab.org for an overview of the lab.
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