Our research investigates the immunomodulatory properties of mesenchymal stem cells and how they can be manipulated to “tolerize” a transplant allograft and prevent acute rejection in an animal model of composite tissue allotransplantation. Additionally, we are developing novel tools and molecular techniques to facilitate allograft transplantation and monitoring in conjunction with our active face transplant clinical trial. The candidate will be responsible for conducting independent biomedical research in these areas under the mentorship of Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez and Dr. Daniel Ceradini.
Requirements: Candidate should hold a Ph.D in Biomedical Sciences with a strong background in immunology and molecular biology. Proficiency in molecular techniques, stem cell/T cell harvest and cultivation, and animal survival surgery preferred. Additionally, candidate should be able to guide and supervise students and other lab members.
Research Description: In this capacity, the candidate will participate in projects dealing with the cellular and molecular interactions between mesenchymal stem cells and the adaptive immune response to allotransplantation. Specifically, he/she will be determining the fundamental biologic pathways whereby mesenchymal stem cell derived exosomes facilitate the generation of a tolerogenic cell types. Further, this mechanism will be exploited in a rat model of composite tissue allotransplantation. Finally, the candidate will participate in projects to develop biomarker technology to predict, diagnose, and prognosticate acute rejection in both animal and human allografts. These studies will involve maintenance of rat colonies; performing rat survival surgery in conjunction with a trained microsurgery fellow; collection of image data from living animals; harvesting allograft tissue; performing and analyzing Western blots, ELISAs, quantitative PCR, frozen and paraffin tissue section IHC interpretation and assessment of gross phenotypes. The work will entail detailed molecular and phenotypic analyses and preparation of manuscripts for publication.