Seeking a postdoctoral fellow to study the regulation of the NLRP inflammasome by opiates. Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
A growing body of evidence is implicating inflammasome induction of the innate immune system with neural damage associated with HIV-infection, and with opiate abuse. Pattern recognition receptors (that include a family of Toll-like receptors) in the brain respond to infection or damage by initiating cellular signaling events that activate the Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain, Leucine rich Repeat and Pyrin domain containing (NLRP) inflammasome to promote the maturation and release of IL-1beta, IL-18, and the de novo synthesis of complement proteins to combat the infection or repair tissue damage. The primary goal of the inflammasome is to set into motion mechanisms that clear infection or repair tissue damage. However, when the inflammasome become chronically activated by persistent infection (i.e. HIV), or repeated tissue damage (i.e. opiate abuse) this non-resolving inflammatory/immune response promotes sustained activation of the inflammasome and complement system that is damaging to the brain. The goals of this project are to understand interactions between TLRs, the inflammasome, and the complement system that contribute to neuronal damage in people who abuse opiates. At least part of this signaling appears to involve the release of complement and other proteins in extracellular vesicles (exosomes). We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow with not more than 2 years postdoctoral training and strong background in immunology, or neuroscience. Strong expertise in advanced imaging techniques (confocal and/or two photon imaging) is required. A background in extracellular vesicle biology would be an asset. 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 (email@example.com). Postdoctoral applicants must currently reside in the United States to be eligible for this position. Please include your CV and the names of three references. Please visit Haugheylab.org for an overview of the lab.