Postdoctoral Research Associate

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
13 Oct 2019
£31,866 to £40,322 per annum
De Vos Lab Department of Neuroscience Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience & Centre for Membrane Interactions and Dynamics The University of Sheffield 385A Glossop Road Sheffield S10 2HQ UK
3 years
We are seeking to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the Department of Neuroscience. You will join the research team of Dr Kurt De Vos to work on an exciting ARUK-funded project which aims to investigate a novel role of C9orf72 at the synapse and its involvement in Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Expansion of a GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat in the C9orf72 gene is the most common genetic defect found to date in FTD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); together referred to as C9FTD/ALS. How the repeat expansion causes disease is not yet known but appears to involve both loss- (C9orf72 haploinsufficiency) and gain-of-function (dipeptide-repeat proteins (DPRs) and RNA toxicity) mechanisms. Current evidence is most consistent with a multiple-hit mechanism in which both loss- and gain-of-function processes conspire to cause disease. Our laboratory has focused on unravelling the cellular function of the C9orf72 protein. We and others have recently shown that the C9orf72 protein is a regulator of Rab GTPases that is involved in the autophagy pathway. Importantly, we found that C9orf72 loss-of-function mimics the p62 pathology that is specifically found in C9FTD/ALS patients and that basal levels of autophagy are reduced in patient-derived iNeurons. The successful candidate will join a vibrant group of scientists working on different aspects of neurodegenerative disease, including axonal transport, ER/mitochondria contacts, and autophagy. We are based in the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN; You will conduct laboratory research on a semi-independent basis under direction of the group leader; design and evaluate experiments; develop new ideas that promote current research; contribute to the preparation of scientific manuscripts; attend and give seminars. You will participate in the application for funding to support research assistants and in the supervision of graduate and undergraduate research that contributes to this project. You may be responsible for the operation of specific equipment and asked to serve on internal Institute committees. You will have a Ph.D. in a relevant subject and a strong background in molecular and cellular neurobiology with a thorough understanding of the molecular basis of synaptic function and neurotransmission. You will have experience in an array of molecular and cellular biology techniques. In addition, experience of live cell imaging, calcium imaging and electrophysiology as well as good knowledge and practical experience with synaptic function assays would be an advantage.

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