The Penn Bioinformatics in Neurodegenerative Disease Laboratory (Penn BiND) led by Dr. Corey McMillan is currently seeking a qualified applicant for a postdoctoral fellowship. The overall mission of the Penn BiND Lab is to use an integrative strategy leveraging multimodal and bioinformatic approaches to improve our understanding of the biological basis and heterogeneity of neurodegenerative conditions. This clinical-translation research program focuses on using biologically-grounded hypothesis testing along with data-driven novel bioinformatic approaches for relating large-scale ‘omic data (e.g., genomics, DNA methylation, transcriptomics) to deep phenotyping data (e.g., imaging, biofluids, clinical series, neuropathology). We aim to identify phenotype-genotype associations that can be used to uncover mechanisms of disease and/or stratify diverse patients to define homogenous patient groups with a higher likelihood of achieving a therapeutic response. We primarily focus on two classes of neurodegenerative proteinopathies including the misfolded tau protein that contributes to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), primary age-related tauopathy (PART), and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), as well as the TDP-43 protein that contributes to a spectrum of FTLD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The Penn BiND Lab is a highly interdisciplinary environment based in the Neurology Department of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. We work closely with clinicians in the NIA-funded Alzheimer Disease Center (ADC), Penn Frontotemporal Degeneration Center (FTDC), and Comprehensive ALS Clinic as well as several national and international consortia. Our lab is also integrated into the FTDC and associated research centers at the University of Pennsylvania including the Institute on Aging (IoA), Penn Neurodegeneration of Genomics Center (PNGC), Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT), and Neuroscience Graduate Group (NGG). Our “dry lab” additionally works very closely with several “wet labs” at Penn to validate our bioinformatic observations in human or model specimens.
The ideal candidate is required to have a PhD in a relevant area (e.g., neuroscience, neurology, bioengineering, genetics, computational biology, biostatistics, etc…) and either (1) bioinformatics or data science experience that they are interested in applying to neurodegenerative disease and aging; (2) experience in the genetics of neurodegenerative disease; (3) MRI/PET image analysis experience that they are interested in applying to ‘omic studies (e.g., imaging-genetics); or (4) a strong broad interest in neurodegenerative diseases that include AD or ALS in which they are eager to learn and apply new computational or imaging tools. Some combination of the above skills and interests is preferred.