Post-Doctoral Fellow – Biomarkers of Inherited Retinal Degenerations
Ocular Genomics Institute, Mass Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical SchoolWe are seeking a talented postdoctoral fellow to join our team to study biomarkers of inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs). IRDs are important causes of vision loss that affect people of all ages. Mutations in over 260 genes required for photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelial cell function have been identified as IRD disease genes. Gene and genetically informed therapies show great promise for reducing or preventing vision loss from IRDs. Gene augmentation therapy for RPE65-associated retinal degeneration was recently approved for use by the FDA and EMA. Clinical trials of gene therapies are in progress for multiple other genetic forms of IRD. For all of these treatment trials, the only way to determine if the therapies being tested are efficacious is via measurements of clinical response, such as visual acuity. Since many genetic forms of IRD progress slowly, and central vision can be retained until late in disease, there is great interest in identifying surrogate measures that could be used to detect response to therapy more rapidly. We hypothesize that extracellular vesicles (EVs) play an important role in retinal biology, and have the potential to be used surrogate measures of retinal health. We are looking for a postdoc to join our funded project to test this hypothesis by studying how the RNA contents of circulating EVs produced by the retina change during retinal degeneration. If this approach is successful, it could be used broadly to help assess the response of patients with IRDs, and potentially other retinal diseases, to treatments.
Qualified candidates should have strong molecular biology skills, and be able to work independently as well as in a group environment. This position offers an excellent opportunity to learn and apply skills in molecular biology, genomics and evaluation of mouse models of retinal disease. Experience in one or more of these areas is preferred.
Interested candidates should send their CV, a cover letter, and contact information for 3 references to:
Dr. Eric A Pierce and Dr. Chari Fernandez-Godino
Ocular Genomics Institute
Mass Eye and Ear
243 Charles St
Boston, MA 02114
Massachusetts Eye and Ear is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.