Florida International University is classified by Carnegie as a “R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” and recognized as a Carnegie Community Engaged university. It is a public research university with colleges and schools that offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as business, engineering, computer science, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU contributes almost $9 billion each year to the local economy and is ranked second in Florida in Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Best Employers” list. FIU graduates are consistently among the highest paid college graduates in Florida and are among the leaders of public and private organizations throughout South Florida. FIU is Worlds Ahead in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission with multiple state-of-the-art research facilities including the Wall of Wind Research and Testing Facility, FIU’s Medina Aquarius Program and the Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute. FIU has awarded more than 220,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, the Miami Beach Urban Studios, and Tianjin, China. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA and more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.
A postdoctoral position is available for a highly motivated candidate with background in cell and molecular biology, to investigate the function of Translocator Protein 18kDA (TSPO) in glial cells.
TSPO function in glial cells: Translocator Protein 18kDa (TSPO), previously named peripheral benzodiazepine receptor, is a glial stress response protein that has been validated as a biomarker of brain injury and neuroinflammation and is widely used in preclinical and clinical studies. Our laboratory has a long history of studying TSPO as a biomarker and during the last 5 years we have concentrated our efforts in understanding the function of TSPO in glial cells. We have discovered that TSPO interacts with NADPH Oxidase-2 in microglia and are examining the molecular, cellular, and functional aspects of this interaction. This work will use TSPO-knockout mice providing the molecular specificity to study the function of TSPO in primary glial cells and in whole animals. We have a variety of behavioral, cellular, and molecular approaches that are available for these ongoing studies. See below for selected previous publications:
Coughlin JM et al: Imaging glial cell activation and white matter integrity in brains from active and recently retired National Football League players. JAMA Neurology 74: 67-74, 2017.
Guilarte TR et al: TSPO finds NOX2 in microglia for redox homeostasis. Trends Pharmacol Sci 37: 334-343, 2016.
Loth MK et al: TSPO in a murine model of Sandhoff disease: presymptomatic marker of neurodegeneration and disease pathophysiology. Neurobiol Dis 85: 174-186, 2016.
Choi J et al: Translocator protein 18 kDa/peripheral benzodiazepine receptor ligands induce microglia functions consistent with an activated state. GLIA 59: 219-230, 2011.
Chen MK and Guilarte TR: Translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO): a molecular sensor of brain injury and repair. Pharmacol Ther 118: 1-17, 2008.
Chen MK et al: Peripheral benzodiazepine receptor imaging in CNS demyelination: functional implications of anatomical and cellular localization. Brain 127: 1379-1392, 2004.
Requirements: PhD degree in biological sciences. Strong background in cell and molecular biology. Experience in studies using glial cells is highly desirable.
Position salary and time: $50,000 and 2 years with potential for renewal
The start date of this position is expected immediately. A review of all applications has began and will continue until the position is filled. To apply to this position, please go to Job Opening ID #514719) at facultycareers.fiu.edu.
Interested candidates must attach: cover letter and CV. Candidates will be requested to provide names and contact information for at least three professional references who will be contacted as determined by the search committee.
FIU is a member of the State University System of Florida and an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.