Our lab is interested in understanding the neuro-immune mechanisms that underlie susceptibility to stroke, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative disease. Our research focuses on the interactions between the immune system and metabolism. Our lab has discovered a novel regulator of innate immunity and has generated several specific KO mice in the myeloid lineage and other non-immune systems, including neurons and hepatocytes. We have found a sex-specific metabolic syndrome and serum cholesterol-LDL profile in these mouse lines. We are seeking applicants who are interested to further investigate the function of this gene in macrophages, microglia (future studies will extend to T cells). Using transgenic mouse models and a combination of biochemistry, cell biology and cutting edge in vitro and in vivo fluorescence microscopy imaging techniques we will explore how microglia function in pruning synapses to shape neural circuits and how this process is affected by metabolic disorders.
The immediate focuses are:
1> Functions of innate immunity in metabolic disorders and stroke recovery.
2> Chromatin remodeling in regulating sex-specific gene expression
3> Cholesterol metabolism in macrophages and how it affects neural function.
4> Molecular mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity and anxiety disorders.
The laboratory is equipped with molecular and electrophysiology (patch-clamp) equipment and a cellular biology imaging system. The Centre for Stroke Recovery is equipped with a two photon-uncaging and imaging system to facilitate the study of synaptic plasticity. The trainees will have the opportunity to learn and perform animal surgery and animal behavior studies, depending on the projects. The PI is currently funded by the CIHR, HSFC, CSR, and CDA. Please visit our website for publications and projects: http://www.ohri.ca/profiles/chen.asp
Requirements: Candidates with PhD training in Neuroscience or Immunology are strongly encouraged. Postdoctoral candidates should hold a recent PhD in life sciences, but no more than 5 years of postdoctoral training, and be committed to a career in neuroscience research with a track record of productivity. Applicants should be well-trained in molecular biology or electrophysiology. Experience with FACS and flow cytometry is a plus. This is an outstanding opportunity for an enthusiastic and hard working postdoc.