Dementia is the greatest health challenge of our century.
To date, there is no way to prevent it or even slow its progression, and there is an urgent need to fill the knowledge gap in our basic understanding of the diseases that cause it.
The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) is the UK’s largest initiative advancing research to fill this gap.
We are a world leading multidisciplinary research institute with 700 employees studying the spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders causing dementia, with laboratory research groups located at University College London, University of Cambridge, UK. ‘Cardiff University, University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London and King’s College London. .
Researchers at UK DRI at King’s are using innovative approaches to explore the biological mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases. Their goal is to conquer dementia by uncovering vital new knowledge that will lead to the design of smarter diagnoses and effective treatments. The team aims to understand the fundamental biological processes involved in dementia at the molecular level – and to use this knowledge to design new ways to diagnose and treat the disease more accurately.
We are seeking to appoint a neuroscientist within the UK DRI research group of Professor Cho in the Department of Basic and Clinical Neurosciences. The main research interest of the group is to understand the pathophysiology and pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and various types of neurodegenerative diseases.
A central part of neurodegeneration is the weakening of synaptic connections and, ultimately, their elimination, which is thought to correlate with the severity of the disease. Synaptic impairment is therefore fundamental in the pathogenesis of AD. Evidence suggests that hyperphosphorylation of tau (pTau), beta-amyloid and / or other pathogens lead to functional and structural dysfunction of the synapse; more precisely by the aberrant mechanism of weakening of synapses reducing the expression of AMPA receptors. AMPA receptors are considered to be a major component of excitatory synaptic transmission and play an essential role in the functional and structural plasticity of neurons, which underlies the cellular / molecular mechanism of learning and memory. We have shown that the phosphorylation of specific tau residues is necessary to induce a weakening of AMPA receptor function and confirmed that the severity of the pathology correlates with the weakening of the AMPA receptor in the postmortem hippocampal tissue of patients with AMPA. MY.
The objective of this project is to explore a key question: what factors modulate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of “synapse weakening” during a pathology associated with dementia. In addition, we will explore whether tau protein interactomes are regulated differently during disease progression in AD.
The role will involve cell / molecular biology and biochemical techniques, multiphoton and super-resolution imaging, optogenetics. Specifically, skills in protein assay, GST extraction, cell culture, and subcloning are essential.
This position will be offered on an 18-month fixed-term contract
This is a full time position – 100% full time equivalent
• Investigate research questions and develop specific research projects under the direction of the group leader
• Demonstrate the importance of your research in the form of intellectual property, new techniques or discoveries that make a significant contribution to the field
• Publish at least one first publication or one principal author publication in a high impact factor journal
• Disseminate research results and promote your scientific profile at national / international conferences
• Contribute to the training and supervision of junior staff
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the incumbent will be required to undertake the duties and responsibilities reasonably expected in the context and classification of the position.
Skills, knowledge and experience
1. Doctorate in a relevant field of neuroscience or neurobiology
2. Knowledge of neurodegeneration
3. Excellent technical skills in cell culture, Co-IP, western blot, GST-pulldown, cloning / genetic manipulation
4. Experience in cell and molecular biology techniques
5. Quantitative and statistical analysis
6. Organizational skills and ability to meet strict performance criteria
7. Good oral and written communication skills
8. Play a leading role in the project
9. Willingness to supervise junior group members
10. Ability to work independently, but also within a research team and with collaborators
1. Experience in advanced imaging technologies, such as super-resolution microscopy
2. Proteomic analyzes
3. Culture of organotypic brain slices
4. Preparation of a high quality iPSC line and maintenance
5. Publication of significant work in a relevant research area