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Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 12:02 AM

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About the Job


Who We Are

The Roskamp Institute is devoted to understanding the causes of, and finding the cures for, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders and addictions. The Institute's Directors were involved in the discovery of the first known genetic causes of Alzheimer's disease, and the Alzheimer’s research program has now reached the point of advancing novel therapeutics into clinical trials in human patients. Such is the goal for all of the Institute’s research programs. The Institute utilizes a broad range of scientific approaches to investigate conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Gulf War Illness, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and other neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. The Institute isfunded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Veteran’s Administration, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Roskamp Foundation and other sources. Roskamp Institute scientists come from around the world with expertise in a wide range of disciplines including Molecular and Cellular Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, Proteomics, Lipidomics, Genomics, Mass Spectrometry, Pathology and Chemistry. The Institute’s work is published in top tier journals such as Neurology, Neuroscience, Journal of Neurotrauma, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Annals of Neurology, Angiogenesis, Brain Research, Molecular Medicine, Nature Neuroscience and Science.

Where We Are
The Roskamp Institute is located in sunny Sarasota which is a tropical beach paradise located on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Sarasota was chosen as America's Best Small City by CNN/Money Magazine due to the combination of a small town atmosphere with big city amenities such as shopping/outlet malls, 5-star restaurants, opera and theaters. Sarasota averages 361 days of sunshine a year, and boasts 35 miles of beachfront, including Siesta Key Beach, which has some of the whitest and finest sand in the world and has been ranked at the number one beach in the United States. Several other academic institutions such as New College of Florida, State College of Florida, University of South Florida and Ringling College of Art and Design are also located in Sarasota, providing a strong student culture for academic and leisure pursuits.

The Position
The Roskamp Institute, in partnership with the Open University in the UK, offers a 3-4 year doctoral degree in Neuroscience. The program involves no formal coursework; successful applicants will be hands-on at the laboratory bench throughout their entire thesis research, under the supervision and direction of Institute scientists. Consequently, successful applicants will be of the highest caliber, self-motivating and capable of identifying and undertaking the theoretical research necessary to complement their laboratory activities. There are currently two Ph.D. studentship openings.

Project I:

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), in particular mild TBI (mTBI) is a major cause of disability in military and in civilian populations, and for many years has been known to be an epigenetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative conditions. The precise nature of how TBI leads to or precipitates AD pathogenesis is not currently understood. We previously conducted a detailed and comprehensive omic analyses of brain tissue from mouse models of TBI and AD where we identified convergent AD and TBI dependent molecular responses. The ensuing project will validate these mechanisms as novel therapeutic targets to block the negative sequelae of TBI that potentially lead to AD. In this project the Ph.D. candidate will investigate the role(s) of docosahexaenoic acid [neuroprotectin] signaling, sphingolipid pathway, eicosanoid signaling, RXR/PPAR signaling, PI3K/AkT/mTOR pathway, and insulin growth factor/BDNF signaling pathways in the pathogenesis of TBI and AD. There will be two aims to this project. Aim 1 will involvevalidation of molecular responses in human TBI/AD brain tissue, followed by mousein vivo evaluation of target engagement for compounds that modulate the TBI and AD coincident molecular responses we have observed. The top performing compounds will then be explored in Aim 2 in in vivo validation of therapeutic targets in mice with TBI. Efficacy will be assessed by evaluating the long term neurobehavioral, neuropathological and biochemical consequences of treatment on TBI pathogenesis. This project will utilize a variety of biochemical and molecular biology techniques including: immunoblotting, EIA/ELISA, lipidomics, protein fractionation, proteomics and mass spectrometry. Histopathological techniques will be used, involving routine histology stains, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence/confocal microscopy and stereology approaches. This project will involve the manipulation of animals including: intraperitoneal drug treatment, intranasal and/or intracerebroventricular drug administration, blood, CSF and tissue collection, and performing a variety of neurobehavioral analyses for spatial learning, anxiety and sensorimotor behavior.

Project II:

ThePh.D. student project will apply state-of-art mass spectrometry technology to identify novel lipid blood biomarkers for diagnosing mild to moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and differentiate TBI subjects from those with other neurological conditions, such as post-traumatic brain injury (PTSD). In addition, this project will also determine if blood lipid profiles that predict the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) also change with cognitive status in the early stages of the disease. The project will aim to identify if these same lipid biomarkers can identify cognitive decline in TBI patients to assess their risk of subsequent development of AD with age. The student will learn how to perform liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) techniques using several different types of LC equipment including nano-Easy LC, Agilent and ShimadzuHPLC coupled to either Thermo LTQ mass spectrometer, Thermo Orbitrap LTQ and Thermo Q-Exactive Oribrap. The data analysis component from these studies will include use of Trace Finder, XCMS and other statistical analyses packages to identify and quantify lipids in blood. Further investigation into molecular pathways will also be explored using mouse models of TBI and AD. For these studies, a variety of techniques will be utilized, such as western blot analyses, immunohistochemistry based approaches, thin layer chromatography, liquid-liquid extractions and solid phase extractions.

Who You Are
Prospective candidate for admission to the Ph.D. program must have:
For US students: a Master's degree in a biological sciences field or a Bachelor's degree plus either one year of post-graduate full-time laboratory research at the Roskamp Institute or two years of post-graduate full-time laboratory research with another institution and demonstrated productivity.
For UK students: a Bachelor's degree of class 2.1 or higher in a biological sciences field.
For students from other countries: equivalency to either UK or US student requirements as stated above.
Experience in molecular biology, developing enzyme assays and in silico drug screening will be beneficial.
Non-native English speakers should have a TOEFL score in the upper percentile with an emphasis on spoken and listening section from paper-based or web-based tests.

Funding Notice
The students will be paid as research assistants and all fees associated with enrollment will be paid by the Roskamp Institute. Benefits will include health, dental, vision insurance and retirement plan (401K).

Contact:
For informal enquiries about this position please contact phdapplication@roskampinstitute.net"> phdapplication@roskampinstitute.net


How To Apply:
Apply using the application form from our website at http: // www. roskampinstitute. org / wp- content / uploads / 2017/ 03/OU_ Application_ Form_ 2017. pdf

Applicants for the program will be required to complete the application form and submit it to the Roskamp Institute Program Administrator who will screen it for eligibility. Eligible applications will be reviewed by the Roskamp Institute Research Degrees Coordinator and by the Roskamp Institute Admissions Committee. Competitive applications will be selected for an interview in person or by tele/video conference.

The Admission process will weigh many factors including the applicant's scholastic record, prior performance in laboratory research, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, aptitude for the proposed project and ultimately their presentation and performance in the personal interview.

The Committee will identify successful applicants who will then be nominated for acceptance into the program. Nominations will be submitted to the Open University Life and Biomolecular Sciences Committee for consideration and approval.

Successful candidates will be registered with The Open University in the United Kingdom.

• Location: Sarasota, Sarasota, FL

• Post ID: 34582188 sarasota
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