Postdoctoral Fellow - Inflammation in Parkinson's Disease

Van Andel Research Institute
Job Location
333 Bostwick AVE NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
$47,500 - $54,000

Benefits Offered:

VARI Postdoctoral Fellows are full-time employees of the Institute and are eligible for VAI’s employee benefits. You will be eligible for the following benefits on your first day of employment:

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance
  • Institute paid Life and AD&D insurance
  • Short and Long Term Disability insurance
  • Voluntary Term Life and AD&D Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for medical and dependent care
  • Ten (10) Vacation Days
  • Nine (9) Paid Holidays
  • Full-time employees are awarded the equivalent of 5 days of personal time off (PTO) days at the beginning of each calendar year.  You will receive a pro-rated number of days based on the month in which you begin employment. 
  • 401k Retirement Savings Plan (Eligibility begins the first day of the month after the date of hire.)
  • Parking within the adjacent Michigan Street Development facility, with annual parking fees paid by VAI.
  • Relocation Assistance
Job Description

Van Andel Research Institute’s Laboratories of Drs. Patrik Brundin and Lena Brundin are seeking to hire a Postdoctoral Fellow to work on a recently awarded Michael J Fox Foundation grant. 


The minimum 2-year postdoctoral position, with a possiblity of extension pending successful grant applications and performance, is available immediatelyand intended for a motivated scientist who meets the qualifications and description outlined below. This fellow will investigate the contribution of the kynurenine pathway enzymes to Parkinson’s disease (PD) pathogenesis, both by studying clinical samples from patients and by analyzing animal models of PD.


The overall goal of this project is to study the role of kynurenine pathway enzymes and inflammation in PD. The candidate will analyze the levels of inflammatory factors and kynurenine metabolites in CSF and blood samples from subjects with PD. The candidate will also use established model systems to determine effects of overexpressing and knocking out key enzymes in the kynurenine pathway for the development of nigral degeneration and motor symtoms in mice and rats. The results from these studies could lead to the development of novel biomarkers and therapeutic strategies to improve clinical outcomes of PD.


The fellow will primarily be a member of the L. Brundin laboratory, and directly report to Dr Lena Brundin. As the fellow will be working on joint projects, he/she will also participate in regular project progress meetings together with both Drs Patrik and Lena Brundin and interact with both their research groups.


The Center for Neurodegenerative Disease is a growing research environment with currently nine faculty members. The Center focuses on the development of novel treatments that slow or stop the progression of neurodegenerative disease, in particular Parkinson’s disease. The Center’s work revolves around three main goals: disease modification, biomarker discovery, and brain repair. The fellows will benefit from a training environment with weekly joint journal clubs, regular center updates, several extramural seminar speakers and an annual international symposium organized by the institute.

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) provides postdoctoral training opportunities to scientists beginning their research careers. The fellowships are to help promising scientists advance their knowledge and research experience and at the same time support the research endeavors of VARI under the mentorship of a VARI Faculty member.


While this project is currently funded, an integral part of postdoctoral training is the process of preparing a research proposal and writing a fellowship application. All VARI Postdoctoral Fellows are encouraged to apply for external funding as soon as it is practical and reasonable after hire. Receiving a fellowship award provides recognition for both the fellow and VARI! 



  • A Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in neuroscience, biochemistry, and/or molecular and cell biology with expertise in neurodegenerative disease, eg PD.
  • Experience of working with molecular and cell biology techniques including ELISA- and qPCR-based methods.
  • Previous experience with stereotaxic surgery, brain morphology, and animal behavioral studies.
  • A record of peer-reviewed publications is highly desirable.
  • Must provide the names of three individuals who can provide recommendations and present a scientific seminar describing his or her previous research.


Description of a Successful Candidate:

  • A self-motivated and driven individual who is able to exhibit exceptional research productivity and take responsibility for management of the project.
  • A detail-oriented researcher that thinks critically to effectively design experiments and solve complex research problems.
  • A strong ability to take initiative and work independently, as well as in a team environment.
  • A collaborative, hands-on researcher who proactively shares knowledge and expertise with lab members.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
How to Apply

Qualified applicants should provide a cover letter outlining research experience and interests, a curriculum vitae, and the names and address of three references by visiting TBD.


If you possess these attributes and desire to help us drive science from the bench to the clinic; while benefiting from a highly generous compensation package; we would welcome speaking with you and encourage you to apply today by visiting


About Our Organization

Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations.

Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premiere research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 360 scientists, educators and staff.

Van AndelResearch Institute (VARI), the research division of VAI, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute’s scientists work in on-site laboratories and participate in collaborative partnerships that span the globe.

In practice we are world leaders in cancer epigenetics and Parkinson’s disease research. Collaborating with academia, industry and philanthropy, we orchestrate cutting-edge clinical trials to improve human health.


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