Postdoctoral Fellow - Neurodegenerative Disease

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

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

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neurodegenerative Diseases


We are looking for a motivated and collaborative postdoctoral fellow to join the Laboratory of Jiyan Ma, Ph.D. at Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, MI.


The Ma Laboratory aims to elucidate how protein misfolding occurs during disease and how misfolded proteins cause neurodegeneration. Currently, the lab is studying two late age onset neurodegenerative diseases, prion disease and Parkinson’s disease, with a wide range of approaches, from in vitro biochemical studies with recombinant proteins to in vivo analyses in animal models.


This postdoctoral position is available IMMEDIATELY and is for a motivated scientist who meets the qualifications and description outlined below. Projects including regarding the pathogenic mechanism and therapeutic development of prion and/or Parkinson’s disease will be carried out. The specific project for the postdoctoral fellow will be determined according to the fellow’s research interest and training background.  


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 equivalent degree in biomedicine or related studies;
  • Knowledge of neurodegenerative disease models, protein biochemistry, mitochondria biology, or immunology would be an asset.


Description of a Successful Candidate:

  • A self-motivated and driven individual who is able to exhibit excellent research productivity and take responsibility for independent 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

Application Process:

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


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.


If you have any difficulty uploading your application or any questions, please email Eric Miller at

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.


We strive to work as an effective team through close cooperation and communication in a spirit of trust and mutual respect. Research, education, and operations are interdependent, striving to improve team harmony.


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