Postdoctoral Researcher - Epigenetics in Neurodegenerative Diseases

Van Andel Research Institute
Job Location
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
$45,500 - $52,000
  • Medical, dental and vision coverage

  • Employer-sponsored life and AD&D insurance

  • Additional voluntary life and AD&D insurance for employees and dependents

  • Short-term and long-term disability insurance

  • Flexible-spending accounts for health and child/elder care

  • 401 K retirement savings plans with employee/employer contributions

Paid vacation, holidays, personal days

Job Description

Van Andel Research Institute’s Labrie Laboratory, under the direction of Viviane Labrie, Ph.D., has a position available for one Postdoctoral Fellow.


The Labrie lab studies the complex interplay between genetic and epigenetic features in both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases in an effort to better understand disease origins and to aid in the development of new diagnostics and therapies.


Specifically, we are interested in candidates with a background in molecular biology and computational experience.


This postdoctoral position is available in the summer or fall of 2016 for a motivated PhD graduate who meets the qualifications and description outlined below. The fellow will investigate the contribution of epigenetic factors to neurodegenerative diseases (AD and PD).



  • A Ph.D. graduate with experience and publications in the fields of neuroscience, molecular biology, genetics or epigenetics.

  • An ideal candidate will have experience with various molecular biology techniques (i.e. DNA/RNA work, PCR, qPCR), cell culture and/or mouse models. Experience with next-generation sequencing and epigenetic assays is advantageous.

  • Individuals with computational skills, including experience with scripting and bioinformatic tools and packages, are strongly preferred.

  • Experience with scientific writing and publication.

  • 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 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



Job Functions:

The overall goal of the project is to study epigenetic mechanisms contributing to neurodegenerative diseases, in order to better understand the biology underlying these illnesses.The candidate will use cutting-edge techniques to search for epigenetic alterations in patient samples and animal models, and perform an integrative analysis that incorporates genetic factors and chromatin 3D structure. The results from these studies could lead to development of novel prognostic and therapeutic strategies to improve clinical outcomes of neurodegenerative disease. Working with work with Dr. Labrie and her research team, the candidate will help guide research directions and provide expertise to facilitate the highest level of contribution to reach the project objectives.


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!

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 


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.


VAI is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity and actively encourages applications from women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.


This position will be open until filled. If you have any difficulty uploading your application or any questions, please email Eric Miller at [email protected]

About Our Organization

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), a leading independent biomedical research facility, 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 is home to more than 300 scientists and support staff that work in on-site laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe.



Van Andel Research Institute is located in downtown Grand Rapids, MI which is the second largest city in Michigan and the largest city in West Michigan. Grand Rapids offers a remarkable combination of cosmopolitan atmosphere and small town warmth, known for its philanthropic and sustainability-driven community, and is ranked one of "America's Top 100 Places to Live."

Located on the banks of the Grand River, Grand Rapids offers all the big-city excitement you'd expect from a million-resident metropolis, featuring hundreds of restaurants and nightspots, theatres, museums, sports and concerts. The safe and clean downtown is surrounded by an eclectic mix of walk-able neighborhoods. 

With a medical and life sciences industry boom, strong entrepreneurial activity, dedication to green building and living, and innovative employers, Grand Rapids' diverse economy continues to grow, offering endless career opportunities.



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