Postdoctoral Position in Aging Brain Disorders via Mass Spectrometry and Therapeutics
This research will analyze neurotransmitter systems by mass spectrometry approaches to define neurotransmitter dysfunctions in several neurocognitive disorders of aging that have a need for therapeutic drug modulators – Schizophrenia and Huntington’s Disease.
This research will investigate (1) neurotransmitter regulation related to accelerated cognitive aging in schizophrenia and their modulation by therapeutic agents, and related mental health conditions and aging, and (2) protein interaction mechanisms in human Huntington’s disease leading to cell death. This research can lead to understanding of new disease mechanisms, biomarkers, and drug targets for several brain disorders that display cognitive deficits.
Studies will involve ‘human’ focused research with patient-derived stem cell neurons, combined with plasma and brain tissue samples for mass spectrometry analyses of peptide and small molecule signatures of neurotransmitters, as well as proteomics. A large aspect of the research will involve analyses and organization of mass spectrometry data sets to gain new insights into neuronal mechanisms of brain mental disorders. Training in translational research, from bench research to clinical therapeutics will be important for strategic planning of projects for new science, publications, and grant proposals.
The faculty team of mentors at UC San Diego and the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California will provide interdisciplinary training in human disease neurobiology, mass spectrometry analyses and bioinformatics, and clinical therapeutic features of schizophrenia and Huntington’s disease. Faculty will guide training in neurochemical and pharmaceutical sciences with relevance to therapeutics. The lead mentors are Dr. Vivian Hook of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) and Neurosciences, Dr. Nuno Bandeira of SSPPS and Computer Sciences and Engineering, and Dr. Alan Saghatelian at the Salk Institute of the Peptide Biology Program. The position is sponsored by an NIH training program in Geriatric Mental Health directed by Professor Dilip Jeste, Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging, and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego.