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Job Description


Mentor: Dr. Patricia Aguilar Calvo, Department of Neurology


A position is open for a Postdoctoral Researcher with a strong background in neuroscience and neurological disorders to join the research laboratory of Dr. Patricia Aguilar Calvo, Assistant Professor of Neurology, at University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB). Applicants should hold (or soon receive) a Ph.D. in neuroscience or a related discipline and show a record of high-quality scientific productivity. The research project focuses on the role of heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycans in the selective cell vulnerability of protein aggregates. The position will be initially available for one year, with yearly renewal, based on the performance and funding availability.

Research Description
Major goals and objectives: to define the role of heparan sulfate in the replication, propagation, scaffolding and clearance of misfolded proteins in the central nervous system; to investigate the factors modulating the interaction of heparan sulfate with prion and ? -synuclein aggregates; to measure cellular uptake of prions and ? -synuclein aggregates and their the degree of dependence of heparan sulfate.   

Research Activity:

  • Studies of internalization of protein aggregates in primary cultured neurons
  • Purification and chemical characterization of heparan sulfate molecules
  • Work with genetically modified mice: prion transmission studies, monitoring the development and progression of neurological signs and characterization of prion disease (brain lesions, survival time)
  • Immunohistochemistry and microscopy studies on brain and spinal cord
  • Image protein movement using PET scan
  • Write manuscripts for publication, apply for research fellowships


Basic qualifications

Applicants should hold (or soon receive) a Ph.D. in Neuroscience or a related discipline. Experience with mouse models is preferred but not required. Successful applicants should have outstanding experimental skills, display strong research ethics and be able to think independently but also work well in a team. One first author publication from previous research work is required to be eligible.

How to apply:

Interested candidates should submit a CV, a brief summary (1-2 pages) of research interests and career goals, list of publications, and contact information of at least two references to Patricia Aguilar Calvo, D.V.M., Ph.D. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

About our Postdoc Office

UAB is committed to the development and success of outstanding postdoctoral scientists. Here at UAB, nearly 300 postdoctoral fellows are training currently in a variety of disciplines. Competitive postdoc awards are available including internships, grant incentives, funds to enhance education and collaboration outside UAB, and teaching opportunities at local universities. There is also a Postdoc Research Day with monetary awards. The Office of Postdoctoral Education strongly encourages UAB research mentors to follow the National Research Service Award stipend level guidelines, and postdoctoral scholars qualify for health, life, and other insurances. They also have the right to participate in the university’s 403(b) program and enjoy vacation, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and other benefits.

About the University

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a research university and academic health center that discovers, teaches, and applies knowledge for the intellectual, cultural, social, and economic benefit of Birmingham, the state, and beyond. UAB is internationally renowned for its intensely collaborative culture that has — for more than five decades — produced breakthroughs in education, health care, research, and service. UAB was ranked #1 in the United States, and in the top 10 worldwide, in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2018 Young University Rankings.

Spanning more than 100 city blocks, UAB is the state of Alabama’s largest single employer with over 26,000 employees and has an annual state-wide economic impact exceeding $7.15 billion. U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “America’s Best Graduate Schools” ranks 14 UAB graduate programs among the nation’s top 25 and 10 UAB specialties were ranked among the nation’s top 50 in the magazine’s 2018-2019 Best Hospitals report. UAB research grants and awards are at a record high, exceeding $527 million in FY18, including $320 million in NIH funding for FY18. UAB ranks 31st among all universities in federal research funding and 15th among public universities. UAB's NIH funding continues to grow among peer institutions in the Southeast and beyond, with the university ranking 20th among all universities in NIH funding and eighth among public universities. The UAB Heersink School of Medicine is ranked 21st among medical schools in NIH funding and eighth among public medical schools.

UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of, race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity, and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.

For more information on Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at UAB, visit the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion opens a new website, call (205) 934-8762, or contact the office at 701 20th Street South, AB 336, Birmingham, AL 35294-0103.

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