Rockefeller University Research Assistant in New York, New York
Job Title Research Assistant
Laboratory / Department Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism
Atherosclerotic diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease, are complex with many genetic and environmental factors involved. For many years, our laboratory has been in the forefront of identifying genes that contribute to atherosclerosis susceptibility and creating transgenic and knockout mouse models to elucidate the functions of these genes and how they might contribute to human disease. Several years ago while studying atherosclerosis in a mouse model of chronic kidney disease we began to explore factors that influence white blood cell migration. We found that serum stimulated chemokine-chemokine receptor directed white blood cell migration and isolated the responsible peptide. This peptide is part of high molecular weight kininogen domain 5 (HKD5), and its release requires active Factor XII. We are now studying the mechanism whereby HKD5 stimulates white blood cell migration. We have also developed small molecule inhibitors of Factor XII as well as Factor XII knockout mice to study the effects of inhibiting this pathway in animal models of diseases characterized by an overactive immune system, such as autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases. In another potential therapeutic strategy, we are developing antibodies to HKD5 for in vivo use to inhibit this pathway. Finally, we have found that the HKD5 peptide might be of use in regimens of allergen desensitization.
The Research Assistant will focus their efforts on a new pathway of inflammation and how this might be inhibited or augmented. Studies will involve in vitro models of white blood cell migration and in vivo models of autoimmune disease, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Delayed Hypersensitivity, kidney disease, gram negative sepsis, and food allergy. Responsibilities include animal husbandry (mice), including breeding, genotyping, injection and tissue harvesting, as well as molecular and cellular biological techniques, including PCR, Western blotting, and cell culture.
Bachelor's degree in science required; educational emphases in biochemistry or biology preferred. Must be comfortable handling mice and previous experience in a laboratory is strongly preferred. Strong work ethic as well as a commitment to learning required. Interest in translational immunology preferred.