Research Assistant Positions: Retinal Toxicity, Aberrant Angiogenesis, and Detachment Complications

 

Research Assistant Positions: Retinal Toxicity, Aberrant Angiogenesis, and Detachment Complications
Dr. Leo A. Kim, Department of Ophthalmology, Massachsuetts Eye and Ear Infirmary / Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School

Description of Projects: (1) Cell death mechanisms underlying retinal toxicity. Our laboratory is evaluating the multiple concurrent cell death mechanisms underlying retinal toxicity due to commonly used medications such as tamoxifen and chloroquine.  By understanding regulated cell death mechanisms including apoptosis, pyroptosis, and necroptosis, we may be able to develop methods to protect these medications as well as other degenerative diseases of the retina. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4122018/;  (2) Novel mechanisms of aberrant retinal angiogenesis.  Using patient-derived fibrovascular membranes surgically removed from patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy, our laboratory has been able to discover novel molecular mediators of aberrant angiogenesis within diseases. Elucidating these new pathways may reveal mechanisms beyond vascular endothelial growth factor signaling, that may be potential targets to regulate pathologic ocular angiogenesis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462955/; (3) Therapeutic agents for the management of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR).  PVR is a blinding complication of retinal detachment most commonly associated with eye trauma.  This disease is characterized by growth of scar tissue beneath and over the retina.  We have developed an in vitro assay using patient-derived PVR membranes to screen for potential drugs for the treatment of PVR. Additional work will attempt to understand the underlying mechanisms of PVR proliferation, growth, and migration, as well as mechanisms that can lead to drug resistance within these cells. Skills Required:  No prior research experience is necessary. Additional Information: Number of hours is negotiable. The laboratory will fund all consumables. However, there is no funding for a stipend.  Applicants are encouraged to apply for fellowships or apply for a research credit. Learning outcome:  Development of basic science laboratory skills: PCR, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, work with animal models, tissue culture, ELISA, etc.  Students will also learn how to design experiments, write scientific papers, present papers, and critically analyze data. Eventually, the PI would like to co-publish a scientific paper with the student. Laboratory website is at http://www.schepens.harvard.edu/profileleo/leo-am-kim-md-phd/profile.html. To Apply:  Please send your CV to Dr. Leo Kim at leo_kim@meei.harvard.edu. (posted 2/2017)