Research Assistant Position: Biochemistry of Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy

Research Assistant Position: Biochemistry of Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy
Hetian Lei, Ph.D., Schepens Eye Research Institute / Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School
spring and summer 2017

Description of Project: Investigation of the mechanism (s) by which growth factors drive biochemical and cellular responses  intrinsic  to  proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR)  as well as  apply  this  information  to  the  development  of  new  therapeutic options to prevent PVR.  In this research we have demonstrated that non-PDGFs in the vitreous engage their own receptors and thereby increase the level of reactive oxygen species. This change activates Src family kinases that phosphorylate PDGFR and thereby persistently trigger downstream signaling events such as P13K/Akt, which reduces the level of p53. Relaxing the p53 checkpoint potentiates the cell's ability to proliferate and survive, and facilitates the development of proliferative vitreoretinopathy. In this project we will continuously investigate the role of the signaling pathway of PI3K/Akt/MDM2/p53 in the pathogenesis of PVR. Expectations and Requirements: No previous research experience is necessary. Number of hours is negotiable. Additional Information: Hetian Lei is the project PI. Learning outcome: Development of basic science laboratory skills: tissue culture, PCR, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, work with animal models, etc. In addition, students will learn how to design experiments, write scientific papers, present the data, and analyze data. Consequently, the PI will co-publish a scientific paper with the student. Laboratory funding: The laboratory will fund all consumables, but there is no funding for a stipend.  Applicants are encouraged to apply for fellowships. To Apply: please send your CV to Dr. Hetian Lei at Hetian_lei@meei.harvard.edu. (posted 3/2017)