Due to the complexity and heterogeneity of ASD and lack of a proper human cellular model, animal models, either naturalistic, environmental, pharmacological or genetic, have traditionally been the preferred choice for investigating mechanisms underlying ASD. However, these models have several conceptual and practical limitations for studying human neurodevelopment. The recent advent of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has allowed researchers to circumvent these obstacles and efficiently complement animal models by establishing human iPSC lines, which capture both the primary genetic lesion and the genetic background of patients and are therefore particularly useful for disorders with complex etiology, where genetic causes are usually multiple and complex. In vitro induction of iPSCs derived from patients into various neuronal and glial cell types, in monolayer cultures or in organoids, provides a powerful new tool to study the cellular and molecular causes of human disorders and test therapeutic strategies in the cell types most affected in these diseases. The Seaver Center has several ongoing programs aiming to model different complex neurogenetic disorders associated with ASD including Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, FOXP1 Syndrome and ADNP Syndrome, using iPSCs.
We are looking for an ambitious, creative and motivated postdoctoral fellow with expertise in cellular neuroscience, pluripotent stem cells and electrophysiology to study the neurobiological mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorder using those iPSC models.
Responsibilities will include performing and supervising iPSC reprogramming, creating genetically modified lines, differentiating iPSC in different types of neuronal cells, neuron phenotyping and RNA sequencing experiments.
Postdocs are also expected to lead new experiments and techniques when needed, and will be responsible for collecting, analyzing, and reviewing experimental data for publication and presentation. Postdocs will also supervise students and technicians in the lab.
Performs other related duties.