Postdoctoral Research Associate

Job description

Position Title:

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Vacancy ID:



Thurston Arthritis Res Center - 429201

Position Type:

Postdoctoral Scholar

Salary Range:



Full Time



Proposed Start Date:


Estimated Duration of Appointment:

12 Months

Posting Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


Work Location:

Chapel Hill, NC

Position Summary:

The main focus of the Longobardi Lab in the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center is to investigate whether the cell signaling by the C-C chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2), which is the receptor for several chemokines, is involved in the degeneration of joint tissues (cartilage, bone, synovium, meniscus, muscles etc.) during injury-induced and age-induced osteoarthritis (OA). Specifically, for the injury-induced OA, we use an different vivo murine models based on the destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) and the transection of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACLT), to understand whether targeting the CCR2 receptor prevents or delays the pathological changes in articular cartilage and bone induced by OA. We use transgenic mice to obtain a tissue-specific inactivation of the CCR2 gene, in cartilage, bone and inflammatory cells.
In our lab, we also perform pain-related behavioral studies to understand the contribution of the CCR2 receptor to pain perception during OA. We are also developing a translational project focused at a drug-delivery system using nanoparticle loaded with different CCR2 antagonist to ameliorate joint tissue structure and decrease OA pain. We also work with human primary cultures of chondrocytes to establish the signaling pathways activated by CCR2 during OA. Our lab work is directly translational, and we are also involved in a clinical study focused on identifying chemokines and cytokines in serum of subjects with aging OA, that are altered during disease progression .
We are seeking a postdoctoral candidate in regenerative medicine with experience with in-vivo animal techniques. The candidate will be responsible to perform in-vivo survival surgeries, longitudinal analysis of pain and muscle strength, as well as imaging techniques. In addition, we require expertise in osteoarthritis pathogenesis (histological evaluation and tissue scoring systems), tissue isolation, immunohistochemistry, and gene expression analyses.

Educational Requirements:

Must have a PhD in Cellular or Molecular Biology or equivalent doctoral degree; or an MD with laboratory experience and translation into animal studies.

Qualifications and Experience:

Qualifications and Experience
At least 2 years of experience in cellular and molecular biology experience is required, as well as tissue culture experience and transgenic mouse experience. In addition, expertise in in-vivo setting is required, including pain behavioral techniques and tissue analysis.
We will be performing the following experiments:
•Survival surgery in mice (Destabilization of medial meniscus, DMM and transection of the anterior cruciate ligament, ACLT)
•Histological preparations and different staining techniques of histological tissues, as well as immunohistochemistry and in-situ hybridization analyses.
•Isolation of multiple joint tissues (articular cartilage, meniscus, bone, synovial tissue) for mRNA extraction, followed by gene array analyses and RT-PCR.
•The work will require also the design, initiation and evaluation of different pain-behavioral responses from animals with or without osteoarthritis.
•Isolation, expansion and treatment of primary culture of chondrocytes from human knees (either OA tissue or normal).
Pain-behavioral analyses

The following characteristics are required:
•Developing conclusions and hypotheses relevant to the aims of research projects in the lab.
•Presenting research results at laboratory meetings, professional meetings and through publications.
•Contributing materials for grant submissions, Research Performance Progress Reports.
•Documenting results routinely and carefully in lab notebooks.
•Highly motivated, enthusiastic, and interact collaboratively in a team environment.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

Special Instructions:

For information on UNC Postdoctoral Benefits and Services click here




Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No:
Posted: 2/23/2021
Application Due: 5/24/2021
Work Type: Full Time