A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Dr. Carlos Bernal-Mizrachi in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipid Research at Washington University School of Medicine. Work from the laboratory has focused on mechanisms by which vitamin D modulates immune cell function and on understanding how the inflammatory milieu contributes to the development of metabolic syndrome. Studies are conducted in mouse models of insulin resistance and cardiovascular complications (diet-induced obesity and multiple genetically modified lines of mice) and in patients with diabetes. Our clinical and pre-clinical results have shown that regulation of ER stress by vitamin D exerts a pivotal role in monocyte recruitment, macrophage phenotype, and macrophage cholesterol metabolism, all of which are critical components of the vascular remodeling seen in diabetic vascular disease. Additional studies showed that macrophage-specific deletion of the vitamin D receptor increases susceptibility to insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, and hypertension, postulating that regulation of macrophage phenotype by vitamin D is essential in the development of cardiometabolic disease. This position will provide an opportunity to utilize biochemical, molecular, genetic, and immunological and techniques in both animals and humans and to prepare the candidate for a successful career in the field of immunology and metabolism.
- Developmental immune origins of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
- The effect vitamin D during pregnancy on epigenetic changes in macrophages.
- The role of immune modulation and microRNAs in the development of metabolic syndrome.
- Determine the molecular mechanism by which macrophages induce hypertension and atherosclerosis in mice models with insulin resistance and patients with type 2 diabetes and human.
- Assessing the effects of plasma glucose levels on macrophage cholesterol metabolism in mice and in patients with type 2 diabetes.
- Randomized control trial evaluating the effects of vitamin D in blood pressure control in patients with type 2 diabetes.
- Randomized control trial evaluating the effects of vitamin D supplementation of cardiovascular progression in patients with type 2 diabetes.
- Maternal Vitamin D supplementation effects on offspring inflammation and insulin resitance.
A PhD degree in glucose or lipid metabolism or immunology.
- Willingness to conduct research using mouse models.
- Strong written and oral communication skills are essential, as evidenced by high-quality international peer-reviewed journals.
- Ability to work independently and communicate with laboratory staff and investigators.
The hiring range for this position is commensurate with experience.