Postdoc Position: Molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis in ocular diseases

Updated: 29 days ago
Deadline: today

What you are going to do
The Ocular Angiogenesis Group is looking for a motivated candidate to join our team and study the molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis in ocular diseases. Angiogenesis or neovascularization in the eye is characterized by the growth of very small and leaking blood vessels. In exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases, retinal angiogenesis is the most important pathological process. The current standard therapy for exudative AMD and other ocular conditions with angiogenesis is inhibition of the growth factor VEGF. However, this approach is not always successful, and involves a heavy burden for the patient due to frequent intraocular injections. It is therefore necessary to develop new strategies of anti-angiogenesis, and treatments aimed at the so-called tip cell are promising in this respect. The tip cell is the first cell that becomes formed and activated during angiogenesis, and is the leading cell on the advancing end of a vascular sprout. From our own research and publications of others, we have made a selection of candidate genes that may serve as a target for anti-angiogenesis-therapy and investigate these in more detail. The aim of the present study is 1) to confirm the tip cell specificity, 2) verify whether inhibition leads to reduced angiogenesis, and 3) to further unravel the molecular mechanisms of the candidate genes. For this purpose, we will use a diversity in in vitro and in vivo models, including 3D angiogenic sprouting assays in spheroids and organ-on-a-chip assays, RNAscope in combination with immunohistochemistry (ISH-IHC) on pathologic human specimens and in the developing mouse retina. In vivo, candidate genes will be knocked down by siRNA in 1) the chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model, 2) the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model, and 3) the laser-induced choroidal neovascularization model.

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