VisionScienceList: Calgary, University of, Postdoctoral Fellowships

From: Bill (
Date: Fri Apr 13 2001 - 16:37:00 PDT

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    Outstanding scientists having a Ph.D., or M.D. with laboratory research
    training in VISUAL NEUROSCIENCE, are wanted to fill positions at the
    University of Calgary in western Canada.

    Postdoctoral Fellows will be supervised by Dr. William Stell and
    stipends guaranteed in the range of $31,000-45,000 (Cdn) per year for
    two years, depending on experience and qualifications, to be paid
    initially from grant funds. Applicants must have strong background in
    cellular and molecular aspects of neuroscience and vision and a solid
    record of publication in peer-reviewed neuroscience/vision-research
    journals, and must be competitive for external fellowships and
    committed to spending at least two years in the host lab.

    Research will be supported in either of two areas:
    growth and refraction are driven postnatally by global stimulation of
    ocular enlargement, which is fine-tuned by visual feedback mechanisms in
    the retina to produce emmetropia (matching of eye length to focal
    power). Our studies indicate that separate, parallel retinal circuits
    function to maintain emmetropia in normal eyes, and restore it in myopic
    eyes (see Fischer AJ, McGuire J, Schaeffel F and Stell WK (1999)
    Light-and focus-dependent expression of the transcription factor ZENK in
    the chick retina. Nature Neuroscience, 2:706-712). The aims of ongoing
    studies, utilizing techniques of pharmacology, cellular and molecular
    biology, are to determine the cellular pathways and synaptic mechanisms
    that underlie ocular growth-control in the chick, identify parallel
    mechanisms in mammalian models, and develop pharmacological methods for
    preventing the development of human myopia.
    This research is supported by grants from the National Eye Institute (to
    October, 2003) and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (to
    March, 2004).
    Amacrine cells are the most varied and numerous of all retinal neurons
    and are largely responsible for the fine control of retinal output.
    Little is known, however, about their responsiveness to different kinds
    of visual stimuli. We have shown that the visual tuning of dopaminergic
    amacrine cells in the chick can be studied by using inducible
    immunocytochemical activity-markers as well as chemical assays for
    transmitter synthesis and release (Rohrer B, Iuvone PM and Stell WK
    (1995) Stimulation of dopaminergic cells by stroboscopic illumination
    or fibroblast growth factor (bFGF, FGF-2): Possible roles in the
    prevention of form-deprivation myopia in the chick. Brain Research,
    686: 169-181). Continuing studies will seek to validate the
    inducible-marker strategy further, using the dopaminergic interneurons
    of chick and goldfish retinas, and then apply it to characterizing
    other kinds of amacrine cells in these model systems.
    This research is supported by a grant from the Natural Sciences and
    Engineering Research Council of Canada (to April, 2005).

    The host lab is located in the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine
    and is affiliated with the Lions' Sight Centre as well as the
    Neuroscience Research Group (
    Calgary is a thriving, modern, clean and safe city of almost 900,000, in
    full view of the Canadian Rockies. It offers a relatively mild northern
    climate, and a wide variety of cultural as well as outdoor activities.

    Although some preference will be given to applicants who are Canadian
    citizens or permanent residents, all highly qualified candidates will be

    Applicants please send a summary of academic background (courses,
    grades, and degrees awarded), previous research experience, and career
    goals, plus names and contact information for three professional
    references, no later than May 15, 2001, to:

    Dr. William K. Stell, Ph.D., M.D.
    Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy
    University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine
    3330 Hospital Drive NW
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1
    (fax) 1-403-283-2700

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