[visionlist] Research opportunities in Vision Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand

Monica Acosta m.acosta at auckland.ac.nz
Mon Jul 13 14:32:05 PDT 2009

Research Opportunities in Vision Science


Department of Optometry and Vision Science

New Zealand National Eye Centre

University of Auckland,

Auckland, New Zealand


A number of research opportunities are available in the Department of
Optometry and Vision Science (DOVS) at the University of Auckland
following the Department's strong performance in the 2009 Health
Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) and Auckland Medical Research
Foundation (AMRF) funding rounds.  The DOVS is a founding member of the
New Zealand National Eye Centre (NZ-NEC), an inter-faculty research
centre bringing together researchers and clinicians in the fields of
vision science, ophthalmology and optometry to promote the application
of basic science to applied clinical issues. The NZ-NEC nurtures a
diverse and highly collaborative research environment making the
currently available positions exciting opportunities to engage in
translational vision science research.

Molecular Vision Laboratory - Post Doctoral Fellowship.

A Post Doctoral Research position for a skilled electrophysiologist is
now available in the Department of Optometry and Vision Science at the
University of Auckland. The position will be based in the Molecular
Vision Laboratory of Professor Paul Donaldson and funding from the HRC
is available for the next 3 years. The successful applicant will be part
of a multidisciplinary laboratory with extensive internal and
international collaborations that studies the molecular and cellular
mechanisms responsible for lens transparency. The major goal of the
laboratory is to develop therapies that delay the onset of lens
cataract: the major cause of blindness in the world today. A variety of
ion channels (hemi channels, stretch activated cation channels, volume
sensitive chloride channels) and transporters (glucose transporters,
chloride transporters and amino acid transporters) are the current focus
of this search for novel anti-cataract therapies. Thus highly motivated
applicants who have utilized electrophysiology techniques to study ion
channel and/or transporter function in any tissue are encouraged to
apply. The applicant would be required to follow their own independent
line of research on how the activation of cation channels in the lens
contribute to the onset of lens cataract and would also have the
opportunity to support electrophysiological based graduate student
projects. Knowledge of the lens or other ocular tissues would be an
advantage but is not a prerequisite. Expertise in ion imaging or
molecular biology would be an added bonus. 

Contact: Professor Paul Donaldson Email: p.donaldson at auckland.ac.nz

web: http://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/sms/physiology/mvl/default.aspx


Visual Neuroscience Laboratory - PhD studentship 

A PhD studentship on the topic of neural plasticity and human amblyopia
is available in the Visual Neuroscience Laboratory under the supervision
of Dr. Ben Thompson. The project will involve a variety of investigative
techniques including psychophysics, functional magnetic resonance
imaging (fMRI) and non-invasive brain stimulation.  This studentship
would suit motivated graduates in psychology, optometry, neuroscience or
related disciplines. The studentship is supported by the Health Research
Council of New Zealand and is available from October 2009 for a period
of 3 years. 

Contact: Dr Ben Thompson: b.thompson at auckland.ac.nz 

Web: http://www.opt.auckland.ac.nz/public/research/labs/VNRL/


Cell and Molecular Biology of the Retina Laboratory - Research
Technician and PhD Studentship

Dr Monica Acosta lab is offering a Level 4 Research Technical position
for a candidate who is familiar with animal manipulations and able to
conduct routine protocols such as tissue fixation and sectioning,
immunocytochemical procedures and who has experience in multispectral
image acquisition. The successful candidate will contribute to a
research project that will investigate two distinct models of retinal
disease at the cellular and molecular level.  Our methodological
approach focuses on the use high temporal and spatial resolution imaging
techniques to detect expression of proteins compromising cellular
physiology. Other tasks include the ordering of reagents and overall
laboratory maintenance. The position is supported by the AMRF and will
be available from October 2009 for a period of 2 years. 


The Acosta lab in collaboration with the team of eye surgeons and
scientists at the New Zealand National Eye Centre is also looking for a
motivated student interested in neurophysiology, cell and molecular
biology and therapeutic intervention strategies to combat macular
degeneration in the retina. This PhD project focuses on causal factors
in retinal degeneration and characterization of intervention strategies
in an animal model using molecular biology techniques and
immunohistochemistry. Candidates who are interested in retinal
degeneration intervention strategies, and who are highly motivated to
learn and use different methods (dye injections, immunohistochemistry,
protein and RNA extraction, electroretinogram) are invited to apply.
Experience in electroretinography, immunocytochemistry and dye injection
techniques is highly advantageous. The candidate student must have a
master degree (or equivalent) in optometry, neuroscience, medicine, or a
related field. 

Contact: Dr Monica Acosta m.acosta at auckland.ac.nz
<mailto:m.acosta at auckland.ac.nz>  

web http://www.opt.auckland.ac.nz/public/research/labs/CMBR/


Interested applicants should send a covering letter describing their
expertise, a copy of their CV and the contact details of two academic
referees to the appropriate principal investigator by the 30th of August


PhD students will also need to register an expression of interest (EOI)
using the following link:
http://www.postgrad.auckland.ac.nz/doctoral/interest prior to being
invited to apply for PhD. 


Monica Acosta (PhD)


Department of Optometry and Vision Science

The University of Auckland

Private Bag 92019

New Zealand

tel: + 64 9 3737599 ext 86069

mail: m.acosta at auckland.ac.nz



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