[visionlist] Postdoctoral Position in Myopia Research at University of Alabama at Birmingham

Safal Khanal safaladarsha09 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 11 22:55:30 -04 2022

A full-time postdoctoral position is available immediately in the myopia
research laboratory of Dr. Safal Khanal at the University of Alabama at
Birmingham (UAB) Department of Optometry and Vision Science to study neural
signals and retinal circuitry of eye growth regulation and refractive
development in tree shrews and humans. The position will be for one year
with the possibility of an extension for another year depending upon
research progress and funding availability. The postdoctoral fellow will
also have opportunities to work on investigator-initiated and
industry-sponsored projects, develop own research within the overall goal
of the laboratory, and collaborate with the highly interactive scientific
community at UAB.

The Khanal lab focuses on basic and clinical investigations of defocus
signaling and emmetropization (a visually guided process that regulates eye
growth and refractive development) as the basis for understanding the
development and progression of myopia and devising its treatment
strategies. The current emphasis is on studying the retinal and choroidal
defocus signaling mechanisms and deciphering the key operating
characteristics of the emmetropization machinery, including visual cues,
retinal and choroidal signals of eye growth, the role of retinal neurons
including photoreceptors, and the mode of signal transmission in the
retinal-choroid-sclera pathway. The overall goal is to inform how the
emmetropization mechanism:

1.    integrates visual information to generate growth signals,
2.    processes these signals to modulate eye growth, and
3.    fails or loses efficiency in some individuals leading to the
development of myopia (nearsightedness).

The laboratory conducts basic, clinical, and translational studies using
cellular and molecular, clinical, imaging, and electrophysiology
techniques. The primary models are tree shrews (small dichromatic mammals
closely related to primates) and humans, including children.

The UAB School of Optometry is among the few optometry schools that are a
part of an academic medical center and is consistently ranked among the top
three optometry schools nationally in research funding. The Department of
Optometry and Vision Science at the UAB School of Optometry offers a strong
supportive research environment in both laboratory and clinical settings.
The UAB vision community is extensive, consisting of over 70 faculty
members in the UAB Vision Science Research Center. This center provides
extensive Core facilities to all UAB vision researchers through support
from an NEI P30 core grant. UAB also has a vibrant neuroscience community
with a network of more than 450 UAB neuroscience research faculty,
clinicians, staff, students, and trainees.


Candidates must have a doctoral degree (OD, MD, and/or PhD) or foreign
equivalent in Optometry, Ophthalmology, Vision Science, Neurobiology,
Neuroscience, or a related discipline. Preferences will be given to
creative and motivated candidates with excellent written and verbal
communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work with patients in a
clinical or research setting. Experience in electrophysiology and/or
imaging methods and molecular biology is desirable, as is proficiency in
analytical software and computer programming, but highly motivated
candidates with alternate experience are also encouraged to apply.


Interested candidates should submit

1.    a curriculum vitae,
2.    a cover letter describing research background, interests, and career
goals, and
3.    contact information of three references.

Consideration of applications will begin immediately and will continue
until the position is filled.
The salary will be commensurate with experience and NIH guidelines. Please
send applications or questions to Dr. Safal Khanal at skhanal at uab.edu.
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