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Dr. John H. Morrison, Professor of Neurology and Director of the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC), is seeking to hire 1-3 postdoctoral fellows, 100% time for the duration of two years with the possibility of extension. The postdoctoral fellows will be expected to participate in our research program investigating the synaptic and cellular basis of cognitive decline in rhesus monkeys. In this research program, we have identified several reflections of synaptic health that deteriorate with aging, leading to cognitive decline. A key question being pursued is whether or not such synaptic alterations can transition to the neurodegenerative events seen in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) under certain circumstances. In order to pursue this question in the Rhesus monkey mode, we have developed two monkey models of early AD, one based on the synaptic toxicity of AB oligomers, and one based on the capacity for phospho-tau aggregates to initiate neurodegeneration. Both models show great promise and are currently being pursued in the laboratory. We are also pursuing other models of cognitive decline that have a high degree of translational impact on human health, (e.g. HIV-associated neurocognitive decline). While molecular approaches are being pursued, most of the lab’s work involves high resolution quantitative microscopy to reveal both synaptic and cellular alterations that are predictive of cognitive decline. Behavioral and in vivo imaging approaches are also employed. The CNPRC, Department of Neurology, and Center for Neuroscience converge to provide an outstanding training opportunity in Dr. Morrison’s laboratory for neuroscientists at multiple stages of development.
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