Postdoctoral Position in Neurosciences at the RCSI

Angiogenin targets in motoneuron degeneration (2-year)

Location: Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

Reporting to: Prof Jochen Prehn

Project background and description: The research group of Prof Jochen Prehn at the Department of Physiology and Medical Physics investigates new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of motoneuron disorders. Motoneuron disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating and fatal neurological condition with no cure. Currently the only approved disease-modifying drug for ALS is riluzole which is of limited benefit to patients. We have strong preliminary data that shows a protein called Angiogenin increases lifespan, delays onset of disease progression, and improves motor performance in a preclinical model of ALS. This research approach originates from earlier genetic and molecular studies that identified mutations in the Angiogenin gene in ALS patients. Based on our extensive earlier research, we now seek to develop angiogenin as a new therapy for treating patients with motoneuron diseases, and to explore angiogenin targets that mediate the effects of angiogenin on motoneuron survival. This position will identify and characterise newly identified angiogenin targets in vitro and in vivo, and will participate in the development of novel in vitro disease models.
The position will be available from March 1st, 2015, or at a later time point.
Person Specification: The candidate should have a PhD in Neuroscience, Genetics, Physiology or Pharmacology, and excellent experience in molecular biology, neuronal cell culture, iPS cells, and/or in vivo disease models of neurological disorders. (S)he should have research experience or background knowledge in the subject areas described above, and should have demonstrated research accomplishments documented by publications and/or awards. (S)he will be required to work independently and to integrate into a strongly interdisciplinary research environment. Good communication skills are required to team up with project partners.
Salary: Postdoctoral salary scale.
Application procedure: Please send a CV and accompanying documentation (certificates, publications) to

Closing date: Applications are reviewed at an ongoing basis but should be received no later than Feb 15th 2015.
Relevant publications from the group:

1: Skorupa A, King MA, Aparicio IM, Dussmann H, Coughlan K, Breen B, Kieran D, Concannon CG, Marin P, Prehn JH. Motoneurons secrete angiogenin to induce RNA cleavage in astroglia. J Neurosci. 2012 Apr 11;32(15):5024-38.
2: Kieran D, Sebastia J, Greenway MJ, King MA, Connaughton D, Concannon CG, Fenner B, Hardiman O, Prehn JH. Control of motoneuron survival by angiogenin. J Neurosci. 2008 Dec 24;28(52):14056-61.
3: Greenway MJ, Andersen PM, Russ C, Ennis S, Cashman S, Donaghy C, Patterson V, Swingler R, Kieran D, Prehn J, Morrison KE, Green A, Acharya KR, Brown RH Jr, Hardiman O. ANG mutations segregate with familial and ‘sporadic’ amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Nat Genet. 2006 Apr;38(4):411-3.

Please also find this information in the following link: Postdoctoral Position in Neurosciences at the_RCSI_15-1-2015