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Postdoctoral Fellow – Neural Circuits and Neurodegeneration

Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Position Description:

A fully funded Postdoctoral Fellow research position is available immediately in the laboratory of Dr. Hong-Yuan Chu ( in the Department of Neurodegenerative Science at the Van Andel Institute (VAI).

The research group combines cutting-edge technologies to study cellular and synaptic adaptations associated with Parkinson’s disease using mouse models of the disease. Particularly we focus on key neural circuits that control motor activity and emotion with an aim to provide in-depth understanding of the pathophysiology of both motor and nonmotor symptoms in PD.

Postdoctoral fellows are expected to combine electrophysiology with optogenetic, chemogenetic, and machine learning approaches to advance our understanding of PD pathophysiology at the cellular, circuitry and behavior levels and provide insight to the development of novel treatments for PD. The successful candidates have the opportunity to interact with a world-class Parkinson’s research community at VAI.

Why choose the Chu Laboratory?
As a postdoctoral researcher in the lab, you will:

  • be a leader of an independent research project.
  • be trained in both traditional and state-of-the-art technologies for neuroscience and neurodegeneration research.
  • work on R01 funded project with additional laboratory funding from Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s, Department of Defense, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and VAI.
  • gain experience in a highly interdisciplinary environment that allows close interaction across the growing labs and Cores at VAI.
  • have access to excellent mentorship and support from both Dr. Chu’s laboratory and VAI postdoctoral office.

Why join Van Andel Institute as a Postdoctoral Fellow?

  • Postdoctoral Fellows are full-time employees and receive a competitive annual salary beginning at $70,000.

Learn more about VAI's dedication to investing in postdoctoral trainees and the recently announced salary increase here:

Postdoctoral fellows are a crucial part of Van Andel Institute’s efforts to improve the health and enhance the lives of current and future generations. Postdoctoral Fellows are full-time employees and receive a competitive annual salary.

Along with the competitive salary and $3000 relocation reimbursement, our Postdoctoral Fellows are eligible for VAI Benefits including:

  • Medical, dental and vision coverage
  • Employer-sponsored life and AD&D insurance
  • Additional voluntary life and AD&D insurance for employees and dependents
  • Short-term and long-term disability insurance
  • Flexible-spending accounts for health and child/elder care
  • 401 K retirement savings plans with employee/employer contributions
  • Paid vacation, holidays, personal days
  • Relocation assistance
  • VAI recognizes that selecting where to complete a postdoctoral fellowship is a significant decision for postdoctoral fellows. VAI has a dedicated Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, which provides a comprehensive professional development program.

The Institute is located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. A remarkable combination of a cosmopolitan atmosphere and small-town warmth, Grand Rapids is known for its philanthropic and sustainability-driven community. It’s fun affordable and family friendly.

Located on the banks of the Grand River, Grand Rapids offers all the big-city excitement you'd expect from a million-resident metropolis, featuring hundreds of restaurants and nightspots, theatres, museums, sports and concerts. The safe and clean downtown is surrounded by an eclectic mix of walk-able neighborhoods and natural areas. 

With a medical and life sciences industry boom, strong entrepreneurial activity, dedication to green building and living, and innovative employers, Grand Rapids' diverse economy continues to grow, offering endless career opportunities.


  • A Ph.D. or equivalent degree, in Neuroscience, Physiology, Pharmacology, or Biomedical engineering.
  • Prefer to have prior experience with in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiology, in vivo GCaMP Ca2+ imaging, or in vivo optogenetics for circuit manipulation, or machine learning based approaches for mouse behavior analysis.

To Apply:

  • CV or NIH biosketch.
  • Contact details for 2-3 references.

The position will be open until filled. Apply online. You are also welcome to contact Hong-Yuan Chu, Ph.D. at directly.

Please contact Megan Doerr ( for further information or questions, or if you have any difficulty with the application process.

At Van Andel Institute, the health and safety of our people is our number one priority. As a condition of employment at Van Andel Institute, all employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. “Full vaccination” is defined as two weeks after both doses of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks since a single-dose vaccine has been administered.

VAI is committed to achieving excellence through increasing diversity. We actively encourage applications from women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.

Van Andel Institute is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Employer.

As Van Andel Institute is a drug and alcohol-free employer, all prospective new employees undergo a urinalysis/drug test as part of our pre-employment process. This is a 7-panel drug screen and it includes testing for Marijuana, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Opiates, PCP, Barbiturates, and Benzodiazepines.