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Vascular Inflammation and Therapeutic Targets in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD and surrounding area

Position Description:

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare, female predominant, progressive disease characterized by vascular cell proliferation and infiltration of activated inflammatory cells leading to the progressive narrowing and even obliteration of distal pulmonary arteries. Loss of vascular cross-sectional area leads to progressive increases in pulmonary vascular resistance that eventually overwhelms right ventricular (RV) adaptation, resulting in RV failure and death. With the advent of semi-selective pulmonary vasodilator therapy, outcomes for PAH patients have improved, but mortality remains unacceptably high.

Despite clinical associations of PAH with autoimmunity, infection, and both local and systemic immune activation in patients, the consequences of PAH-associated genetic defects on immune function and activation is largely unknown. Building upon our work in human pulmonary artery endothelial cells, we are now examining the impact of PAH-associated genetic defects on immune effector cells. The overall goal of this project is to develop in vitro models of PAH immunopathobiology that enable identification of promising molecular targets. Murine models of PAH genetic susceptibility will also be utilized to investigate molecular mechanisms identified in vitro.

The SU-5416/hypoxia rat model of PAH is available for the preclinical testing of therapeutic approaches arising from the basic science laboratory. An active clinical research program in PAH within the department also provides access to patient samples and a pathway for future clinical trials.

Qualifications:

Applicants must have the following: Ph.D. degree in the Biological Sciences, conferred within the last five years, with an interest in translational research related to vascular biology and inflammation. Qualified candidates should have direct experience with many of the following laboratory techniques: Cell culture, cell transfection, quantitative real-time PCR, Western blotting, flow cytometry, maintaining rodent colonies including breeding and genotyping of transgenic mice, and ELISA. Expertise in flow cytometry and confocal microscopy would be highly valued. The candidate is expected to conduct semi-independent research and function as part of a team. A strong background in immunology and molecular biology is required. Previous experience in pulmonary vascular biology is highly desirable.

To Apply:

Please send a cover letter, a CV including bibliography, and the names and contact information for three references to Jason Elinoff, MD, Tenure-Track Investigator, elinoffj@cc.nih.gov.

For more information about our program please refer to the links below:

CCMD PAH Program
Elinoff Lab

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