Functional Studies of Cell and ECM regulatory Candidate Genes in Corneal Diseases
The lab has a funded postdoctoral fellowship position to investigate the functions of novel candidate genes in the healthy cornea and keratoconus, a degenerative disease of the cornea. We have identified extracellular matrix (ECM), cytoskeleton, and primary cilium related genes as potentially causative for keratoconus. Planned projects will explore functions of these genes using human cornea organoids derived from induced pluripotent stem cell, and genetically altered mouse models. Additionally, collaborative research is underway to use Drosophila as a model system for some of these studies. The ideal candidate will be a scientifically curious PhD graduate with training in cell and molecular biology.
Interested candidates should apply by email by sending their current CV and names of three references to Dr. Chakravarti at Shukti.Chakravarti@nyumc.org.
Below are some research topics that may be of interest to potential students.
- Genetic studies of keratoconus on familial and isolated cases using whole genome and exome sequencing approaches.
- Gene editing in induced pluripotent stem cells and development of cornea organoids for functional studies of novel keratoconus variants. These studies will establish functions of novel genes in the cornea and their relevance to corneal diseases.
- ECM-immune cell interactions and their implications in infections and autoimmunity. Lumican, decorin, biglycan and fibromodulin are proteoglycans of the ECM that collagen fibril architecture and interact with immune cells. We have several projects that are ready to address how these proteoglycans interact with immune cells and their consequences on innate and adaptive immunity.