The Zivkovic Lab was recently awarded a grant from the California Department of Public Health Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program to study the changes in HDL particles and exosomes across stages of dementia. The one-year project will support research using cutting edge technologies to discover how “liquid biopsies” can reveal disease processes related to lipid metabolism in the brain. The Zivkovic lab will collaborate with Dr. John Olichney, Professor in the Department of Neurology, and Clinical Core Director of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and Dr. Carlito Lebrilla, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry to carry out this work.
Dr. Zivkovic recently became part of the second phase of the NIH Common Fund funded Extracellular RNA Communications Consortium 2 (ERCC2). As site PI of this cooperative agreement Dr. Zivkovic is also working with UC Davis colleague Dr. Carlito Lebrilla and a team of collaborators including the project PI Dr. Ken Witwer, Associate Professor of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at Johns Hopkins University, Wyatt Vreeland at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Juan Pablo Tosar at the Faculty of Science in Uruguay.
The concept of a “liquid biopsy” is that molecules in easily-accessed biological fluids such as blood can tell us about processes occurring in less easily-accessed tissue compartments, such as the brain. Liquid biopsies are an exciting new strategy for biomarker discovery and for the development of therapies. Extracellular RNA (exRNA) is a particularly attractive molecular component of liquid biopsy because RNA species can be specifically amplified, and certain short RNAs (sRNAs) such as microRNAs (miRNAs) are highly stable because of small size and association with protective binding proteins. exRNA are transported in blood in distinct RNA carriers including extracellular vesicles (e.g. exosomes), lipoprotein particles (e.g. HDL and LDL), and free ribonucleoproteins.
In this ERCC2 project, Drs. Zivkovic and Lebrilla are working with the rest of the team to develop novel methodologies to isolate and characterize the three main subclasses of exRNA carrier particles. The team is incorporating advanced technologies for particle isolation including size exclusion chromatography and asymmetrical flow field flow fractionation, and for characterizing the particle characteristics and contents including dynamic light scattering and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry.
The Zivkovic Lab is recruiting human subjects for the Fiber Study. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether consuming a packet of fiber powder per day changes the composition and/or function of the gut microbiota and high density lipoproteins (HDL) or good cholesterol.
Post Doctoral Scholar – Zivkovic Lab
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.
Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis. The postdoctoral researcher will work in the Zivkovic Lab on projects related to HDL functional biology. The Zivkovic Lab specializes in the functional biology of HDL particles, particularly in the context of dietary modulation and in chronic inflammatory conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease. The Zivkovic Lab studies the relationship between diet, the gut microbiome, and HDL. Specifically, we:
• Utilize -omic technologies to characterize the composition of HDL particles and the composition and function of the gut microbiome
• Isolate HDL by size exclusion chromatography and characterize the interactions between HDL particles and immune cells, particularly macrophages, to understand the immunomodulatory capacity of HDL under a variety of conditions
• Synthesize HDL particles to test the effects of specific compositional and structural alterations on functional capacity
• Apply and develop bioinformatics tools to integrate, visualize, and analyze multi-omic and clinical data
This position is primarily to conduct experiments in the Zivkovic Lab by working closely with PI Dr. Angela Zivkovic, as well as graduate and undergraduate students in the lab. The postdoctoral researcher will have primary responsibility for specific aims of a recently funded NIH grant on the links between HDL composition and function, and Alzheimer’s Disease, with a specific emphasis on the impact of glycosylation. The postdoctoral researcher will be expected to design and conduct experiments based on project tasks, process, analyze, and interpret data, train and oversee graduate and undergraduate students on specific lab tasks (described below), and prepare project reports, technical publications, and presentations.
Qualifications: Applicants should have a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biology, Molecular Cell Biology, Lipidology, Physiology, or related field. The qualified candidate will have the ability to conduct independent research. Excellent oral and written communication skills and a team-oriented perspective are required. Experience with the following laboratory techniques is preferred:
• FPLC, HPLC, LC-MS
• Cell culture (particularly immune cells)
• Basic biochemical techniques (ELISA, GE, WB, Ficoll extraction and other sample prep)
• Computational biology/programming (R, gut microbiome data analysis tools)
• Electron microscopy
• MS-based metabolomics, proteomics, lipidomics, glycomics techniques
• 16S/shotgun sequencing
- Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
- Cover Letter
- Statement of Contributions to Diversity – Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit http://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/diversity/equity_inclusion/index.html for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.
- Sample of related publications
- 3-5 required (contact information only)
How to apply
- Create an ApplicantID
- Provide required information and documents
- If any, provide required reference information