Job ID: 80488

Postdoctoral Fellow – Genetics, Epigenetics and Therapeutic Innovation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

Position: Post-doctoral Position

Deadline: 30 September 2022

City: Grand Rapids

Country: United States

Institution: Van Andel Institute

Department: Department of Neurodegenerative Science


Postdoctoral Fellow

Genetics, Epigenetics and Therapeutic Innovation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

The laboratory of Dr. Qiang Zhu ( at Van Andel Institute (VAI) is looking for a Postdoctoral Fellow who is highly motivated to explore disease mechanisms and develop innovative therapeutic approaches in dementia and motor neuron diseases.  The results from these studies could lead to the development of novel biomarkers and therapeutic strategies to improve clinical outcomes of FTD and ALS.

Why join the Zhu Lab?:

  • Leadership level role in projects such as studying disease mechanisms of the large hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9ORF72
  • Research emphasis on cell-type specific toxicities, neuron-glia interactions, genetics and epigenetics will provide insights in identifying novel biomarkers and drug targets in this most popular mutation among the FTD and ALS patient population.
  • Expand and improve skills: disease models based on genome-modified animals and human iPSCs and 3D-organoids, CRISPR gene editing, epigenetic modification, and behavioral neuroscience.
  • Gain experience as a more senior member of a new and growing research group.
  • Our new research group has 3 members and is expanding through hiring 1-2 postdoctoral fellows, 1-2 graduate students and 2 technicians by the end of the year. As a postdoctoral fellow, you will have the opportunity to help with the hiring process and will have a major impact in shaping the lab’s culture.
  • The Zhu lab is within the Department of Neurodegenerative Science at VAI, which includes highly collaborative scientists revealing groundbreaking new insights into neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Opportunity to collaborate with biotech industry partners.


  • A Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in neuroscience, biochemistry, and/or molecular and cell biology with interest in neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Previous experience with iPSCs, transgenic animals, animal surgery, viral vector technology, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing and neurobehavior assays are preferred.
  • A record of peer-reviewed publications is highly desirable.

Description of a Successful Candidate:

  • A self-motivated and driven individual who is able to exhibit exceptional research productivity and take responsibility for management of the project.
  • A detail-oriented researcher that thinks critically to effectively design experiments and solve complex research problems.
  • A strong ability to take initiative and work independently, as well as in a team environment.
  • A collaborative, hands-on researcher who proactively shares knowledge and expertise with lab members.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Why join the Van Andel Institute as a Postdoctoral Fellow?

Postdoctoral Fellows are full-time employees and receive a competitive annual salary. This salary is determined based on Doctorate/MD receipt date according to a set stipend schedule, which begins at $57,200 and up to $61,360. Applicants with exceptional qualifications may be considered for other salary scales.

Along with the competitive salary, our Postdoctoral Fellows are eligible for VAI benefits, including:

  • 401 K retirement savings plans with employee/employer contributions
  • 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
  • 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 fun, affordable and family-friendly Grand Rapids, MI. 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, theaters, museums, sports and concerts. The safe and clean downtown is surrounded by an eclectic mix of walkable neighborhoods.

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 exceptional career opportunities, green building and living, and innovative employers.

Application Process:

If you possess these attributes and desire to help us drive science from the bench to the clinic; we would welcome speaking with you and encourage you to apply online today:

  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • Cover Letter outlining your research achievements and current and future goals.
  • 3-5 references (name, relationship, contact email and phone number)

If you have questions about the application process or working at VAI you are welcome to email Megan Doerr, Talent Acquisition Specialist at

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.