Job opportunity: Postdoctoral Fellowship Position, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, UBC

Posted on Friday, February 14, 2020

One full-time postdoctoral position is available in the lab of Dr. Joanne Matsubara, Dept Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine UBC.

Expected start date is negotiable, although a start date as early as possible is considered favorable.

The research project addresses the overarching challenge of detection of the early onset of â-amyloid plaques (Abeta) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It does so by proposing a novel approach to image retinal Abeta by using signals emitted by curcumin fluorescence (FL).

AD is the most common cause of dementia among elderly people. Its pathology is characterized by the presence of extracellular deposits of misfolded and aggregated Abeta peptides, which subsequently spread from the hippocampus to the cerebral cortex causing neuronal death and ultimately loss of memory, logic and the ability to speak. At present, no disease-modifying therapy is effective against AD nor it is possible to diagnose the early onset and/or the progress of the disease.

Recent findings indicate that elevated levels of Abeta proteins are associated with dysfunctional neuronal networks both in the brain and eyes. Because AD undergoes a protracted asymptomatic stage before it reaches the advanced stage, a window of opportunity exists for early intervention, and successful detection of the early onset of the disease via routine screening will improve therapeutic outcomes and save lives. In that regard, early detection of Abeta in the eyes at ophthalmology centers, widely available in every health community settings seems ideal in terms of practicality, feasibility, safety and cost. Recently, our group demonstrated a novel approach for delivery of curcumin in vivo via inhalation of the curcumin aerosol. We recently demonstrated that inhaling curcumin aerosol resulted in significant accumulation of the compound in the retina. Further, we also demonstrated that curcumin binds to Abeta in retinal sublayers.

For more information about the Matsubara Lab, and our other current areas of eye research,
please see:

Expertise in retinal imaging, molecular biological methods and protein analysis (western blots, immunohistochemistry, etc) are desirable. Expertise in animal models of Alzheimer's Disease is desirable.

High levels of collaborative teamwork will be required, as will a high degree of self-motivation, excellent time management skills, and an ability to demonstrate creativity and sound judgment. The candidate should also demonstrate strong writing skills to ensure high-quality scientific publications and grant applications. The successful candidate will be expected to apply for external fellowship (MSFHR, CIHR) funding if possible.

Pay will be commensurate with level of experience and subject to UBC regulations for postdoctoral stipends. The contracted term will be for one year, from which further extensions will be possible.

For further information, please email

Review of applications will start immediately, and will continue until the position is filled.


Please send a curriculum vitae, a description of your research experience, a statement of your research interests, and the names of three referees by email to:

Joanne Matsubara
Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, UBC
2550 Willow Street
Eye Care Centre
Vancouver, BC V5Z 3N9

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