A postdoctoral position in biomedical magnetic resonance is available within the Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy Section at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), located in Baltimore, Maryland. The overall research program in the group encompasses spectroscopic and imaging studies of brain, cartilage, and muscle in human subjects, as well as preclinical studies of animal models of disease and ex vivo studies of cartilage biophysics.
Our research on human subjects involves investigation of diffusion, including anomalous diffusion, in the assessment of muscle quality and age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia). Additional studies center on brain myelin studies using novel Bayesian reconstruction algorithms and filtering methodologies. A recent initiative is the development of in vivo one- and two-dimensional relaxometry studies of muscle and brain. Muscle bioenergetic studies using the 31P nucleus are also of central importance, and make use of the extensive database of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging. Results are correlated with a wide range of biological and functional outcomes to explore the effects of biochemical and structural tissue changes that occur with age and age-associated disease. All human subjects work is performed using our research-dedicated 3T whole-body 32-channel Philips Achieva MRI system, capable of both proton and heteronuclear spectroscopy.
Preclinical work centers on imaging and relaxometry studies of cartilage, including development and application of approaches from the areas of inverse problems and compressed sensing. Our research currently emphasizes multiexponential and multidimensional relaxometry, and other advanced signal acquisition and processing techniques. A recent initiative involves model selection in signal analysis for tissue characterization. For preclinical work, MRI instrumentation consists of a vertical wide-bore 9.4T Bruker Avance III system with microimaging and solids capability and a Bruker 7T/30 cm Biospec Avance system.
Specific research activities within the above areas will depend upon the interests and background of the successful candidate.
Applicants must have Ph.D.-level training and experience in magnetic resonance. A background in MR imaging or spectroscopy of brain, muscle or connective tissue is preferred, although applications are also invited from individuals with experience in other areas of biological magnetic resonance. Strong physics, mathematics, and computer skills are an asset. The appointment will be as an IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow for US citizens or as a Visiting Fellow for non-citizens. Accordingly, applicants must have fewer than five years of postdoctoral experience. These positions are guaranteed for two years with the possibility of annual renewal up to a maximum of five years, and include family health insurance coverage. This support is not dependent on grant funding.
Additional Salary Information: Health insurance for the successful candidate and his/her family is included free of charge.
The Intramural Research Program (IRP) in the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is comprised of nine scientific laboratories, the Translational Gerontology Branch, and ten core facilities. The research program has three main focus areas: Neuroscience, Aging Biology and Translational Gerontology. IRP scientists conduct research in many different disciplines that range from basic science to clinical... research and epidemiology. Medical problems, which typically affect older persons, are studied in depth using the tools of modern laboratory and clinical research, with a translational perspective. The central focus of our research is understanding age-related changes in physiology and the ability to adapt to environmental stress. This understanding is then applied to developing insight about the pathophysiology of age-related diseases. The program seeks to understand the changes associated with healthy aging and to define the criteria for evaluating when changes should be considered pathologic and require treatment. Thus, in addition to study common age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, diabetes and cancer,, we also explore the determinants of healthy aging as possible targets for interventions aimed at improving health and quality of life in the older population at large.
IRP research is conducted in multiple sites; most of the basic science laboratories are located at the Biomedical Research Center on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus in Baltimore, Maryland. The Laboratory of Clinical Investigation is located at Harbor Hospital, a few miles south of the Bayview Campus in Baltimore, Maryland. The NIA Clinical Research Unit at Harbor Hospital is also home of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, a longitudinal study of aging that was started as far in time as 1958. The Laboratory of Neurogenetics are located on the NIH main campus in Bethesda, and the Laboratory of Epidemiology, and Population Science is co-located in the Gateway Building in Bethesda and the Biomedical Research Center in Baltimore. Finally, the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span study (HANDLS), a longitudinal study that addresses health disparities associated with race and socio-economic status, is profoundly rooted in several Baltimore neighborhoods.
The IRP provides a stimulating academic setting that encourages and fosters a comprehensive effort to understand aging through multidisciplinary investigator-initiated research. Particular emphasis is put on the value of synergistic interaction and collaboration through inter-laboratory collaboration. The program offers many excellent training opportunities in both laboratory and clinical medicine with a wealth of valuable resources. The NIA is committed to training researchers for lifetime careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.