Within the Ion Transport group of the department of Physiology, we are seeking a Postdoc for a combined genetic, molecular and physiological project entitled "Majestic magnesium: a molecular gateway to new therapies" which is funded by an VICI grant from ZonMW. We offer a challenging postdoc project in a well-organized, international, and high-profile department within the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences.
Magnesium (Mg2+) is of central importance for a wide variety of physiological processes in our body, including intracellular signaling, neuronal excitability, muscle contraction, bone formation and it acts as essential cofactor in numerous enzymatic reactions. The overall Mg2+ balance is tightly regulated by the concerted actions of the intestine, bones and kidneys, which keep plasma Mg2+ levels within a narrow physiological range. Deficiencies in the Mg2+ balance result in serious health problems including tetany, ataxia, seizures, neuromuscular abnormalities and cardiac arrhythmias that can lead to sudden death. Mg2+-related disorders can be inherited in which magnesiotropic genes have been mutated or acquired in which drugs or environmental circumstances severely affect the Mg2+ status.
Over the last years we have identified new magnesiotropic genes but the functionomics of several transporters remains unclear. Interestingly, hypomagnesemia, and its complications, has also been reported to occur at high frequency among patients with diabetes mellitus type 2. Despite reports linking hypomagnesemia to chronic diabetic complications, attention to this issue was thus far underestimated. There are signs that Mg2+ plays an important role in the onset and progression of the disease. Recent data from my group provided the first evidence that mutations in the renal epithelial Mg2+ channel may play a role. This project aims to investigate rare and acquired disorders to unravel (patho)physiological Mg2+-related processes in the human body.
The following key objectives will be addressed:
• Identification of new magnesiotropic genes
• Functionomics of recently identified and new magnesiotropic genes
• Mg2+ as a risk factor in major diseases
• Innovative methodologies to measure Mg2+ movement
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. Joost Hoenderop and detailed information about the department can also be found at www.physiomics.eu.
Applicants should send a letter of intent outlining special interest in the position, overall related qualifications, experience and career goals, a curriculum vitae and names and addresses of professional references to us via the APPLY link.