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Research Scientist - Genetics, Epigenetics and Therapeutic Innovation in Neurodegenerative Diseases


Grand Rapids, MI
ID: 990-085

Research Scientist

Genetics, Epigenetics and Therapeutic Innovation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

The laboratory of Dr. Qiang Zhu ( at Van Andel Institute (VAI) is looking for a Research Scientist 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.

Funded Postdoctoral Fellowship positions are also currently available in the growing lab of Dr. Qiang Zhu. For more details, please see:

Why join the Zhu Lab?:

  • As a Research Scientist in the lab you will focus on the large hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9ORF72gene and other mutations to enhance understanding of basic disease mechanisms and develop new treatments for ALS and dementia.
  • Research emphasis on cell-type specific toxicities, neuron-glia interactions, genetics and epigenetics.
  • Leading a team to conduct research and manage projects
  • Expand and improve skills: neurodegenerative disease models based on genome-modified animals and human iPSCs and 3D-organoids, CRISPR gene editing, locus-specific epigenetic modification and behavioral neuroscience.
  • 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, viral vector technology, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing and neurobehavior assays are preferred.
  • A record of peer-reviewed publications is highly desirable.
  • At least 2 years of postdoctoral experience.

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 the Van Andel Institute?

  • Expansive group of collaborative Faculty and labs across Neurodegenerative Science, Epigenetics, Structural Biology, Cell Biology, and Metabolism and Nutritional Programming
  • State-of-the-art facilities and technologies
  • Along with the competitive salary, our employees are eligible for VAI’s comprehensive benefits 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.




This position is located at 333 Bostwick Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI. View the Google Map in full screen.