Neuroepithelial Lab is focusing on the function of neuropeptide systems in skin wound healing and skin sensory disorders. We study the role of neuropeptides and their receptors in nerve regeneration and their interactions with epithelial cells to mediate the wound healing process. The nervous system in skin interacts closely with different skin cells, such as keratinocytes, Merkel cell, and also stem cells. We have shown that neurotransmitter system and other sensory receptor system exist in skin cells and influence both skin sensation and homeostasis. The aim of this project is to study the role of neural transmitters in the skin peripheral nervous system and function of novel sensory receptors in skin using human stem cell co-culture system, molecular and cellular biology, Calcium imaging to study the function of keratinocytes and sensory neurons and their interaction. We collaborate extensively with engineers and clinicians and aim for high impact research including international space station experiments.
40%: Grow 3D full thickness skin model and create new 3D models with genetic modified cells and incorporate other cell types including vascular, neural and pigmented cells into the models.
30%: Derive human peripheral sensory neurons from human stem cells. Study the interactions between epidermal cells and peripheral nerve fibers in co-culture. Characterize the change of the quality and function of the nerve fiber or the epithelial cells due to the presence of the other component. Experiments will involve culture of skin cells and neuronal cells and co-culture of both; calcium imaging; confocal microscopy.
20%: Analyze morphology, protein and RNA expression in human skin samples. The techniques involve immunohistology, various microscopy and spectroscopy and RNA isolation and various RNA analysis methods.
10%: Study the effect of different opioid ligands, and other neural transmitters on nerve development and guidance in-vitro and the changes in the interactions between epithelial cells and nerve fibers. Investigate the opioid receptor’s role in this interaction using our transgenic cells.
All required qualifications must be documented on application materials.
BS/BA degree in biology, pharmacology, neuroscience or related fields and 2 years of related experience or a combination of education and work experience to equal six (6) years
Experience in cellular/molecular biology work and demonstrated skills in experiment handling and design in cell culture, molecular biology, and/or fluorescence microscopy
Demonstrated experience working with both cell lines and primary cells
Experience with molecular (RNA, DNA and Protein) and cellular analysis of biology samples
Good team player with strong communication skills, able to think for oneself and good at troubleshooting independently
Passionate about own work with strong work ethics
Candidates must be willing to work as part of a team to contribute to collaborative tool-development projects.
Master’s degree in a related field
Experience using different light source and interface design with microscopy and immuno- histochemistry
Experience with molecular (RNA, DNA and Protein) and cellular analysis of biology samples including testing activation of signaling pathway
Experience with human primary human skin keratinocyte, stem cell derived sensory neurons and related cells for 2D and 3D models
Experience in performing small animal surgery
Knowledge in G-protein coupled receptors, intracellular signaling, electrophysiology, in optical physics and lab device design
Bio-engineering skills and experience designing new assays for co-culture system and optical physics for novel in-vivo human studies using spectroscopy and/or in-vivo confocal microscopy
Co-authored in publication(s)
Internal Number: 333462
About University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.