Karsten Gronert, Professor

Closed (1) Role of protective lipid mediators in privileged inflammatory/reparative response of the eye.

Applications for Fall 2017 are now closed for this project.

A fundamental principle of an inflammatory event is the resolution and subsequent wound repair. These tightly orchestrated processes are essential to human health. However, our understanding of endogenous mechanisms that govern natural resolution of inflammation and promote wound repair is limited. Our research interests are focused on elucidating and defining the molecular mechanism of these protective pathways in the cornea, retina as well as the kidney. Of special interest are a novel class of lipid mediators, namely lipoxins and the recently identified docosahexaenoic acid-derived lipid signals coined resolvins and protectins. To establish a role for these lipid autacoids in regulating the inflammatory/reparative response, we employ a combined approach of LC/MS/MS based lipidomic analyses, molecular biology and in vivo experiments in mice with targeted genetic deletions.

Lipoxins and the omega-3 fatty acid-derived Resolvins and Protectins exhibit potent protective properties and inhibit many of the cardinal signs of inflammation. Therefore, their biosynthetic pathways and molecular mechanisms of action are of primary interest as potential markers of inflammatory disease and as tools for therapeutic intervention. We recently discovered that these lipid anti-inflammatory and protective pathways are present in the cornea and retina. These exciting findings are part of a National Eye Institute funded research program that is focused on elucidating and delineating the formation and molecular mechanisms of these protective lipid signals in ocular inflammatory diseases and their role in limiting the sequelae of corneal injury.


Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Jessica Wei, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: After on site training, assist in a variety of aspects of in vitro and in vivo experiments that model acute inflammation and wound healing, as well as in the extraction and preparation of samples for analysis by mass spectrometry. All experiments include the following routine methods: Real Time PCR (gene expression), cell culture, minor surgical procedure, LC/MS/MS (lipidomics), spectrometry and western blot analysis (protein expression). Required qualifications: Highly motivated and a team player

Weekly Hours: more than 12 hrs

Related website: http://vision.berkeley.edu

Closed (2) Mass Spectrometry-based lipidomic analysis

Applications for Fall 2017 are now closed for this project.

Assist in the preparation of biological samples, carry out solid phase extractions for isolation of bioactive lipids. Learn, assist and eventually run an HPLC-mass spectrometry system. The position requires a high degree of motivation and organizational skill as well as the ability to operate complex and state-of-the-art equipment and to learn complex software. To learn and run the LC/MS/MS system requires that the student is available more than 12 hrs/week and a commitment for at least 3 Semesters.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Kaleb Asfaha, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: Highly motivated, responsible, mature and independent student with a long term commitment to the field of biochemistry, chemistry or molecular pharmacology.

Weekly Hours: more than 12 hrs

Related website: http://vision.berkeley.edu