Post-doc position founded by AriSLA at the University of Udine, Italy

The Biophysics Laboratory at the University of Udine is interested in the characterization of the full-length TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), a protein involved in the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Already in 2006 it was found that sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS) and also a large fraction of familial forms of the disease (fALS) have a characteristic histopathology with cytosolic inclusions of the TDP-43, which are found in the upper and lower motoneurons of the brain, brainstem and spinal cord and, in a fraction of patients, in the frontotemporal cortex and hippocampus. TDP-43 inclusions are thought to play a key role in ALS pathogenesis because they are intrinsically toxic (gain-of-function) and because its cytosolic deposition occurs concomitantly with its nuclear depletion, resulting in a loss of the TDP-43 physiological functions (loss-of-function).

In spite of the central role played by TDP-43 in ALS pathogenesis, this protein is very difficult to purify to high yields. This technical problem has limited dramatically our advancement in the understanding of ALS pathogenesis because, at present, any study on the structure-function relationship of TDP-43 is very difficult to achieve.
Recently, our partners in the project at the University of Florence made possible to express and purify TDP-43 with high yield making possible the project of its structural characterization.
The NMR measurements will be performed in Udine and at higher magnetic fields in the European Facilities and/or in partner laboratories in Italy.

A post-doc position (up to three years) founded by AriSLA (Fondazione Italiana di Ricerca per la Sclerosi Laterale Amiotrofica) at the University of Udine, Italy, is available in the Biophysics laboratory. The applicant should be highly motivated and have a PhD in structural biology with particular focus on protein NMR.

Alessandra Corazza, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine
University of Udine