Training & Employment Opportunities

Scientific Development

Almost all Post Doctoral Trainees and Research Scientists from the John Lab have continued to faculty positions, with others continuing to careers of their choice. Our Research Assistants have continued to top Ph.D. and medical programs. For those who seek continued research training and scientific development, we offer unique training opportunities in mouse genetics, ocular disease, ocular pathology, and the general use of mice for studying disease mechanisms. Research Scientist positions typically follow postdoctoral training and are suited to highly productive and dedicated individuals who are able to contribute at a high level, but want to spend more time at the bench, either as long-term lab members or as a stepping-stone to becoming PIs.


In addition to PhD scientists, we mentor early career M.D. scientists to enable their development to rigorous academically based Ophthalmologists with strong research credentials. In addition to basic mechanistic research with animal models and developing new therapeutics, there will be opportunities to work on human glaucoma and incorporate deep learning/AI approaches to characterize risk profiles, to improve diagnostics, predict drug responses and enable precision medicine for glaucoma and other ocular diseases.


Some of our projects and future interests are mentioned in Other Opportunities (below). For more information about our research as well as lab organization and mentoring for success see The Glaucoma Project


Current Openings

We are currently recruiting for various research assistant and related positions, which are posted below along with the application link for document submission.


Other Opportunities

In addition to any listed positions, the John Lab is always interested in well-qualified applicants. Although such positions are not currently posted, we can consider qualified individuals and expect to open new postings in the near future . We are especially interested in a microscopy/imaging specialist and in postdoctoral fellows and research scientists with interest in the following areas:

1. Aqueous humor dynamics and IOP elevation with a focus on applying modern approaches to the trabecular meshwork and Schlemm's canal (in normal and mutant animals as well as in mouse and human cell lines and organ culture). Projects will include single cell and other genomic, transcriptomic and metabolic experiments to better understand the molecular control of aqueous humor drainage and how IOP becomes elevated with age and in glaucoma. Using animal models, we plan to molecularly define cell types and determine their roles in IOP elevation/glaucoma as well as develop gene therapies and other treatment modalities. We are very interested in the effects of immune cells on IOP. We are also defining the developmental and transcriptomic sequences that control the formation of the ocular drainage tissues.

2. Functional morphology of the ocular drainage pathways. This effort will closely integrate with other trabecular meshwork and Schlemm's canal studies, but with emphasis on microanatomy and changes with differing pressures. We will use recent microscopic innovations (in confocal microscopy, 3D EM, imaging etc.) to characterize the functional anatomy of the drainage tissues and to determine the roles of specific molecules in defined cell types and processes. The project is well suited to a passionate, innovative microscopist with experience in rendering large datasets in 3D and interest in biological mechanisms.

3. RGC and optic nerve degeneration in glaucoma. We are interested in the roles of specific cell types including vascular cells in glaucoma and how aging and metabolic changes modulate vulnerability to glaucoma. Projects include the study of axon degeneration pathways, determining how metabolism changes with age and glaucoma, and the development of resilience boosting treatments that enhance cellular bio-energetics and anti-stress processes, as well as tailored gene therapies. Projects will include data science/computational expertise to analyze single cell and other genomic and metabolic data to better understand these processes using various glaucoma models.

Some combination of the following expertise are desirable for these projects: contemporary transcriptomics, metabolomics, metabolism, NAD metabolism, mitochondrial biology and assays, aging, neuroinflammation, monocyte/macrophage biology, mechanotransduction, iPS cells, molecular biology, vascular biology, ChIP seq, viral vectors, gene therapy, genetics, ocular fluid physiology and data science/computational expertise to analyze large datasets. We are particularly eager to recruit top candidates with 1) deep expertise in metabolism/metabolomics and aging, 2) Viral vectors, tropism and gene regulation or 3) strong experience in omic data generation and/or skills in computational data analyses with proven ability to innovate and synergize with experimental biologists.

A complete application should include a cover letter, resume, and the contact information for three references. For Postdoctoral and Research Scientist positions a brief (2 to 3 page) summary of research experience and interests is also required. Applications should be sent to li2201@cumc.columbia.edu in PDF format.


Testimonials

Learn what John Lab alumni have to say about their experiences.


Current Openings

Research Associate I

There is a Research Associate I position available in a dynamic laboratory at Columbia University’s Department of Ophthalmology in New York City. Major research areas include glaucoma, aging and metabolism with deployment of various omics technologies. Glaucoma is a common ocular disease involving harmfully high pressure inside the eye and neural degeneration in the optic nerve and retina. The position will provide exposure and training in areas including mammalian genetics, neuroscience, molecular biology, and physiology. The position can be viewed as stepping-stone to further education or longer term depending on the candidate, with previous incumbents having continued to top medical and PhD programs. The ideal candidate will have education including cellular and molecular biology, genetics and/or neuroscience. Experience with mouse genetics, and/or physiology are desirable but not required. Applicant must be a highly motivated, self-starter and have a bachelor's degree or higher, with preference for proven meticulous laboratory habits. Responsibilities will include characterization of new disease genes and pathways, molecular techniques to study disease mechanisms, clinical assessment of disease phenotypes, physiologic and metabolic measurements, tissue culture and maintenance of mouse colonies. The specific mix of activities will depend on the incumbent with the long-term possibility to learn a variety of experimental techniques. Depending on experience and abilities there is the possibility of primary responsibility for specific projects. This position is available immediately.

Interested applicants should apply at Careers at Columbia (516506). Applicants should submit a cover letter indicating their interest, a CV including any publications, and the contact information for at least two but ideally three faculty level referees.


Recently Filled

The following positions were recently filled, but we will soon post new openings that are similar.

Research Associate II

There is a Research Associate II position available in a dynamic laboratory at Columbia University’s Department of Ophthalmology in New York City. Major research areas include glaucoma, aging and metabolism with deployment of various omics technologies. Glaucoma is a common ocular disease involving harmfully high pressure inside the eye and neural degeneration in the optic nerve and retina. The position will provide exposure and training in areas including mammalian genetics, neuroscience, molecular biology, and physiology. The ideal candidate will have education including cellular and molecular biology, genetics and/or neuroscience. Experience with mouse genetics, and/or physiology are desirable but not required. Applicant must be a highly motivated, self-starter and have a bachelor's degree or higher, with preference for proven meticulous laboratory habits. Responsibilities will include characterization of disease mechanisms, clinical assessment of disease phenotypes, and maintenance of mouse colonies with emphasis on ocular fluid physiology (intraocular pressure and aqueous humor outflow) and electrophysiology. The specific mix of activities will depend on the incumbent with the long-term possibility to learn a variety of experimental techniques. Depending on experience and abilities there is the possibility of primary responsibility for specific projects.

Research Aide

There is a Research Aide position available in a dynamic laboratory at Columbia University’s Department of Ophthalmology in New York City. Major research areas include glaucoma, aging and metabolism with deployment of various omics technologies. Glaucoma is a common ocular disease involving harmfully high pressure inside the eye and neural degeneration in the optic nerve and retina. The position will provide exposure and training in areas including mammalian genetics, neuroscience, molecular biology, and physiology. The ideal candidate will have education including cellular and molecular biology, genetics and/or neuroscience. Experience with mouse genetics, and/or physiology are desirable but not required. Applicant must be a highly motivated, self-starter and have a bachelor's degree or higher, with preference for proven meticulous laboratory habits. Responsibilities will include molecular, metabolic and physiologic characterization of disease mechanisms and clinical assessment of disease phenotypes, with major emphasis on management, maintenance and experimental coordination/assessment of mouse colonies. The specific mix of activities will depend on the incumbent with the long-term possibility to learn a variety of experimental techniques. Depending on experience and abilities there is the possibility of primary responsibility for specific projects.