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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Molecular Signatures of Cognition and Performance

Location

711 Human Performance Wing, RHD/Bioeffects Division

RO# Location
13.15.11.B7137 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Mauzy, Camilla Ann camilla.mauzy@us.af.mil 937.904.9535

Description

Our research focuses on discovery at the molecular level, which will provide quantifiable measurements of biological molecules to optimize training at both the cognitive and physical performance levels. To accomplish this task, we are examining the genome, as well as expressed biomarkers for possible patterns indicative of the desired phenotype using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. In addition, we are also examining the microbiome (gut bacteria) and how it can inhance or degrade performance. To participate with this team, the applicant should have a strong background in microbiology, protein design/protein chemistry, or genetics.

Genetic Signatures/Gene Discovery. The Omnigenomics group studies the molecular basis for complex phenotypes using genome-wide association studies (GWAS). We hope to use such techniques to gain a basic understanding of the molecular pathways involved in each phenotype and to determine the factors contributing to individual differences. In addition, several other projects examine specific gene SNP inheritance patterns (candidate gene approach correlated to observed phenotype) to identify sets of high contribution gene products contributing to several observed parameters, which are either detrimental or beneficial to military performance.

Biomarker Discovery, Characterization, and Assay Development. Thrusts in biomarker discovery identify potential biomarkers expressed in response to various military-relevant operational status requirements. We are involved in pre-validation of these potential biomarkers (protein, metabolite, miRNA) for potential future use in real-time assays. In addition, we are also designing and examining new types of sub-antibody capture elements for their efficacy in extreme environmental conditions to support development of fieldable test devices.

Performance and the Microbiome. We are examining how specific gut bacteria populations can initiate molecular changes in the brain via the brain-gut axis signalling. We are particularly interested in how the bacteria signal through the gut wall to identify the molecular or structural features of the bacteria that initate this pathway.

 

Keywords:
Microbiome; Genetics; Epigenetics; miRNA; Metabolites; Biomarker(s);Performance; Toxicology;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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