An enthusiastic post-doctoral scientist will investigate a novel mechanism of structural synaptic plasticity, to understand how structural changes in neurons - axonal terminals, dendrites and synapses - underlie nervous system function and behaviour, from locomotion to learning. We recently discovered that kinase-less Trk-family receptors interact with Toll-family receptors to regulate structural synaptic plasticity in response to neurotrophin ligands (Ulian-Benitez, Bishop et al 2017 PLoS Genetics).
We will work out how this novel pathway regulates structural synaptic plasticity, using the fruit-fly Drosophila as a model organism, and cutting edge developmental neuroscience approaches, ranging from molecular genetics to neural circuitry and behavioural assays, recording and altering neuronal activity with electrophysiology and optogenetics, microscopy in fixed specimens, in time-lapse and with activity reporters.
Candidates should have a PhD or equivalent research experience in Neuroscience, Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry or related disciplines. Experience working with Drosophila and/or neuroscience methods would be an advantage.
This is a 33 month project (with a possibility of an extension), based in the laboratory of Dr Alicia Hidalgo, at the University of Birmingham. It will also involve collaborations with Prof. Richard Baines (University of Manchester), Dr Matthias Landgraf (University of Cambridge), Dr Marta Zlatic (Janelia Research Campus, US) and Prof. Bertram Gerber (Leibniz Institut für Neurobiologie, Germany), including some stays in their labs to carry out experiments and/or for training.
- • First degree in Neuroscience/Life Sciences/Biological Sciences/Genetics/Cell Biology/Chemistry/Biochemistry or related disciplines, and either a PhD or equivalent research experience in one of such related disciplines
- • High level analytical capability
- • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
- • Fluency in relevant techniques or methods, and ability to contribute to developing new ones, within the disciplines mentioned above (e.g. molecular biology, cell biology, microscopy, imaging, genetics, optogenetics, behaviour, neurophysiology, Drosophila, etc.).
- • Experience either working with Drosophila or neuroscience would be desirable
- • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
- • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
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