Postdoctoral Training Fellow in Neurobiology

The Francis Crick Institute

Contract: Fixed-term (4 years)/Full time

Summary & Project Scope/ Description

A postdoctoral research position is now open in the laboratory of Sila Ultanir. We are seeking a motivated scientist interested in kinase signalling pathways in neuronal development and function. Candidate will join an exciting research project to uncover molecular mechanisms of a rare neurodevelopmental disorder – the CDKL5 deficiency syndrome. Loss of function mutations of the X-linked CDKL5 gene cause severe learning and sensory-motor defects and difficult-to-control seizures in children. CDKL5 is a serine/threonine kinase highly enriched in mammalian brain; its molecular and cellular function is not well-understood. Knowledge of CDKL5’s substrates can shed light on kinase’s molecular and cellular mechanisms and help formulate therapeutic approaches to alleviate disease symptoms. We use chemical genetic and mass spectrometry methods to determine and validate novel kinase substrates (Ultanir et al. Neuron 2012, Ultanir et al. Neuron 2014). The proposed project will address function of novel CDKL5 substrates discovered in our lab using transgenic mice and human induced pluripotent stem cell (hIPSC) models. We are particularly interested in how CDKL5 regulates dendritic development and synaptic function in kinase knockout mouse models and CRISPR generated phosphomutant mice. Successful candidate will use various techniques including electrophysiology, biochemistry, cellular, molecular biology techniques and live imaging. Project is partially funded by CDKL5 Charity LouLou foundation. Human IPSC experiments will be conducted in collaboration with Alysson Muotri’s laboratory at UCSD. Candidate will have the opportunity to interact with London’s strong neuroscience community. 

For more information about the lab please visit

The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London.

The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 it moved into a brand new state-of-the-art building in central London which brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across disciplines, making it the biggest biomedical research facility under a single roof in Europe.

The Francis Crick Institute will be world-class with a strong national role. Its distinctive vision for excellence includes commitments to collaboration; to developing emerging talent and exporting it the rest of the UK; to public engagement; and to helping turn discoveries into treatments as quickly as possible to improve lives and strengthen the economy.

The closing date for applications is 14 October 2017 at 23:30 pm.

Please note: all offers of employment are subject to successful security screening and continuous eligibility to work in the United Kingdom.

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