Postdoctoral Training Fellow in Neuroscience

The Francis Crick Institute

A postdoctoral fellow position is now open in the laboratory of Sila Ultanir at the Francis Crick Institute, London. Loss of function mutations in cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) cause severe neurodevelopmental delays and difficult-to-control seizures in children. This X chromosome linked condition is now termed CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder. CDKL5 is a serine/threonine kinase highly enriched in the mammalian brain. Despite many lines of evidence suggesting CDKL5’s involvement in synaptic development, precise molecular and cellular functions of CDKL5 have not been clarified. We are seeking a highly motivated individual with expertise in slice electrophysiology, ion channel physiology or calcium imaging to study the function of CDKL5 in the central nervous system in CDKL5 knockout mouse. We are particularly interested in determining how CDKL5 regulates dendritic and synaptic function and how it contributes to seizures. Successful candidate will use electrophysiology, live imaging, biochemistry and molecular biology techniques to address this question. The position is funded by Loulou foundation for CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder and the Francis Crick Institute.

Project scope

Our lab works on kinases that play important roles in neuronal development and nervous system function. We investigate how protein trafficking and microtubule dynamics are regulated by kinases in neuronal dendrites. We use chemical genetics, mass spectrometry and biochemistry methods to determine and validate novel kinase substrates (Ultanir et al. Neuron 2012, Ultanir et al. Neuron 2014). We use knockout mouse models to investigate kinase’s roles on neuronal dendrite and synapse development in vivo. We also recently generated phosphomutant mice, in which kinase substrates are mutated via CRISPR mediated gene editing. These mice are characterized by electrophysiology and imaging methods to determine the role of kinase and substrate signalling in vivo. For more information about the lab please visit

About us

The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. 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. 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. Dedicated to excellence, research groups are supported by many Science Technology Platforms including light microscopy, mass spectrometry and CRISPR mouse genome editing groups. Crick also collaborates with pharmaceutical companies to facilitate basic and translational research.

If you are interested in this role, please apply via our website .

The closing date for applications is 21 January 2018 at 23:30.

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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