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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Circuit/Systems Neuroscience - Investigating Neural Circuits for Spatial Orientation (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - Department of Physiology

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £36,024 to £44,263 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 27th November 2023
Closes: 15th January 2024
Job Ref: PM36807

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in the lab of Dr. Sepiedeh Keshavarzi at the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (https://www.pdn.cam.ac.uk/), University of Cambridge.

The position involves investigating the neural circuits underlying spatial orientation and is funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project provides the opportunity to combine behaviour, electrophysiology, calcium imaging, and circuit manipulation across the thalamic and cortical networks involved in navigation, using the mouse as an animal model. Further information about our research questions and approaches can be found on our lab website at https://www.keshavarzilab.com/.

We are seeking a highly motivated researcher with prior experience in circuit/systems neuroscience research. Applicants should hold (or be close to receiving) a Ph.D. in Neuroscience or related disciplines.

Key Experience and Competencies

The successful candidate will have: 

- Experimental expertise in electrophysiology (in vivo or in vitro) or calcium imaging (in vivo).

- High level of competence in data analysis and analytical skills.

- Excellent verbal and written scientific communication skills in English.

- Comprehensive knowledge of circuit/systems neurobiology and evident interest in the lab's research program.

Preference will be given to candidates who additionally demonstrate the following desirable skills and achievements:

- Proficient programming skills in Python and/or Matlab.

- Expertise in designing, building and controlling bespoke experimental setups for behavioural studies and neural recording.

- Expertise in developing quantitative behavioural tasks for rodents.

- Expertise in circuit manipulation techniques (opto- and chemogenetics).

- A strong track record of research output and achievements, such as high-quality publications.

Role Summary

The role involves developing and conducting novel behavioural experiments to study spatial orientation abilities in mice, recording neural activity using in vivo electrophysiology and/or calcium imaging techniques, manipulating specific circuits and cell types with opto- and chemogenetics, as well as designing and performing data analysis. In addition to research activities, the postholder is expected to write fellowship applications, present research findings at conferences, contribute to writing articles, and provide training and supervision to students and other junior lab members.

Research Environment

We are a welcoming and inclusive group, strongly committed to providing mentoring, training, and support for the career development of all lab members. Training opportunities in experimental and computational approaches new to the applicant will be available. Additionally, regular interactions with the principal investigator will ensure continuous career mentorship and scientific supervision. The position also offers possibilities for collaboration with hardware and software engineers and computational neuroscientists.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please click on the apply button above.

Fixed Term: 3 years in the first instance.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Sepiedeh Keshavarzi (sk2244@cam.ac.uk).

Please note that we will be reviewing applications on a regular basis. We reserve the right to close the position early once the available position is filled.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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