Postdoctoral Position in Neuroscience and Neurophysiology

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Team ‘Spinal Cord and Cerebrospinal fluid Interface (SpiCCI)’ (N. Wanaverbecq) 

Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone (INT) UMR 7289 CNRS-AMU (Dir. Guillaume Masson) 

Campus de la Timone, INT, 27 boulevard Jean Moulin, 13005 Marseille, France 

Position: 2 year postdoctoral position

Location: Marseille, France

Position available: 1st September, 2018

The Project

The project aims at deciphering, anatomically and functionally, the circuitry of a poorly known neuronal population present around the central canal (CC) of the spinal cord and in contact with the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF-cNs) as well as its relationship with the spinal cord motor network. 

Spinal CSF-cNs are present in all vertebrate, they are bipolar neurons sitting under the ependymal cell layer, extend a single dendrite ending with a large protrusion in the CC and project an axon through the parenchyma1–3. They selectively express a ‘Transient Receptor Potential’ (TRP) isoform (PKD2L1) with a potential role as sensory receptor1,4–7. Recent studies in lower vertebrates point to a role as neuromodulator of motor activity for CSF-cNs6,7 but this function remains to be demonstrated in mammals. 

The Host Team (4 faculty members and 1 PhD student) was one of the first to characterize CSF-cN properties in the mouse and established as leader in the field with a long-standing expertise in cellular neurophysiology. Our team develops a multidisciplinary approach combining in vitro electrophysiology with Ca2+ imaging in transgenic mouse models (Cre-Lox technology from PKD2L1-Cre mice) enabling the selective manipulation of CSF-cNs. In its present form, the team recently joined the INT a highly interdisciplinary environment with 11 research groups and state-of-the-art facilities in photonic imaging, molecular/cellular biology and virology as well as a core facility in IT and scientific computing (  

The Project is part of a recently awarded international ANR grant in collaboration with a research group at the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin (Germany) and involves applying targeted viral neuronal tracing approaches combined to electrophysiological and imaging techniques in in vitro and ex-vivo spinal cord preparations. The principal objective will be to characterize CSF-cN circuitry in the spinal cord and demonstrate the interaction with the spinal motor network. 

The Candidate

We are looking for a motivated young research fellow interested in studying synaptic transmission, neuronal network and sensory integration in the spinal cord. 

The successful Candidate will have a PhD in neuroscience with a proven expertise in cellular electrophysiology and imaging and some postdoctoral experience. She/He should have experience in small animal surgery (Animals Training Course). A background in molecular biology (transgenic mouse model, viral neuronal tracing techniques) as well as knowledge in programming and analysis software (eg. Python, Matlab, R statistic) would be a plus. The project will be conducted under Dr Wanaverbecq supervision, but the candidate should be autonomous and capable of developing the her/his line of research. 

The Position

The position is available from the 1st September 2018 and has 2 years of initial funding (University based pay scheme: from 1982€ gross monthly salary depending on experience), with the possibility for extension.

How to Apply

Applicants should send their CV, a cover letter detailing their research experience and interests, and two letters of recommendation to [email protected] 

For more details contact Dr Wanaverbecq. 

1. Orts-Del’Immagine, A. et al. PloS One 9, e87748 (2014).
2. Djenoune, L. et al. Front. Neuroanat. 8, 26 (2014).
3. Jalalvand, E et al. J. Comp. Neurol. 522, 1753–1768 (2014).
4. Orts-Del’immagine, A. et al. J. Physiol. 590, 3719–3741 (2012).
5. Orts-Del’Immagine, A. et al. Neuropharmacology 101, 549–565 (2016).
6. Jalalvand, E. et al. Curr. Biol. CB 26, 1346–1351 (2016).
7. Böhm, U. L. et al. Nat. Commun. 7, 10866 (2016).

Please mention that you found this job on the Scientifica website when applying.​

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