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Location: Pittsburgh, United States
Closing date: Open until filled
The goals of the work are to understand how striatal plasticity shapes motor output in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease and to use the information to develop novel therapeutic strategies for human Parkinson's patients. The work stems from our findings reported in Divito et al (2015) J. Neurosci. 35(45): 12983-12999 in which we show that mice lacking the vesicular glutamate transporter do not develop motor impairments in a dopamine depletion model of Parkinson's disease. Our soon to be published work, extends these findings by examining the underlying mechanism.
The successful candidate will design and perform experiments that take advantage of many different types of approaches including optogenetic and chemogenetic manipulation of neuronal populations as well as in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, cyclic voltammetry, calcium imaging, behavior, and viral circuit mapping.
Training experience of the successful candidate will be further enhanced by participating in national and international meetings, applying for research grants, attending seminars, as well as forming close collaborations with the many laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon that are also studying dopamine, the basal ganglia and motor circuits.
The successful candidate will become part of a large, vibrant, multidisciplinary, and internationally recognized neuroscience community at the University of Pittsburgh that also includes Carnegie Mellon University. The laboratory is located in the Department of Neurobiology in the School of Medicine. Pittsburgh offers numerous cultural and sports activities as well as an affordable lifestyle for young professionals. Consistently rated Most Livable City in the US by the Economist and Forbes Magazine.
Desired Skills & Experience
PhD or MD/PhD in neuroscience or related field within the past 0-2 years, with a track record of productivity and innovation. The successful candidate should have solid experience in patch clamp electrophysiology in brain slices.
Creative thinking skills, command of the neuroscience literature, affinity for performing experimental animal research and ability to work collaboratively with excellent communication skills are desired