PhD student Synapse & Network Development
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A PhD student position is available in the Synapse & Network Development department at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam. The aim is to investigate how developing synapses capture mitochondria and how mitochondria contribute to the healthy development of synapses.
Job Description and methods
The developing mouse visual cortex is wiring up during the week before eye opening and neurons establish most of their synapses during that time. Synaptic transmission is very energy demanding and developing neurons need to provide sufficient energy to fuel transmission at emerging synapses. We showed recently that mitochondria, which provide the bulk of adenosine-triphosphate (ATP) in neurons, are transported to synapses (Silva et al. 2021, eLife), but how mitochondria contribute to the development and plasticity of synapses in intact brain circuits is unknown.
You will be able to take advantage of the latest in vitro and in vivo microscopy approaches to investigate how developing synapses capture mitochondria and how mitochondria contribute to the healthy development of synapses. Since these processes underly proper wiring of the brain, it is not surprising that errors in mitochondrial targeting and function are associated with developmental disorders and therefore your project may not only help better understand brain wiring, but also shed light on the underlying causes of developmental cognitive disorders.
- You are a highly motivated, self-driven scientist with a degree in neuroscience, (neuro)psychology, biomedical sciences or natural sciences.
- The ideal candidate will have experience with neurophysiological and/or live cell imaging techniques and a solid background in neuroscience.
- Programming skills – in particular with Python for data analysis – will be very useful for your project.
- You are a team player and comfortable communicating, presenting and writing in English.
YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM US
Mentoring, supervision and training
Access to state-of-the art equipment
A stimulating international research environment
The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience is the country’s leading fundamental neuroscience research institute, in the international and progressive city of Amsterdam. It provides a critical mass of scientists (spanning more than 27 nationalities) and neuroscience facilities, in a highly interactive, dynamic, multi-cultural environment, with English as the working language.
The development of specific synaptic connections between nerve cells is a fundamental step during the maturation of the brain, but its underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. To investigate how neurons establish specific connections, we apply high resolution imaging and electrophysiology in brain slices and in vivo.
Our goal is to identify patterns of neuronal activity, forms of calcium signaling and molecular factors that regulate synapse development. We focus on the local regulation of synapse maturation and its relationship with activity patterns in the entire cell and the emerging network.
We offer an exciting job at a dynamic research institute and an attractive package of fringe benefits. The position is for a period of 4 years in total for a PhD student. The first appointment is for one year with the option for an extension for the remaining period pending on an evaluation.
The salary will be commensurate with institutional guidelines based on the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities: CAO NU. The salary for a PhD student is €2.443,- per month, before taxes in the first year and €3.122,- in the last year.
In addition, an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus are provided. We offer travel expenses, paid parental leave, flexible working hours, 30 days paid leave per year and assistance in finding accommodation when coming from abroad.
The position is available immediately.
Are you interested in how synaptic plasticity helps wire the developing brain? Do you want to use cutting-edge optical techniques for live cell imaging, including high-speed confocal and in vivo 2-photon microscopy? Would you enjoy working in an international environment where you follow up on your ideas with the support of experts around you? Then this job may be for you!
Applicants are welcomed to submit their application through (and only through, do not use the apply button on this page) the online form here until April 29th, 2022. The online application will include four sections:
- general information
- education and research experience
- research and personal skills
- CV, motivation letter and recommendation letters.
Evaluation of candidates will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled.
For additional information you can contact Prof. dr. C. Lohmann; [email protected]