Jobs

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Perineuronal nets and touchscreen-based assessment of cognition in mouse models

Employer

Western University

Location

London, Ontario, Canada

Principal Investigator

Lisa Saksida

Contact

To apply, please submit a cover letter that describes relevant training and career goals, up-to-date CV, research statement, up to three representative publications, as well as the name and contact information of two references to: Lisa Saksida (lsaksida@uwo.ca) and Tim Bussey (tbussey@uwo.ca) with “Postdoc Application” in the subject line.

Description

The Translational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Western University (co-directed by Tim Bussey and Lisa Saksida) is looking for a postdoctoral researcher to undertake cutting-edge research in the area of brain mechanisms of cognition and behaviour. The lab's main behavioral approach involves touchscreen-based testing of mouse models, which allows researchers to assess many different aspects of high-level cognition in a way that is highly relevant to human patients. Touchscreen testing also facilitates reproducibility through increased standardization and reductions in experimenter and environmental influence. The lab subscribes to principles of open science, and promotes data and knowledge sharing through mousebytes.ca and touchscreencognition.org.

This project is focused on developing an understanding of how perineuronal nets—components of the extracellular matrix that are primarily found wrapped around inhibitory, parvalbumin positive cortical neurons—contribute to adult learning and memory processes. This will be achieved by manipulating perineuronal nets in cortical regions critical for learning, memory and behavioural control, and/or manipulating levels of oxidative stress via diet, exercise, or environmental enrichment, and then assessing the mice on cognitive tests dependent on those brain regions.

Location:

The position will be based primarily in the Robarts Research Institute. Robarts is one of the premier research institutes in Canada with a vibrant research community and many opportunities for collaborations. Cognitive neuroscience in health and disease is a major research focus at Western, which is supported by BrainsCAN, a $66M Canada First Research Excellence Fund grant, through to 2026.

Details:

The initial appointment is for one year, with possibility of renewal. Salary will be commensurate with experience ($40,000 - $50,000) and includes additional benefits (https://www.uwo.ca/hr/benefits/your_benefits/pda/index.html).

Review of the applications will begin March 15, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled.

For more information, please see:

TCNLab: http://www.tcnlab.uwo.ca @TCNLab

BrainsCAN: https://brainscan.uwo.ca/ @Brains_CAN

Touchscreens: https://touchscreencognition.org/ @TouchScreenCog

MouseBytes: http://www.mousebytes.ca

Only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.

Western is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups/visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

Requirements

Required qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in neuroscience or related field.
  • Experience with scientific writing.

Required skills:

  • Experience in conception, design and performance of neuroscience-related experiments, including stereotaxic surgery and intracerebral infusions.
  • Experience with behavioral assessment in mouse or rat models.
  • Experience with in vivo electrophysiology, fiber photometry, optogenetics, chemogenetics, or other methodologies for measuring or manipulating the brain.
  • Knowledge of neural mechanisms of learning, memory, and/or other aspects of cognition.
  • Good writing skills, evidenced in peer-reviewed publications.
  • Skills in statistical analysis in R, SPSS or other relevant programs.
  • Advanced mathematical or computational expertise is a plus.

Required abilities:

  • Ability to work independently and take the initiative in research projects.
  • Collaborative team player.
  • Excellent communication skills.