The Translational NeuroEngineering Laboratory (TNEL) in the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry is seeking a postdoctoral scholar for a multi-year Federally funded position using rodent electrophysiology to study the circuit basis of behavior. Our laboratory develops technologies to reverse the circuit impairments that cause mental illness, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, and addictions. More information is available at http://www.tnelab.org/ .
The specific responsibilities of this position include electrophysiologic and optogenetic experiments in awake, behaving, untethered rodents. We have recently received funding to use a new high-density electrode technology (https://www.neuropixels.org) to study hippocampus-amgydala-striatum networks involved in learning, memory, and changes in decision-making styles. The project will combine behavioral tasks and some newly invented methods for modifying brain oscillations to study the role of those oscillations in cognitive function. You will work with some of the newest tools in neuroscience, while being supported by a deep bench of colleagues from neuroscience, engineering, and mathematics. Although this posting is focused on animals, the grant does include a human subjects component and you would be welcome to be part of it if you wish.
Depending on your interests, there are also opportunities to gain experience with:
Computational modeling and analysis of behavior
Next-generation, large-scale tools for measuring and perturbing the brain
Medical device development and commercialization
Neural simulation and modeling paradigms
The basic neurobiology of decision-making
The clinical neurobiology of mental illness
We expect the work and the resulting data to be a strong springboard to a career as an independent scientist. UMN has multiple training and seed grant programs to support that transition to independence. Our laboratory includes both animal and human research components, and you will interact almost daily with other neuroscientists and engineers. There are also opportunities for collaboration and networking with clinicians, basic neuroscientists, and engineers. Our lab is very focused on mentoring and developing junior personnel, and the PI will work with you to ensure that you are submitting competitive applications for fellowships and other grants on the pathway to independence. We also have strong industry relations for researchers interested in careers outside academia.
You must have:
A doctoral degree in a relevant field. We define “relevant” very broadly, and almost any quantitative discipline should quality. A terminal masters’ degree with significant prior work experience can substitute.
Some prior experience with electrophysiology, in any species or preparation, OR, deep familiarity with behavioral experiments and a clear interest in learning advanced methods.
Strong programming and/or data analysis skills. MATLAB or Python is essential. Other languages will be useful if you know them. Prior experience with data acquisition hardware, prototyping systems (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, additive manufacturing, etc.) and/or creating real-time systems would be nice but is definitely not required.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with specific documentation of those skills through published work and oral scientific presentations.
Interpersonal skills appropriate for collaboration in a very multidisciplinary and highly diverse environment.
It will be helpful if you have previous experience with psychiatric patient populations, the biological mechanisms of mental illness, or medical device development. If you do not, you should want to learn about at least one of those.
Job requirements will include:
Transportation of bulky objects on carts
Standing or sitting for extended periods
Performance of fine motor tasks under visual guidance
Training and teaching of adult learners from a variety of technical and personal backgrounds
Independent analysis and interpretation of scientific data
Complex technical communication in the English language
Professional interactions with a diverse body of colleagues and research participants
Acquisition and maintenance of all necessary requirements (e.g., background checks, immunizations, institutional trainings) for work with human and animal subjects.
Internal Number: 333535
About University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.