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POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE , McGovern Institute for Brain Research , to join the Wickersham Lab (aka the Genetic Neuroengineering Group) and develop next-generation viral tracing and transduction technologies for neuroscience. The highest-priority projects entail developing and validating nontoxic monosynaptic tracing systems that will allow optogenetic manipulation, functional imaging, and transcriptomic profiling of identified synaptically-connected networks of neurons. Understanding the detailed organization of any part of the nervous system requires revealing the "wiring diagram" of synaptic connections between neurons. Monosynaptic tracing based on deletion-mutant rabies virus has become a key tool for this, allowing labeling of neurons directly presynaptic to a targeted neuronal population or even a single neuron. However, all published monosynaptic tracing to date has used "first-generation" rabies viruses, which derange and usually kill infected neurons. To address the problem of toxicity, the group recently published "second-generation" rabies viral vectors, which cause no detectable toxicity, and has now developed (and are preparing for publication) a complete monosynaptic tracing system based on these viruses. It has also developed third-and fourth-generation vectors which should have several advantages over even the second-generation system. The postdoc will spearhead the development and validation of (in particular) fourth-generation nontoxic monosynaptic tracing systems of the inputs, and potentially, outputs. There are also a number of other possible projects, depending on the background and strengths of the candidate.
Job Requirements REQUIRED : a Ph.D. or its equivalent in biology, neuroscience, biological engineering, or related discipline. A strong molecular biology background and/or strong in vivo experience (particularly multiphoton imaging and/or whole-cell electrophysiology) is desirable. Job #18219
In addition to applying online via the MIT website, please submit a CV and cover letter to Ian Wickersham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The position is funded by NIH BRAIN Initiative grants for three years, although obtaining external fellowships is always encouraged.
Internal Number: 18219
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