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Research Associate (Fixed Term)


We are looking for a highly motivated, proactive and enthusiastic postdoc to work on a BBSRC funded project within the recently founded Galliano Laboratory (https://gallianolab.org) in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience. This project aims to elucidate the role of morphologically and developmentally diverse dopaminergic neurons in olfactory processing.

This project will combine timed stereotaxic injections of opto- and chemogenetic effectors and automated olfactory behavioural testing with whole-cell electrophysiology. By integrating these approaches, you will provide a multi-level synthesis of how developmentally-defined neurons of the same class differentially contribute to sensory processing.

Your key role will be to optimise, validate and employ our newly-built and fully-automated apparatus inspired by the Schaefer's laboratory's "AutonoMouse". This cage enables high-throughput, self-initiated training of large cohorts of mice, while providing detailed quantitative data on how individual animals learn to interact with a range of sensory stimuli. You will perform stereotaxic injections of chemogenetic tools to manipulate developmentally distinct populations and DA neurons, design and supervise behavioural experiments in the AutonoMouse, and develop analysis pipelines for the large datasets generated by the automated testing. In parallel, you will be trained to perform whole-cell patch-clamp experiments in olfactory bulb acute slices carrying opsins and fluorescent indicators. Working closely with one of the lab's PhD students on this aspect of the project, you will combine electrophysiology and optogenetics to probe the connectivity of the developmentally distinct DA populations.

The successful candidate will have, or be about to receive, a PhD in Neuroscience or a related discipline. They will have technical expertise with behavioural neuroscience, ideally including test and apparatus design, animal handling, stereotaxic surgery for opto- or chemo-genetic manipulations; be experienced in data analysis; and able to demonstrate that they have led a complex project to completion. Please refer to the further particulars for a full list of skills.

Appointments will be made on a fixed-term, full-time basis for 3 years in the first instance. We are open to discuss different patterns of part-time work that could better suit individual circumstances and/or caring responsibilities. The start date is flexible, but ideally January 2023.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Candidates should upload a CV (max 3 pages) and a motivation letter detailing (a) why you want to be part of our lab and lead this project, (b) how this post will be a good stepping stone for your career, (c) and which are, in your opinion, the most interesting and yet unanswered question in the fields of olfaction/adult neurogenesis/neuronal heterogeneity. Please include the contact details of two professional referees. The application deadline is 16 October, and we aim to hold interviews between 22 October and 2 November 2022.

Please quote reference PM32700 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. The Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience particularly encourages women and candidates from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background to apply for this vacancy.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online