A postdoctoral position is available immediately to study mechanisms of dopamine release and signaling in the Freyberg laboratory located within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.
Our laboratory studies the mechanisms by which dopamine/glutamate co-transmission regulates presynaptic plasticity in dopamine neurons. We recently identified glutamate and vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs) as critical modulators of dopamine quantal size, especially during periods of prolonged activity by multiphoton imaging of dopamine uptake and release (Aguilar et al., Neuron 2017). We seek to further expand our findings in both healthy and disease states using mouse and Drosophila models. In parallel, we also examine the roles of dopamine and dopamine D2-like receptor signaling pathways in the periphery including within pancreatic beta cells. We have determined how antipsychotic drugs disrupt these peripheral dopamine pathways to cause metabolic disturbances and diabetes using transgenic inducible dopamine receptor KO mice. The application of our findings is aimed at novel drug discovery. Our laboratory seeks a highly motivated, creative, and independent researcher to study these pathways using complementary pharmacology, molecular cell biology, and imaging approaches.
We are committed to the career development of postdoctoral fellows. Candidates benefit from both the outstanding environment in the laboratory and the highly collaborative University of Pittsburgh community. The candidate will be given opportunities to present his/her research work at national and international scientific meetings, work on translational and basic research projects, will be encouraged to apply to prestigious postdoctoral fellowships and grants and network with members of academia and industry to facilitate a pathway to independence.
The candidate will be offered highly competitive salary and fringe benefits as par University of Pittsburgh policy.
Our laboratory is well-funded by intramural and external grants and is equipped with state of the art equipment. We are in one of the most vibrant communities of basic scientists in the country, based both at the University of Pittsburgh and the neighboring Carnegie Mellon University. Being located in a large academic medical center, the laboratory has an established network of collaborators working in both basic biology and translational research. The laboratory also benefits from being centrally located in Pittsburgh, one of the fastest growing, culturally rich yet affordable cities in the United States.
Interested candidates should send their CV, a one-page summary of their past research and future research interests, and the contact information for three references directly to Dr. Freyberg:
Zachary Freyberg M.D., Ph.D.
Qualifications: Strong written and verbal skills in English are essential. Candidates must have Ph.D. and/or M.D. degrees. Previous experience with molecular biology, BRET, CRISPR, mammalian cell culture, mouse brain slice electrophysiology, or fluorescence microscopy is also preferred but not required, although candidates with experience in these skills are strongly encouraged to apply. Training in more advanced techniques is a key aim of the postdoctoral position; the biggest requirement is the enthusiasm and ambition of the candidate to make important contributions to cell signaling, particularly in our lab’s focus on the regulation of vesicle secretion by dopamine signaling.
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