I am hiring a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to join my neurobiology lab at the University of Chicago.
We investigate how early life experience is encoded in neural circuits that control behavior. We combine molecular, genomic, epigenomic, anatomical, and behavioral measures and manipulations to test how age- and experience-dependent mechanisms intersect to influence brain function. We focus on the most established model for critical period learning, tutor song memorization (sensory song learning) in the juvenile zebra finch songbird, because a) there are strong social, genomic, and neural parallels between developmental song learning and speech acquisition, b) the neuroanatomical circuitry required for song learning is mapped and a major locus for tutor song memorization is known, c) song structure is a quantifiable behavioral output of the function of the neural circuit, d) the close of the critical period depends specifically on experience (hearing the tutor’s song), not age or general auditory stimulation, permitting direct examination of mechanisms by which experience alters neural function.
The successful applicant will lead a key epigenomics project to build on findings that tutor experience induces epigenetic modifications. Experiments will utilize a suite of molecular, epigenomic, genomic, in vivo, and behavioral methods. In addition, the postdoc will be encouraged to develop their own research ideas along the lines of the research interests of the lab. Ideal candidates would be interested in rigorously testing the connections between epigenomic regulation of molecular processes, learning, and behavioral outcomes of neural circuit function and have significant experience in the application of molecular biology, genomics and/or epigenomics, and next-generation sequencing methods. Added expertise in behavioral analysis, microscopy, genomics, anatomical methods, or physiology is a plus. I will especially consider applicants who are independent, have a drive to succeed, are genuinely excited about the research, and can work positively as part of the lab team. Candidates must have a PhD in neuroscience, molecular biology, or related disciplines, and no more than 2 years of postdoctoral experience.
The lab is housed within the Institute for Mind and Biology and is affiliated with a vibrant neuroscience research community, centered around the new Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Human Behavior.
The position is available starting April 1, 2017. For more information or to discuss potential projects, please email Dr Sarah London at london (at) uchicago (dot) edu with "Postdoc Inquiry" in the subject. Please apply via the NeuroJobs link.