Postdoctoral positions (and visiting scholarships) are available in the Duan Laboratory in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiology, the Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience at UCSF School of Medicine. The newly established group focuses on the molecular and cellular basis of retinal circuit assembly. Dr. Xin Duan’s past work addressed how defined subtypes of neurons wire up during retinal development (Duan, Krishnaswamy, et al Sanes, Cell, 2014) and how defined subtypes of retinal ganglion cells mediate axon regeneration in response injury (Duan, Qiao, et al Sanes, Neuron, 2015). The group proposes to genetically study combinatorial codes of cell recognition molecules in synaptic specificity for circuit wiring. In parallel, we will continue defining retinal neuron subtypes with the goal to reconstruct the complete circuit. We also innovate molecular and genetic tools, combining with imaging technologies to further reveal the interplay between cell types and specificity molecules underlying circuit functions. Embedded in the exciting neuroscience and regenerative medicine community at UCSF, we will extend circuit-level insights derived from the retina to neural circuits in the brain, and establish stem-cell based therapy to restore neural circuit functions (Duan, Chang, et al, Song, Cell 2007).
The successful applicant is expected to apply for external fellowships, present data at scientific conferences, prepare manuscripts, mentor junior lab members. The applicant should be able to work independently and as part of a team. Candidates with a published track record in electrophysiology, advanced imaging technology, developmental biology, genetics, or cell biology are preferred.
Review of applicants will start immediately and continue until the positions are filled. The stipend levels follow the current NIH scale with an additional housing allowance. UCSF provides quality on-campus housing and related services to postdocs. Minimum of 2 years with advancement to the second year dependent upon satisfactory progress during the first year. Interested individuals should submit a single pdf file with all of the following to
1) CV; 2) Research Statement (no longer than 1 page); 3) Statement of career goals (no longer than 1 page); 4) Contact information for 2-3 references. For more information please visit our website:
Research in my laboratory focuses on the molecular and cellular basis of neural circuit wiring and rewiring, using the mouse retina as a model, with the goal to reconstruct neural circuits and restore physiological functions subject to neurological diseases and neuronal injuries. My previous work addressed how defi...ned subtypes of neurons wire up during retinal development (Duan et al Cell, 2014), and how defined subtypes of retinal ganglion cells mediate axon regeneration in response to injury (Duan et al, Neuron, 2015). The approach is to seek determinants of specificity: genes that account for the different synaptic choices and regenerative abilities of the many subtypes of retinal neurons. To accomplish this goal, we generated molecular and genetic tools to study how subtypes of bipolar interneurons establish specific connectivity with functionally defined retinal ganglion cells. In particular, our past work revealed critical roles of two members of the cadherin superfamily of recognition molecules in assembling a neural circuit for direction-selectivity. The study provided direct evidence for a long-hypothesized “cadherin code” that instructs the specificity of circuit assembly. Overall, my research program will reveal fundamental mechanisms of circuit assembly and identify new avenues for neuronal regeneration and stem cell based neuronal repair.