Overall Description of Responsibility or Nature of Work
The Computational Neuroscience Unit is recruiting a postdoctoral researcher to study the computational aspects of brain function using the retina as a model system. The role of the retina is to convert a vast amount of information present in the visual scene to a meaningful signal that can be decoded by downstream regions. In the lab unit, we interleave multi-compartmental modeling (NEURON simulation platform), electrophysiology (extracellular single-cell recording and intracellular patch clamp) and calcium imaging (two photon microscopy) of light-evoked neuronal responses to study neuronal computation on multiple levels, starting with the properties of a single synapse, integration of signals in the postsynaptic cell and flow of information within neural networks.
Dr. Alon Poleg-Polsky’s lab unit is part of the department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical campus School of Medicine which is known for its highly collaborate environment with many opportunities to interact with other sensory systems and computational neuroscience groups in a newly established research building.
Areas of Responsibility / Scope of Research
The candidate will be able to choose among several projects:
Study the role of NMDARs in synaptic integration in different visual circuits
NMDARs are ubiquitously expressed in the brain, and mediate a significant portion of the excitatory drive. We had recently showed how NMDARs have the potential to significantly alter the rules of synaptic integration (Neuron. 2016 Mar 16;89(6):1277-90. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.02.013). The aim of this project is to examine NMDAR participation in different computational tasks to construct a comprehensive understanding of NMDAR function in the brain.
Elucidate the mechanisms of Direction Selectivity (DS) in the retina
Detection of stimulus direction is a classic neurocomputation performed in diverse sensory systems. We have developed a theoretical framework that builds upon and expands previous models of DS. In this project, we will combine calcium imaging and genetic manipulations to examine directly whether these models help explain the biology of DS circuit, eventually building a detailed network simulation to explain how the retina solves this interesting computational problem.
Examine changes in neural activity during disease
Pathological neurological conditions are often associated with an abnormal neuronal function, which can induce metabolic overload and increase the risk of cell death. We will compare activity in identified circuits at a single cell resolution between animals with retinal and general brain disorders to healthy controls. Our goal is to probe the link between function and disease prognosis and test potential treatment options.
Graduation from an accredited college or university with a PhD/MD in field related to Neuroscience.
Experience and publications in the field of Neuroscience.
Experience in Neurological Modeling, Coding, Electrophysiology, and/or Imaging
Salary is commensurate with education and experience.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.
Required application materials:
Proof of Degree (transcript or diploma)
Contact information for a minimum of three professional work references
Special Notices to Applicants:
The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical campus is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial and/or motor vehicle history.
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Please be advised that the University does check references as part of the employment process, and selection committee members may choose to contact work references during the search process other than those listed in your application.
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The Department of Physiology and Biophysics has a long history of applying quantitative approaches to key problems in biomedical research. Our faculty use cutting-edge multidisciplinary approaches and incorporate their strengths in molecular, cellular and systems biology, electrophysiology, electrical engineering and advanced light microscopy to carry out internationally recognized research. W...hereas the specific research interests of the faculty are diverse, we have in common the goal of using innovative and rigorous methods to address fundamental questions. These core bonds have led to a collaborative and supportive environment, ideal for training of graduate students & post-doctoral fellows and fostering interactions with basic and clinical researchers in other departments.
On-going areas of research span the range of molecular and cellular studies of neuronal and muscle cell function and development to systems level analyses of information processing in the brain. The individual Faculty web pages provide more and specific details of our exciting research program.