Post-doctoral Fellow - rodent cognition and behaviour

London, Ontario, Canada
Oct 07, 2019
Nov 06, 2019
Position Type

2 postdoctoral positions are available to join the vibrant team within the Translational Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory (PI’s Professor Tim Bussey and Professor Lisa Saksida) to undertake cutting-edge research in the field of environmental influences on cognition and neuroplasticity using mouse models. Research in the lab is focussed on identifying and understanding the brain mechanisms of cognition and behaviour. The TCN lab uses rodents to study the neural correlates of cognition. These postdoctoral positions will use an innovative combination of molecular, genetic and behavioural techniques – including viral manipulation of neurons, modulation of extracellular matrix components and touchscreen cognitive tasks. One position will primarily be investigating the effects of diet, exercise, and environmental enrichment on cognition and behavior.  The other position will involve recording and analyzing neuronal activity measured using miniscopes and electrophysiology and correlating this with complex behaviour.

We are looking for applicants with a strong background in rodent behaviour, molecular biology (immunohistochemistry), small animal surgery and microscopy. You will be willing and able to work with mice in a number of complex behavioural paradigms including touchscreen cognitive assessments, stereotaxic surgeries and molecular biology (immunohistochemistry). Other aspects of the work will include confocal microscope imaging, in vivo calcium imaging and optogenetic and chemogenetic techniques to establish causal links between behavioural and cellular alterations and memory and behaviour. Applicants should possess a PhD in a relevant discipline and publications in international scientific journals.

Cognitive neuroscience in health and disease is a major research focus at Western, which is currently supported by BrainsCAN, a $66M Canada First Research Excellence Fund grant awarded to Western in 2016. The Robarts Research Institute and the Brain and Mind Institute together create a vibrant neuroscience research community with many opportunities for collaborations. The University of Western Ontario ( is a major educational and research centre in Ontario with over 25,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students. London, also known as the Forest City, is an affordable and lively community close to the Great Lakes and two hours from Toronto. The city offers many options for outdoor and cultural activities.  The candidates will also have excellent opportunities to interact with researchers and core facilities funded by Western’s BrainsCAN, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund recently awarded to Western.

Western is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups/visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

To be successful in securing this role you will have:

  • a PhD in Neuroscience, Psychology or a related discipline
  • experience in conception, design and performance of neuroscience research,
  • including stereotaxic surgery and intracerebral infusions
  • experience in optogenetics, chemogenetics, microscopy, and/or in vivo
  • calcium imaging
  • experience in writing manuscripts for publication in scientific journals and
  • presentation at conferences
  • skills in statistical analysis in R, SPSS or other relevant programs
  • experience co-supervising and managing students and research assistants
  • project management experience
  • knowledge of neural mechanisms of learning and memory