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Postdoctoral Researcher in Behavioral Neuroscience

University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas
Minimum $50,780
Closing date
Sep 24, 2021
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Job Details

Social Bonding, Conflict, and Loss (SBCL) Lab in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at the University of Kansas is seeking outstanding, driven applicants for a postdoctoral position in neuroscience.

The SBCL Lab ( is directed by Dr. Adam Smith and studies the neurocircuitry of social bonding and stress. Social bonds are essential for survival and reproduction, particularly in social species such as our model species, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). The driving forces that facilitate social attachments, such as pair bonding, include reinforcing social behaviors through activating the brain reward centers, the consequences of disruption or separation of close social bonds on an individual’s well-being and emotional state, and the beneficial effects of close social contact to improve mental and physical health. Still, many fundamental questions regarding the underlying neurobiology of social bonds remain unanswered. In addition, our research group has established a model of social defeat in prairie voles that produces a social anxiety phenotype and allows us to determine neural mechanisms that are distinct and convergent in males and females. This work focuses on the causative role of oxytocin in regulating social anxiety and threat assessment.

This position is being recruited to support our research focused on a novel pharmacological approach to treat social anxiety and avoidance. Our research goals are to (1) demonstrate a causal relationship between brain oxytocin receptor levels in specific regions and social anxiety and (2) screen novel therapeutics that may mimic oxytocin action in the brain without long-term hindrance to the brain oxytocin receptor system.

As we are a behavioral neuroscience lab, we are especially interested in candidates with experience in viral vector design and use, behavioral pharmacology, optogenetics. chemogenetics, various histological techniques, and calcium imaging from populations of neurons in awake behaving animals. Candidates with relevant backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applicants must either have a Ph.D. or be nearing the completion of their doctorate in a germane field.

This postdoc position is a limited-term with a typical duration of 1-5 years.

For more information and to apply, go to: Interested candidates can also could Dr. Adam Smith at

The review of applications will begin on July 26, 2021. 

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).




This position is available in the Smith Lab which is a part of the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Kansas (KU). The KU School of Pharmacy is a prominent research institution, with a rich history of scientific funding and support including 12 consecutive years being among the top 5 schools nationally with the most NIH funding. The scientific environment at KU is strong with many opportunities for scientific discussions that facilitate new fundable research endeavors. The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology (School of Pharmacy) has strong faculty members in the fields of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Toxicology, with expertise in behavioral, pharmacological, neuroanatomical, cellular and molecular techniques toward neurodegenerative diseases, oxidative stress, post-translational modifications of proteins, and cognition. KU is an EO/AAE, full policy:
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