Postdoctoral fellows

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Missouri
Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Nov 1, 2021
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The Plasticity, Monoamines, and Recovery of Function Lab (PMRF Lab) at Washington University School of Medicine, under the direction of Prof. Jacob McPherson (, has immediate openings for two postdoctoral fellows with interests in neurophysiology, neural engineering, and neurorehabilitation.

The PMRF Lab studies patterns of synaptic communication within sensorimotor neural networks and how these networks learn to modify their function(s) when new patterns are introduced or existing patterns are altered. We are particularly interested in understanding the extent to which these basic principles of neural learning can be leveraged to restore a more appropriate balance of sensory and motor transmission after CNS injury.

Much of our work derives from the observation that injuries to the central nervous system frequently result both in movement impairments and changes in pain perception. Yet, while many therapies intended to target movement impairments also impact pain perception (and vice versa), these interventions are developed and evaluated primarily through the prism of movement or pain alone. The ultimate goal of our work is to reduce maladaptive consequences of altered sensorimotor communication (e.g., neuropathic pain, movement impairments) after CNS injury towards development of therapies that offer multi-modal rehabilitation. 

One post-doc will take a lead role in advancing an NIH R01-funded project that seeks to develop a neural-computer interface for simultaneous rehabilitation of movement impairments and neuropathic pain in animal models of spinal cord injury (SCI). Prior experience with electrophysiology and/or conducting behavioral experiments in rodent, feline, or non-human primate models is required. Experience in any of the following areas is highly desirable: in vivo electrophysiology, rodent behavioral assessments, single-neuron recording/patch clamping, immunohistochemistry, animal or human neuropathophysiology research (particularly spinal cord injury or neuropathic pain research), quantitative analysis of biophysical signals (e.g., single neuron spiking data, EMG, ECoG, ENG), Matlab programming, and data acquisition/instrumentation. Direct link to WUSTL application site for animal-model post-doc here

The other post-doc will take a lead role in advancing an AHA Innovation Award-funded project that seeks to use principles of Hebbian neural plasticity to modify neural transmission in brainstem-spinal motor pathways in individuals with chronic hemiparetic stroke. Experience in any of the following areas is highly desirable: human neuropathophysiology research (particularly stroke, neuropathic pain, or spinal cord injury research), quantitative analysis of biophysical signals (e.g., EMG, kinematics, EEG), Matlab programming, rehabilitation robotics or development of mechatronic systems for quantifying human biomechanics, and data acquisition/instrumentation. Direct link to WUSTL application site for human-subjects post-doc here.

The successful candidates will join a dynamic, collaborative, and growing laboratory, and will work directly with Prof. McPherson to gain relevant technical and scientific expertise, as well as professional development mentorship. The PMRF Lab is housed within the vibrant Washington University School of Medicine, where the postdoctoral fellows will be able to interact directly with other faculty, postdocs, and students engaged in neural engineering, neurophysiology, and rehabilitation research and patient care.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to send (1) a detailed CV, (2) a statement of research experience and interests, and (3) the names and contact information for at least three scientific references to Prof. McPherson at mcpherson.jacob [at] The positions are available immediately; review will continue until the positions are filled. 

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