Postdoctoral Associate Position in Activity-Dependent Plasticity in Physiology and Neurodegeneration

University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Closing date
Jan 2, 2022
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Job Details

We are seeking talented, highly motivated candidates to study activity-dependent mechanisms of local translation and plasticity in the Freyberg laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Freyberg lab uses innovative live imaging approaches including live-cell STED, widefield, and TIRF to study mechanisms of local translation in secretory cells, using neurons. We have also integrated these maging approaches with in situ cryo-electron tomography to capture dynamic processes critical for cell secretion across scales from the whole cell to individual molecules. These studies have led us to recently discover a new form of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) termed Ribosome-Associated Vesicles (RAVs). RAVs are highly dynamic and move to sites of local activity to initiate activity-dependent translation – a key mechanism of synaptic plasticity. We are now translating our findings to define the fundamental mechanisms of activity-dependent local translation and to models of neurodegeneration including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson's disease.

Some of our recent publications include:

Ribosome-Associated Vesicles: a dynamic vesicular endoplasmic reticulum in secretory cells. Science Advances (2020).

Three-dimensional analysis of mitochondrial crista ultrastructure in a Leigh Syndrome patient by in situ cryo-electron tomography. iScience (2018).

Our lab seeks motivated, creative researchers to study these pathways using complementary pharmacology, molecular cell biology, and imaging approaches. We invite candidates with experience in any of but not limited to any of the following areas: (1) cell biology/trafficking, (2) 2D and 3D live-cell imaging, and/or (3) cryo-EM/cryo-ET. Successful candidates will work in a highly collaborative interdisciplinary research program that integrates neurobiology, and cutting-edge light and EM imaging and translates it to neurobiology in health and disease. 

Our lab is well-funded by NIH, DoD, and foundation grants and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. We are in one of the most vibrant communities of scientists in the country, based both at the University of Pittsburgh and the neighboring Carnegie Mellon University. Being in a large academic medical center, the laboratory has an established network of collaborators working in both basic biology and translational research. The laboratory also benefits from being centrally located in Pittsburgh, one of the fastest growing, affordable cities in the United States. 

To apply, interested applicants should send their cover letter including research interests, CV and 2-3 reference letters to

The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, as fully explained in Policy 07-01-03, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability, or status as a veteran. The University also prohibits and will not engage in retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation. The University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University's mission. This policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in University programs and activities. This is a commitment made by the University in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.


The employer is the Freyberg laboratory located within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.

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3811 O'Hara Street
BST, W1640
United States

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