Postdoctoral Scholar in Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurobiology

UAB Heersink School of Medicine
Birmingham, AL
Salary scale follows NIH guidelines
Closing date
May 23, 2022
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The laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Lucas is seeking a postdoctoral scholar to join our growing team and gain experience in a multidisciplinary, fun, and dynamic research environment. Currently located at North Carolina State University, our laboratory will relocate to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on July 1, 2022. Socioemotional behavior is dysregulated across multiple psychiatric conditions, and we conduct preclinical research in mouse models to uncover the biological mechanisms regulating socioemotional behavior across the lifespan. Current projects include (1) sex-specific neural circuits for emotional memory, (2) ovarian cycle regulation of inhibition and anxiety-like behavior, and (3) influence of social isolation on emotional development and aging. Our research program incorporates many techniques that provide rich training opportunities, including whole-cell electrophysiology, single-cell RNA sequencing, quantitative microscopy, and behavioral biology. The applicant will also have the intellectual freedom to pursue independent research projects within the general interest area of the lab. In addition to scientific training, the applicant will receive comprehensive professional development in scientific publication and communication, grant writing, laboratory management, and mentorship of trainees. Ultimately, the primary goal of this position is to facilitate transition of the fellow to an independent scientific career. The initial appointment will be for one year with the opportunity for reappointment. Our laboratory is committed to diversity, inclusion, and work-life balance. Applicants for this position should have a recent doctoral degree in neuroscience or a related field. Expertise (or a strong desire to gain expertise) in whole-cell slice electrophysiology is required. Salary scale follows NIH guidelines. Interested candidates should send their current CV, names and contact information for three references, a one-page statement of interest, and a writing sample to Dr. Lucas at Pre-application email inquiries are welcomed.

The ideal candidate should possess the following qualities:

  • Evidence of productivity, including first-author publications or manuscripts
  • High self-motivation
  • Capacity for creative problem solving
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational, prioritization, and time management skills
  • Ability to coordinate and prioritize concurrent experiments as well as adapt to changing priorities
  • Meticulous attention to detail with emphasis on keeping records of experiments, results, and inventories
  • Proficiency in standard computer applications including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Experience with R or Python is desirable.
  • Ability to work independently as well as contribute to a supportive team environment
  • Eagerness to learn, grow professionally, and be mentored
  • Ability to interact positively with all levels of staff

Proficiency in one or more of the following technical skills is preferred but not required:

  • Basic molecular biology techniques (i.e. including cloning, DNA/RNA isolation, gel electrophoresis, qPCR, etc.)
  • Mouse behavior assays
  • Stereotaxic surgery for viral-mediated gene transfer and chronic implants
  • Whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology
  • In vivo and/or in vitro calcium imaging
  • Immunofluorescence and/or in situ hybridization
  • Quantitative microscopy
  • Next generation sequencing (RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq)
  • Bioinformatics

About our Postdoc Office:

UAB is committed to the development and success of outstanding postdoctoral scientists. Here at UAB, nearly 300 postdoctoral fellows are training currently in a variety of disciplines. Competitive postdoc awards are available including internships, grant incentives, funds to enhance education and collaboration outside UAB, and teaching opportunities at local universities. There is also a Postdoc Research Day with monetary awards. The Office of Postdoctoral Education strongly encourages UAB research mentors to follow the National Research Service Award stipend level guidelines, and postdoctoral scholars qualify for health, life, and other insurances. They also have the right to participate in the university’s 403(b) program and enjoy vacation, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and other benefits.

About the University:

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a research university and academic health center that discovers, teaches, and applies knowledge for the intellectual, cultural, social, and economic benefit of Birmingham, the state, and beyond. UAB is internationally renowned for its intensely collaborative culture that has — for more than five decades — produced breakthroughs in education, health care, research, and service. UAB was ranked #1 in the United States, and in the top 10 worldwide, in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2018 Young University Rankings.

Spanning more than 100 city blocks, UAB is the state of Alabama’s largest single employer with some 25,000 employees and has an annual, state-wide economic impact exceeding $7.15 billion. U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “America’s Best Graduate Schools” ranks 14 UAB graduate programs among the nation’s top 25 and 10 UAB specialties were ranked among the nation’s top 50 in the magazine’s 2018-2019 Best Hospitals report. UAB research grants and awards are at a record high, exceeding $527 million in FY18, including $320 million in NIH funding for FY18. UAB ranks 31st among all universities in federal research funding and 15th among public universities. UAB's NIH funding continues to grow among peer institutions in the Southeast and beyond, with the university ranking 20th among all universities in NIH funding and eighth among public universities. The UAB School of Medicine is ranked 21st among medical schools in NIH funding and eighth among public medical schools.

UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of, race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity, and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.

For more information on Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at UAB, visit the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion or call (205) 934-8762. Or contact the office at 701 20th Street South, AB 336, Birmingham, AL 35294-0103.

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