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Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh
Competitive and negotiable
Closing date
Nov 14, 2023

Job Details

Study Basal Ganglia Plasticity Mechanisms that Impact Motor Output. The Seal laboratory identified a form of striatal spiny projection neuron plasticity that prevents motor deficits in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease.  The overall goal of this study is to determine the molecular and circuit based mechanisms that induce and maintain this important form of plasticity and to harness this information for the development of new PD therapies.

For this open Postdoctoral Researcher position, the successful candidate will choose to lead one or more of the following projects: 1) Determine the dynamics of direct and indirect pathway spiny projection neuron firing after induction of the plasticity using Inscopix in vivo calcium imaging. Motor behaviors will be measured with DeepLabCut.  2) Identify the molecular mechanisms underlying induction and maintenance of the spiny projection neuron plasticity.  Proteomics will be used to generate hypotheses and  viral manipulation of genes or circuits, fiber photometry, behavior and electrophysiology will be used to test these hypotheses.  3) Identify the brain circuit involved in the induction of the spiny projection neuron plasticity. This unknown circuit is important for arousal and motivation and has an impact on numerous neuropsychiatric conditions beyond PD.


This position requires a PhD in Neuroscience, Cell Biology, Physiology or related field. Background in brain circuit studies, calcium imaging or proteomic analysis a plus.  Experience coding in R or Python also a plus.  


The successful candidate will present their work at national and international meetings such as Gordon Research Conferences, SfN, Keystone Conferences and FASEB Meetings, by obtaining research fellowships such as F32 and K99, and by interacting with other research laboratories at the university and Carnegie Mellon University through the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.  Laboratories working closely on this project with us include Susanne Ahmari, MD, Ph.D., Mac Hooks, Ph.D., and Matt MacDonald, Ph.D. at Pitt and Eric Yttri, Ph.D. and Aryn Gittis, Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon.

The University of Pittsburgh has a vibrant, multidisciplinary, and internationally recognized neuroscience community that is ranked 3rd nationally in NIH funding and the University of Pittsburgh itself is also ranked 3rd nationally.  The city offers numerous sports, cultural, and gastronomical activities and is affordable for students and young professionals. 

Please submit your cover letter and CV including the names of three references to Dr. Rebecca Seal, Ph.D.



The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity and diversity. EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled

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