Drosophila Synapse Physiology – Open Postdoctoral Position, Frank Lab
C. Andrew Frank Lab, University of Iowa
August 18, 2017
Iowa City, Iowa
Full Time - Internship
Academic / Research
There is an open postdoctoral position for an enthusiastic and motivated individual in Dr. C. Andrew Frank's laboratory at the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA).
In the Frank lab, we utilize the Drosophila melanogaster neuromuscular junction (NMJ) as a model synapse. We study molecular signals that direct homeostatic control of neuronal outputs. Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a form of neuroplasticity that endows neurons and circuits with an ability to maintain physiologically appropriate levels of synaptic output. Broken control of neuronal circuit function is hypothesized to contribute to neurological disorders such as epilepsy, ataxia, and autism. Yet the molecular signals that regulate homeostatic plasticity are poorly defined.
We have conducted Drosophila genetic screens and identified several factors and signaling systems that work to sustain homeostatic plasticity at the NMJ over long periods of developmental time. Combining electrophysiology, genetics, molecular neuroscience, and synapse imaging we have begun to elucidate how these newly identified factors regulate homeostatic plasticity. Our long-term objective is to combine these robust tools to uncover universal signaling systems that work to maintain proper levels of synaptic output. Multiple funded projects are possible, and the position is open immediately.
Requirements: Applicants should have a Ph.D. or should be nearing completion of a Ph.D. in biological sciences (or related) discipline and should have a strong record of research productivity. Background in one or more areas including neuroscience, electrophysiology, molecular biology, advanced microscopy, or Drosophila melanogaster genetics is a plus, but not required.
Interested candidates should respond to this advertisement by submitting their Curriculum Vitae, a concise statement of research accomplishments and interests and complete contact information for at least three references. It is also possible to apply by emailing Dr. C. Andrew Frank directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include Fly NMJ post doc in the subject line.
Meeting Interview: If you will be attending SfN 2017 in Washington, D.C. or the 2017 Neurobiology of Drosophila Meeting at Cold Spring Harbor, please contact Dr. Frank in advance by email to set up an informal interview at the conference.
Frank Laboratory: The Frank laboratory is located at the University of Iowa. Iowa City, Iowa is an outstanding environment and intellectual center with access to a wide range of cutting-edge technologies. The PI is highly committed to the career development of trainees. For more information: https://medicine.uiowa.edu/acb/profile/c-andrew-frank
University of Iowa Employment: The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual. The university also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to university facilities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, The University of Iowa, 202 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA, 52242-1316, 319-335-0705 (voice), 319-335-0697 (TDD), email@example.com
Additional Salary Information: Postdoctoral fellow compensation commensurate with University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine guidelines
Internal Number: CAF656
About C. Andrew Frank Lab, University of Iowa
I am a neuroscientist and a geneticist at the University of Iowa. My lab studies how synapses and neuronal circuits maintain physiologically normal levels of function, despite external perturbations. For our research program, we utilize a combination of genetics, electrophysiology, pharmacology, molecular biology, and imaging. We employ the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a genetic model and the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) as a model synapse.Our main focus is to unravel the molecular underpinnings of forms of neuroplasticity – specifically, the homeostatic control of synapse function. We have undertaken forward genetic approaches and identified new molecules required for homeostatic synaptic plasticity at the NMJ. A major goal has been to place molecules that emerged form these genetic approaches into coherent regulatory pathways and to define whether they are needed for the short-term induction or long-term maintenance of homeostatic signaling.A second focus has been to use fruit flies in a reverse-translational manner to model selected human neurological disorders that display synaptic instability. The goal is to utilize the power of fruit fly genetics and... electrophysiology to uncover new information about the neurophysiological consequences of disease-causing mutations.