Synaptic Plasticity in Addiction and Psychiatric Disorders
The laboratory of Dr. Yan Dong at the University of Pittsburgh is looking for a postdoctoral fellow to study synaptic plasticity under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. The postdoctoral fellow will lead a project aiming to understand how reward/drug seeking experience induces plastic changes in particular brain circuits, and whether manipulating these changes re-shapes the behavioral output. There are three categories of research techniques routinely used in these studies: i) Animal work, including small animal (rats or mice) surgeries, operant behavioral tests (e.g., self-administration of sucrose or drugs of abuse), stereotaxic delivery of vectors into specific brain regions, and optogenetically manipulating brain functions in behaving animals; ii) Electrophysiology, including measuring synaptic and membrane activity in brain slices, and dissecting individual brain circuits using optogenetic approaches; and iii) In vivo imaging: including imaging dendritic spines and ensemble activities in behaving rodents. Candidates are expected to be experienced in at least one of these categories of techniques. Additional training will be provided by senior fellows in the laboratory.
To learn more about the research in Dr. Dong’s Laboratory, please visit