Postdoctoral Associate -- Genetic Approaches to Spinal Cord Injury and Repair
Spence Lab, Temple University Dept. of Bioengineering
October 1, 2018
Full Time - Experienced
Academic / Research
The Spence Lab within the Department of Bioengineering at Temple University is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow to uncover the mechanisms of enhanced recovery from spinal cord injury using techniques from synthetic biology (chemogenetics; DREADDs) and regenerative neuroscience (viral transduction), alongside genetic tracing and histological analyses, electrophysiology, kinematic analyses, and novel robotic instrumentation. The two year position is available immediately through December 2020.
Funded by a Shriner’s Hospitals for Children grant, the work will seek to use chemogenetic tools (DREADDs) to excite and inhibit specific classes of sensory afferents in walking rats to enhance recovery from a model spinal cord injury, and to understand the basic contribution of these afferents to movement in intact mammals. We will subsequently use genetic tracing techniques to identify mechanisms of plasticity within spinal cord circuitry. Our approach combines the latest in genetic techniques (chemogenetics using DREADDs, and potentially optogenetics) with a robotic treadmill and computer vision tracking for kinematics, to get at important basic and applied questions in motor control and spinal cord injury. Experience in areas of recovery surgery and rodent behavior, electrophysiology, spinal cord circuitry and afferent systems, and/or kinematics, computer vision and robotics, are all beneficial but not necessarily required; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The Spence lab is currently a vibrant group with three phd students and a host of undergraduate scholars, in the great city of Philadelphia, with strong ties to the Temple Medical School and Shriners Pediatric Neuroscience Research Center (Prof. G. Smith) and Prof. Michel Lemay’s group within Bioengineering.
Relevant areas of expertise include recovery surgery and rodent behavior (rats especially); molecular genetics and viral transduction methods, immunohistochemistry and standard histology, electrophysiology, spinal cord circuitry and afferent systems, and/or some kinematics, computer vision and robotics, are all beneficial but not necessarily required; please contact email@example.com for more detailed enquiries.
Internal Number: spence_shriners_postdoc
About Spence Lab, Temple University Dept. of Bioengineering
As a group we are interested in the neuromechanical basis of locomotion. Evolution has produced animals (including humans) with breath-taking abilities. Legged animals gallop, climb, and jump through complex, uncertain environments. We are challenged with discovering the mechanisms by which legged systems achieve these feats. If we can discover the general principles of how biological systems move, then we can advance both biology and medicine, whilst inspiring new technology. In recent years, we have an additional new focus on applied work, using genetic tools to aid in neuromuscular injuries and disorders. In ongoing work we are using chemogenetics tools (DREADDs) to modulate afferent feedback, hoping to improve recovery from spinal cord injury, and discover how treatments like epidural electrical stimulation (EES) work. This work is in collaboration with Profs. Michel Lemay in BioE and George Smith at Temple Neuroscience. We take an integrative approach. In the words of Karl Popper, we are students of problems, not disciplines. There is no reason to think the best tools to solve a given problem will come from within one discipline. Further, we strive to integrate across length scales to give more accurate understanding, and to tightly integrate theory and experiment.