Joint application for a Postdoctoral fellowship in Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis (HFSP)

Summary Information

Category: Postdoctoral fellowship, Joint application, Human Frontier Science Program
Type of Contract: 36 months
Working Hours: 40 hours/week
Salary: Estimated, from 34.200 (Y1) to 37.320 (Y3) annual gross euros.
Location: Leioa, Spain
Deadline: August 5, 2019
Job Starting Date: April 1, 2020.
How to apply: Send an updated CV, a motivation letter and the contact details of 2 referees to jm.encinas@ikerbasque.org indicating in the subject of the message: HFSP Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2019

Job Summary

The laboratory of Neural Stems Cells and Neurogenesis at ACHUCARRO (led by Prof. Juanma Encinas) is looking for a highly-motivated researcher interested in applying for the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Long-Term and Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships.

The candidate must have a Mathematics, Computational Science or Electrophysiology background and be willing to learn Dynamic Patch-Clamp to analyse with an unprecedented level of resolution the properties of hippocampal newborn generated in epilepsy and traumatic brain injury mouse models. Depending on the competitiveness of the researcher other joint applications/calls can be discussed and foreseen.

Candidates must comply with the SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS of the present offer, including the APPLICATION PROCEDURE.

Job Description

This research program proposes to study for the first time and with an unprecedented level of resolution, the dynamic modification of ion-channel function and the transition of the excitability processes as a postnatal/adult newborn dentate gyrus granule neurons develop towards maturation. Further, the analysis will be done using mouse models of epilepsy and traumatic brain injury (TBI) which with we have been working for several years.  Immature granule cells integrate and must adapt their intrinsic electrical properties to the existing neural circuit modifying physiologically the overall circuit function. But newborn neurons are sensitive to niche alterations (hyperexcitation, neuroinflammation) in which case their altered properties (aberrant neurogenesis) disrupt the overall circuit function. This is a complex (possibly multi-scale) phenomenon in which the granule cell undergoes a homeostatic non-synaptic plasticity (driven by the activity in the local environment) and finally synaptically integrates (via synaptic plasticity) into the local circuit.

The proposed research is the first study of its kind in which a full characterization of this process will contribute to the field of neurogenesis and in general to memory and learning, which impairment are hallmarks of epilepsy and TBI. To advance, we will follow a multidisciplinary approach by combining novel dynamic-clamp electrophysiology, mathematical modeling and advanced signal processing techniques. This is made possible as we bring together an inter-disciplinary team of researchers, which includes Neuroscientists (Experimentalists), Mathematicians and a Physicists. The candidate is expected to have a solid background on Mathematics and Computational Science and be willing to learn new techniques and concepts crossing the barriers between biology, mathematics and computational science. The candidate must be motivated, self-driven and be able to work independently. On the other hand the candidate must able to integrate in a collaborative team, and will be mentored and nurtured in a thrilling, young and international environment.

The host lab is composed of eleven team members including senior researchers, postdocs and PhD students and has a remarkable track record of publications and funding. The Achucarro Center, young and international, is one of the Basque Excellence Research Centers and provides outstanding research opportunities. The Basque Country offers impressive quality of life with unique combination of nature, culture and gastronomy.

Special requirements

  • SPANISH nationality candidates are NOT eligible to apply for the present offer, even if pre- or post-doctoral studies were completed abroad or the PhD was obtained in another country. Candidates with dual nationalities can be accepted in very specific conditions.
  • The PhD degree of the candidate must have been conferred in the 3 years prior to the submission deadline, i.e. between September 1, 2016 and August 22, 2019. NOTE: Exceptional situations or career breaks can be taken in consideration, if a justification is provided.
  • In case the candidate was still not awarded the PhD degree, it must be conferred the latest by December 2020.
  • Candidates who started to work in SPAIN prior to 1 April 2019 are not eligible for the present offer.
  • Candidates who on 1 April 2020 (which is the earliest possible fellowship start date) have spent more than 12 months (consecutive or not) in SPAIN are not eligible for the present offer.
  • Candidates who have obtained their PhD or have carried out their first post-doctoral studies in SPAIN are not eligible to apply to the present offer, regardless their nationality.
  • Applications to move from one laboratory to another in the same country (SPAIN) are not eligible.
  • Candidates that have worked previously at ACHUCARRO are not eligible for the present offer, except if a completely different project is pursued.
  • Candidates must have at least one lead author, full-length research paper - either accepted for publication, in press or published - in an international peer-reviewed journal or published on a preprint server such as bioRxiv by August 22, 2019.
  • The candidate must be available to work in the HFSP proposal application during August as the deadline for submission of proposals is the 22nd August 2019.

About Achucarro

Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience (ACHUCARRO) is a Basque Excellence Research Center (BERC) created by the Basque Government in 2012. Since 2017 this center is located in a new building in the Science Park of in Leioa, the main campus of the public University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), that provides cutting-edge facilities. The center has been awarded by the European Commission with the HR Excellence in Research to his commitment with the European charter for researchers and the code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers. It hosts 35 senior and associate researchers developing research lines in the field of neuron-glia interactions in the normal and pathological brain, 10 postdocs, more than 10 technician/management personnel and provides training opportunities to about 30 PhD students. In the center, they have carried out many projects funded by the Basque Government, Spanish Government, European Union, etc. Since 2015, Achucarro as a whole has more than 200 scientific publications in prestigious international journals which have received nearly 4.000 cites. It is at the forefront in the field of neurosciences providing a multidisciplinary environment where several areas of expertise (medicine, biology, biochemistry and pharmacy) meet, creating a unique and internationally-recognized research center.

Achucarro commits to the principles laid down in the European Commission's Recommendation (March 11, 2005) for the European Charter for Researchers (The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers).