University of Colorado - School of Medicine
Computational Postdoctoral Fellow
The Computational Neuroscience Unit is recruiting a postdoctoral researcher to study the computational aspects of brain function using the retina as a model system. The role of the retina is to convert a vast amount of information present in the visual scene to a meaningful signal that can be decoded by downstream regions. In the lab unit, we interleave multi-compartmental modeling (NEURON simulation platform), electrophysiology (extracellular single-cell recording and intracellular patch clamp) and calcium imaging (two-photon microscopy) of light-evoked neuronal responses to study neuronal computation on multiple levels, starting with the properties of a single synapse, integration of signals in the postsynaptic cell and flow of information within neural networks.
Dr. Alon Poleg-Polsky's lab unit is part of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine which is known for its highly collaborative environment with many opportunities to interact with other sensory systems and computational neuroscience groups in a newly established research building.
Areas of Responsibility / Scope of Research:
The candidate will be able to choose among several projects:
Study the role of NMDARs in synaptic integration in different visual circuits
NMDARs are ubiquitously expressed in the brain, and mediate a significant portion of the excitatory drive. We had recently shown how NMDARs have the potential to significantly alter the rules of synaptic integration (Neuron. 2016 Mar 16;89(6):1277-90. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.02.013). This project aims to examine NMDAR participation in different computational tasks to construct a comprehensive understanding of NMDAR function in the brain.
Elucidate the mechanisms of Direction Selectivity (DS) in the retina
Detection of stimulus direction is a classic neurocomputation performed in diverse sensory systems. We have developed a theoretical framework that builds upon and expands previous models of DS. In this project, we will combine calcium imaging and genetic manipulations to examine directly whether these models help explain the biology of DS circuit, eventually building a detailed network simulation to explain how the retina solves this interesting computational problem.
Examine changes in neural activity during disease
Pathological neurological conditions are often associated with an abnormal neuronal function, which can induce metabolic overload and increase the risk of cell death. We will compare activity in identified circuits at a single cell resolution between animals with retinal and general brain disorders to healthy controls. Our goal is to probe the link between function and disease prognosis and test potential treatment options.
Education, training, experience:
Graduation from an accredited college or university with a PhD/MD in field related to Neuroscience.
Experience and publications in the field of Neuroscience.
Experience in Neurological Modeling, Coding, Electrophysiology, and/or Imaging
Salary and Benefits:
Salary is commensurate with skills and experience. The University of Colorado offers a full benefits package. Information on University benefits programs, including eligibility, is located at Employee Services.
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