Job offers

Post-doctoral position to study synaptic membrane biology in neurological disease Leuven Company: VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research Department of Goodchild and Verstreken labs

We have a post-doctoral position to study the cell biological basis of neurological disease in the Goodchild and Verstreken labs in the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research in Belgium.

Coordinated production of membrane lipids is central to many aspects of neuronal development and function. Furthermore, mutations in lipid metabolic enzymes are connected to many neurological diseases (Grillet, et al, Developmental Cell. 2016; Lauwers, et al, Neuron. 2016) including the related movement disorders of Parkinsons Disease and Dystonia. However, how synapses control the quantity and composition of their membranes is poorly understood. Not least this is because lipid synthesis occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum organelle which is poorly characterized in axons and synapses.

We have a joint post-doc position available in our labs to study how neurological-disease associated defects in lipid metabolism affect organelle and synaptic morphology and function. This project combines neurological disease with classic cell biology and neuroscience, and uses fly as a model organism. Our department houses state of the art live cell imaging capacities, 3D electron microscopy and CLEM, has an electrophysiology core, and CRISPR expertise to generate new genetic models. All these are available for this project.

Your Profile
Publication(s) in neuroscience, cell biology and/ or mechanistic disease research. Helpful to have Drosophila or electrophysiology experience, but priority is given to motivated candidates. The position has funding, although the succesful candidate is also expected to apply for personal fellowships.

About VIB and the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain and Disease Research.
VIB is a leading European life science institute, located in Flanders, Belgium. With more than 1470 scientists from over 60 countries, we perform basic research into the molecular foundations of life. The town of Leuven is located in the heart of Europe, with convenient high speed train, motorway and airport transport. In addition, our department is embedded within the KU Leuven university, that is ranked within the world’s top 50, and is a leading academic center.

How to Apply
email to Rose Goodchild ( or Patrik Verstreken ( with a short personal statement on your interest and a CV.

Post-doctoral position Busto Arsizio Company: University of Insubria Department of Dept. of Biotechnology and Life Sciences Start in 01 October 2017 Duration: 1 year, renewable

A post-doctoral position in Neuroscience is available in the group of Dr. Lia Forti and Prof. Maurizio Popoli, starting October 2017.

Stress increases the risk of psychiatric pathologies, such as anxiety, depression and PTSD. The group has developed a strong interest in a thorough dissection of the brain stress response and search for new druggable targets (Nature Rev Neurosci 2016, 13:22-37; Mol Psychiatry 2014, 19:433–443; Mol Psychiatry 2016, doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.175). Changes in basal glutamatergic transmission and synaptic plasticity have a likely role in the stress response. Our research projects are centred on changes induced by acute stress in glutamatergic evoked and spontaneous synaptic activity and in neuronal morphology in the rodent prefrontal cortex. We aim at distinguishing between vulnerable and resilient individuals and elucidating the molecular and functional basis of differential vulnerability.

Experimental approaches will make extensive use of patch-clamp electrophysiology in acute brain slices from acutely stressed animals. The project design includes behavioural tests, testing of traditional and rapid-acting antidepressants on synaptic function, and morphostructural analysis of neuronal dendrites and spines density.
The project is conducted in close interaction with collaborating neuropsychopharmacology and molecular biology groups: the successful candidate will be exposed to multidisciplinary approaches.

Applicants must have a PhD with a neuroscience background and have experience with in vitro or in vivo brain research. Experience with patch-clamp and brain slice electrophysiology is expected.

Candidates should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, past research background and accomplishments, copy of degrees, and names of two references to Dr. Lia Forti. The candidate should also state how he/she would imagine his/her role in the project (max 1 page)

Postdoctoral position Milan Company: University of Milan Department of Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences Start in 01 October 2017 Duration: Two years

The Laboratory of Neurotoxicology at the Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Milan offers a post-doctoral position within the group leaded by Barbara Viviani.
Our group investigates the molecular mechanisms involved in the modulation of the glutamatergic circuitry by neurotoxicants and neuroinflammation, the relevance in neuronal synaptogenesis and maturation, and the role in an increased neuronal vulnerability to damage.
The successful candidate will be involved in a multi-centre project focusing on micronutrients in early life to preserve the glutamatergic synapse and prevent environmental contaminants induced developmental toxicity. The projects include a combination of in vitro, ex-vivo, biochemical and imaging techniques.
The candidate must have a Ph.D. (or be close to completion) and experience in neuroscience, toxicology and cell biology; be highly motivated, with a strong attitude to independent work and good interpersonal and communication skills (experience in scientific publishing required).
Candidates with prior experience on cell cultures (also primary), animal handling, molecular biology and confocal imaging will have priority. Fluency in English and the ability to work in an international environment is mandatory.
The position is for two years and is expected to start in autumn 2017.
Applications written in English including a cover letter explaining your motivations and previous work, a CV with a list of publications and two reference letters (all assembled is a single PDF document) should be sent to Prof. Barbara Viviani by e-mail (

PhD Pisa Company: CNR Neuroscience Institute Start in 01 October 2017 Duration: 3 years

We are seeking a highly motivated fellow to join our team at the CNR Neuroscience Institute, in Pisa, Italy ( The candidate will apply to a 3 years PhD program (Dottorato Toscano di Neuroscienze,
Our lab investigates novel strategies leading to functional recovery after stroke. In particular, the PhD candidate will be involved in a project aimed at studying the effects of reprogramming reactive astrocytes into neurons after an ischemic lesion in mouse forelimb motor cortex (Alia et al., Sci Rep 2016). Reprogramming will be accomplished by viral-mediated expression of a set of transcription factors, which is sufficient to convert reactive glia into neurons with very high efficiency (Gascon et al., Cell Stem Cell 2016). Functional endpoints will include behavioral analyses of motor function as well as electrophysiological recordings from the reprogrammed neurons. The PhD candidate will apply a variety of experimental approaches including neurophysiological techniques, injections of AAV vectors, optogenetic/chemogenetic approaches, in-vivo pharmacology and behavioral analysis.
The project originates from a collaboration between the CNR Neuroscience Institute (Dr. Matteo Caleo), the Scuola Normale Superiore (Dr. Federico Cremisi) and the Helmholtz Zentrum, Munich (Dr. Magdalena Gotz). The PhD candidate will spend at least three months in Munich to learn the protocols for neuronal reprogramming.
Students from all disciplines of life sciences, medicine, physics, pharmacy are welcome to apply. Expertise in in-vivo studies of brain function is an important prerequisite. Excellent written and verbal English communication skills are also important. Italian applicants must hold (or being in the process of obtaining by July 31, 2017) a MSc degree (e.g. Laurea specialistica o Magistrale).
Applicants are invited to contact Dr. Matteo Caleo ( Please attach your CV and a letter of presentation from your PI.

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Research fellow position Elisabetta Ciani Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna - 40126 Bologna 0512091773