The NBT-NSYN Department is activating a procedure for the selection of candidates for n. 4 IIT RESEARCHER positions for the following research profiles:
1. Biorobotic applications of the Octopus arm
Eligible candidates should have strong experience in mollusks/invertebrate neuroscience and in the field of motor control. The applicant needs to have deep experience in in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology and biophysics competences applied in the field of bio-robotics. The project will focus on the function of the octopus arm mechanics from molecular motors to the whole arm biomechanics. In particular, the candidate will be asked to perform experiments of (i) electrophysiology of dissociated arm/muscle preparation and of an entire arm muscle segment; (ii) extension/contraction of dissociated muscle bundles; (iii) biophysics tests on the various muscle types. The candidate will be asked to interface with robotics engineers for the application of the acquired biological information in the construction of artificial bio-inspired elements.
2. Role of postsynaptic receptor lateral diffusion in neuronal computation
Applicants should have a solid background in synaptic neuroscience, with demonstrated experience in the study of postsynaptic mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and in the biophysics of synaptic transmission. The successful candidate should have a multidisciplinary expertise including single particle tracking techniques, ultrafast postsynaptic receptor activation, electrophysiology, advanced imaging and optic control of ligand-gated receptors. In tight collaboration with the nanostructures and nanophysics departments, the candidate will be required to develop and implement the near field illumination technology applied to the study of the synapse at nanometer resolution. By exploiting these techniques she/he will study the role of surface receptor diffusion i) in post-synaptic modifications during synaptic plasticity, ii) in fast inter-synaptic receptor redistribution and iii) in relation to receptor conformational states.
3. Neurotrophin signalling in neuronal development and optical modulation of neuronal communication.
The candidate should have experience in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, applied to the field of neuroscience. In particular, he/she should have an in-depth knowledge of the intracellular effectors modulating neurotrophin signalling in neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. In addition, the candidate should be familiar with the field of optogenetics. He/she will be asked to apply molecular and cell biology techniques to design, clone and test a range of novel optogenetic probes based on (i) currently available excitatory and inhibitory opsins; (ii) pH-sensitive variants of GFP; (iii) light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) domains. Such probes will be employed to modulate neuronal excitability and gene transcription in vitro and in vivo.
4. Role of adult neurogenesis in memory and neurogenesis-enhancing therapies for cognitive impairments.
The candidate should have experience in both the in vivo evaluation of hippocampal adult neurogenesis as well as practice in the in vitro culture of hippocampal adult neural stem cells. In particular, he/she should have knowledge on the molecular manipulation of intracellular pathway governing the generation of newborn neurons from adult neural stem cells. In addition, the candidate should be familiar with the assessment of pharmacologic treatments promoting hippocampal adult neurogenesis to rescue cognitive impairment in relevant disease models. He/she will be asked to: (i) evaluate the efficacy of neurogenesis-enhancing treatments on memory deficits in Down syndrome; (ii) investigate of the role of GABA signaling in the regulation of adult neurogenesis and in circuit integration of adult-generated neurons; (iii) develop new tools for monitoring the proliferation and differentiation dynamics of adult neural stem cells.
Eligible candidates are senior postdocs with specific expertise in the above-mentioned research lines. Preferential requirements are first author ISI publications, previous experience in foreign laboratories, coordination of undergraduate and PhD students, research grants obtained as PI or participants.
The selection procedure will be performed by a panel of three distinguished scientists expert in the specific fields and will be based on the CV evaluation and interview.
In order to comply with the Italian law (art. 23 of Privacy Law of the Italian Legislative Decree n. 196/03), we have to kindly ask the candidate to give his/her consent to allow IIT to process his/her personal data.
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