Postdoctoral position on the project "Functional and structural plasticity of neurons underlying memory and neurological diseases" - [ Postdoc ]

Workplace: Genova, NSYN@Unige
Added on: 14/06/2019 - Expires on: 15/07/2019

A Junior Postdoctoral position is opening up at the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology (NSYN) of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), at IRCCS San Martino Hospital (Genoa, Italy) ( ) for the study of the functional and structural plasticity underlying memory and disease (see Grasselli et al., Cell Rep 2016 14:2546–2553; Paonessa et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2016 113:91-100; Grasselli et al., 2013 Br J Pharmacol 2013 168:502-17; Grasselli et al., PLoS ONE 2011 6: e20791.

The project focuses on the cerebellum as a model brain area and will take advantage of conditional knockout murine strains, in vivo delivery of viral vectors for protein/shRNA expression, confocal microscopy, patch-clamp electrophysiology, optogenetics and time-lapse imaging. It aims at clarifying how modulations of intrinsic excitability affect axonal morphology and how axonal structural plasticity affects circuit function in memory coding and in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy.

The candidate should have a relevant PhD, be highly motivated, collaborative, and able to work independently. He/she will have excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Previous experience in patch-clamp electrophysiology in brain slices and data analysis, stereotactic surgery, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy and image analysis will be appreciated.

To apply, please send a motivation letter (including major scientific and technical expertise, achievements, professional goals in the short- and mid-/long-term, and motivations for the interest in the specific call), a CV (including publications) and names and contacts of two referees to Dr. Giorgio Grasselli ( and Prof. Fabio Benfenati ( quoting “Post doc FunStructure CB 77060” in the subject line.

Applications will be reviewed until summer 2019 but for full consideration please apply by July 15, 2019.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for skype/in-person interview.

The position will start by fall 2019.

Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public scientific Research Institute established in 2003 by the Italian Ministries of Research and of Economy, in order to promote excellence in basic and applied research and to facilitate technological development. Its research lines range from Neuroscience, Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, to Computer Science, Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials and Robotics. Within IIT, NSYN is a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative center, devoted to the Neurobiology of Disease and to the development of new Neurotechnologies aimed at clinical translation.

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.

Please note that the data that you provide will be used exclusively for the purpose of  professional profiles’ evaluation and selection, and in order to meet the requirements of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

Your data will be processed by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, based in Genoa, Via Morego 30, acting as Data Controller, in compliance with the rules on protection of personal data, including those related to data security.

Please also note that, pursuant to articles 15 et. seq. of European Regulation no. 679/2016 (General Data Protection Regulation), you may exercise your rights at any time by contacting the Data Protection Officer (phone +39 010 71781 - email: dpo[at]

Fabio Benfenati
Involved Research lines
Neuroscience and Smart Materials


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.