Project Title: The mechanisms of Working Memory: from neuronal circuits to synapses.

Keywords: working memory, neural activity, cortical micro-circuit, NMDA receptors, calcium imaging, animal behaviour, quantitative data analysis

Project description: This is a unique opportunity for a strongly motivated candidate interested in studying the mechanisms, from synapses to neuronal circuits, underling Working Memory, the cognitive ability to maintain information in the brain during brief periods of time. The candidate will develop an animal model to test the retention of a parametric stimulus in Working Memory. The behaviour will be combined with a cutting-edge large-field calcium imaging technology to simultaneously monitor the activity of large number of individual neurons distributed over several cortical areas. Using our recently established reversible antibody-mediated disruption of NMDA receptor function in mice (Planagumà et al 2015) we will characterize at the behavioural and neural circuit levels, the largely debated role of the NMDA receptor in Working Memory. The candidate will perform quantitative analyses of large data sets using methods from modern statistical analysis and machine learning.

Hosting labs and institution: The project will be developed within a collaboration between several investigators in IDIBAPS (Barcelona): Josep Dalmau, MD, PhD, Pablo Jercog PhD, Albert Compte PhD and Jaime de la Rocha PhD. Together, these labs have a strong publication record investigating the neural circuit basis of Working Memory and synaptic receptor mediated autoimmune brain pathologies, and they have extended experience in Calcium imaging, electro-physiology, analysis of behavioural/neuronal data sets and computational modeling. The project is supported by CELLEX foundation and the European Research Council, and will be developed at IDIBAPS, a public biomedical research institute whose mission is to encourage Systems Neuroscience, translational research, and technological progress in the field of Biomedicine. The candidate will enroll in the Biomedicine PhD program of the University of Barcelona.

Candidate profile: Candidates with a very good track record in their undergraduate degree (e.g. biology, physics or psychology), a Master’s in a neuroscience-related discipline and with an interest in cognition, in vivo neuronal imaging, and advanced data analysis techniques are encouraged to apply. Candidates with good oral and written skills in English will be given preference. Previous experience with Calcium imaging, training of rodents or programming (Matlab, Python, etc.) will be highly valued.

Please check the bases of the call in this MINECO website or email Dr de la Rocha for more information. The official application deadline is Sept. 27th 2016.


Animal Research Lab Technician Open position.

We offer:

  • A 5 years contract to become the Lab technician of our team, participating in all the laboratory activities.
  • Opportunity to conduct in animal experiments and participate in the research process.
  • Large responsibility and a high degree of autonomy with strong support from the Principal Investigator.
  • Training/courses on working with research animals in the laboratory.
  • Training on simple data analysis techniques.
  • A unique opportunity to shape the laboratory expertise and contribute with ideas on the design of experiments.
  • Competitive remuneration according to Spanish salary standards and depending on previous experience.

You will:

  • Train rats and mice in performing simple perceptual tasks using a computer-controlled system that records and controls the behavioral apparatus.
  • Perform brain surgeries for implanting subcranial electrodes or cannulas.
  • Conduct the behavioral experiments during which animals brain activity will be recorded or manipulated.
  • Quantify and monitor the behavioral performance of the animals using custom-made software. Make simple reports about behavioral performance using simple data analysis programs (e.g. Excell, Matlab).
  • Place laboratory orders regarding the animal experiments.

Our requirements:

  • Previous experience working with mice and rats is an advantage.
  • Responsibility, attention to detail and high motivation.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, strong problem-solving skills as well as organizational capabilities.
  • Ability to keep track of multiple simultaneous animal experiments.
  • Fluency in English (spoken and written). Notions of Spanish or Catalan will be a plus.

To Apply:

  • Applicants are requested to submit a short cover/motivation letter explaining their suitability for the position and curriculum vitae.
  • Applications should be submitted before April 1st 2016 to Jaime de la Rocha, as e-mail attachments (PDF format only), to jrochav [at] clinic.cat

Leave a Reply