mardi 25 septembre 2012

Post-doctoral research associte position

A post-doctoral research associate (RA) position in Dr. Mikko Juusola’s laboratory (University of Sheffield, UK) and Ph.D. studentship in Dr. Gonzalo de Polavieja’s laboratory (Cajal Institute, Spain) available to study neural information processing in Drosophila visual system. These 3-year positions are part of a joint research project, named: “From wiring to brain function in Drosophila; the role of intrinsic activity” funded by the Leverhulme Trust, UK, and aimed at studying the impact of intrinsic activity in neural communication at the first synaptic layer, which forms the lamina optic lobe. The RA will work mostly on experiments to study the role of intrinsic activity in neural image processing in the lamina in the Juusola Lab. This research will require a range of techniques, including fly genetics, live optical Ca2+-imaging (two-photon microscopy), electron-microscopy and electrophysiology. Candidates should have knowledge of and expertise in fly genetics and/or optical Calcium-imaging; prior experience in the mathematical analysis or electrophysiology is highly desirable. An ability to work in a team is essential. The starting salary will be £28,401 to £31,798 per annum, depending on the qualifications. The Ph.D. Student position: The student will work mostly on theory; using a complete wiring diagram of the lamina and apply novel theoretical approaches to analyse and model neural activity (or animal behaviour) in the de Polavieja Lab. Students with undergraduate degree from engineering, physics and mathematics and biologists with a strong motivation for quantitative work are encouraged to contact us. Besides covering the university fees, the stipendium provides £13,590 per annum for living expenses. Both the RA and the Ph.D. student are required to spend some time each year working in our respective laboratories (Sheffield and Madrid) on various experimental and theoretical aspects of this project and to facilitate any related analysis and modelling tasks. Travel and accommodation will be covered by the grant. Recent related works from our laboratories include: • Song, Z., Postma, M., Billings, S.A., Coca, D, Hardie, R.C & Juusola, M (2012). Stochastic, Adaptive Sampling of Information by Microvilli in Fly Photoreceptors. Current Biology 22: 1371 • Wardill, T.J., List, O., Li, X., Dongre, S., McCulloch, M., Ting, C.Y., O’Kane, C.J., Tang, S., Lee, C.H., Hardie, R.C. & Juusola, M, (2012), Multiple Spectral Inputs Improve Motion Discrimination in the Drosophila Visual System. Science 336: 925. • Rivera-Alba M, Vitaladevuni SN, Mischenko Y, Lu Z, Takemura S, Scheffer L, Meinertzhagen IA, Chklovskii DB & de Polavieja G (2011). Wiring economy and volume exclusion determine neuronal placement in the Drosophila brain, Current Biology 21, 2000 • Pérez-Escudero A & de Polavieja G (2011). Collective Animal Behavior from Bayesian Estimation and Probability Matching. PLoS Comp. Biol. 7(11): e1002282 • Sorribes, A. Armendariz BG, Lopez-Pigozzi D, Murga C & de Polavieja G (2011). Origin of behavioral bursts in decision-making circuitry. PLoS Comp. Biol. 7(6): e1002075 doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002075 • Tang, S. & Juusola, M. (2010). Intrinsic Activity in the Fly Brain Gates Visual Information during Behavioral Choices. PLoS one 5(12): e14455. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0014455 • Perez-Escudero A, Rivera-Alba M & de Polavieja G (2009). Structure of deviations from optimality in biological systems', PNAS 106, 20544 • Zheng, L., de Polavieja, G.G., Wolfram W., Asyali, M.H., Hardie, R.C. & Juusola, M. (2006). • Feedback network controls photoreceptor output at the layer of first visual synapses in Drosophila. J. Gen. Physiol. 127: 495 • de Polavieja, G.G., Harsch, A., Kleppe, I., Robinson, H.P.C. & Juusola, M (2005). Stimulus history reliably shapes action potential waveforms of cortical neurons. J. Neurosci. 25: 5657 • Juusola, M. & de Polavieja, G.G. (2003). The rate of information transfer of naturalistic stimulation by graded potentials. J. Gen. Physiol. 122: 191 Both positions will be filled from 1st of January 2013 to 31st December 2015. Please contact: or for more details