For more information please contact Prof. dr. Eve Seuntjens, tel.: +32 16 37 31 35, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof. dr. William Schafer, tel.: +32 16 19 38 43, mail: email@example.com.You can apply for this job no later than September 30, 2021 via the online application tool
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The octopus is a mollusk with a complex nervous system containing half a billion neurons (similar to a small primate), millisecond camouflage and sophisticated behavior suggesting complex cognition. Yet at the basic molecular and neurochemical levels the octopus brain remains enigmatic, and shows fundamental differences from the better-studied brains of vertebrates. For example, whereas vertebrate brains use three excitatory transmitters (glutamate, ACh and serotonin) for fast neurotransmission, we have recently discovered dopamine-gated cation channels that are expressed in the optic lobe of the octopus brain. Understanding the roles of these channels in visual processing will help reveal how complex intelligence can arise from molecular and cellular building blocks very different from our own.
Within the framework of this project, we seek to hire a postdoctoral researcher that can develop in vitro and in vivo models of developing neural tissue as well as methodologies for genetic manipulation and neural activity measurements in octopus brain organoids.
The project is a joint project between the teams of Eve Seuntjens (KU Leuven) and Bill Schafer (LMB Cambridge/KU Leuven), and involves close collaboration with the teams of Adrian Ranga (KU Leuven), Stein Aerts (VIB/KU Leuven) and Dries Braeken (IMEC). This multidisciplinary project thus provides an opportunity to apply and learn from a wide range of approaches, including cellular and developmental neuroscience, electrophysiology, molecular genetics and organoid culture.
One year contract, renewable to 3 years pending satisfactory progress, or successful fellowship application.