Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Molecular Neuroscience/Cell Biology at University of Bristol,UK
A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Dr Jonathan Hanley, to investigate the neuronal cell biological mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, which is thought to underlie learning and memory. Experiments will utilise molecular, biochemical and imaging techniques to study the signaling pathways and protein interactions that regulate AMPA receptor trafficking and/or dendritic spine morphogenesis in cell culture models of synaptic plasticity and/or ischaemia. The position will involve close collaboration with other members of the MRC Centre for Synaptic Plasticity at the University of Bristol.
The post is available on a fixed term basis for 3 years.
PICK1 interacts with a number of important proteins as part of this trafficking process (Hanley, 2008; Rocca et al., 2008), and we have recently found additional proteins that interact directly with AMPARs or PICK1, that are likely to be important in AMPAR trafficking and/or spine morphology (unpublished).
The aim of the project will be to elucidate the role of these proteins in AMPAR trafficking or dendritic spine morphogenesis in cell culture models of synaptic plasticity or ischaemia.
The MRC Centre for Synaptic Plasticity has state-of-the-art imaging facilities to enable a range of live and fixed-cell techniques, using confocal and wide-field microscopy. The project will involve the use of a variety of molecular and biochemical approaches to investigate protein-protein interactions, and to manipulate protein expression in primary neuronal cultures. Imaging will be carried out in neurons expressing shRNA and/or mutant proteins to analyse the dynamics of spine morphogenesis and receptor trafficking when these protein interactions are altered. In addition, collaborations with electrophysiologists in the MRC Centre will provide important information about the function of these pathways in synaptic transmission.
This work will provide important new information about the mechanisms that underlie physiological and pathological synaptic processes. The successful applicant will join an active and dynamic team and benefit from complementary interests and technical expertise in molecular and cellular neuroscience.
Application Deadline 15 September 2010