Connecting European Neuroscience

Post-doctoral position in Graz/Austria

11 April 2019

Post-doctoral position in Graz/Austria

Job ID


Aim: To use ATUMTome SEM (a 3D scanning electron microscope method) in order to elucidate the connectivity in a locust’s visual circuit. We can learn a lot about how a neuronal network could function by elucidating the wiring pattern of the network. This will be done by reconstructing the neurons in 3D and mapping their synaptic connections, so that it becomes clear which neurons within the network can communicate with each other and how numerically strong the connections are.
The circuit under investigation is from the compound eye and functions to detect and avoid collisions. Avoidance reactions are mediated by two single linked motion detecting neurons one pair on each side of the locust, termed the LGMD1 and DCMD. The LGMD1 becomes excited whenever an object approaches the eye on a collision course.
We know that thousands of upstream neurons, from the compound eye, contribute to the excitation of the LGMD1. But because these TmAs have very small processes, we yet have no definite idea as to how the neurons before the TmAs contribute to the LGMD1 excitation pattern. We assume that the TmAs signal changes in light levels in distinct facets of the compound eye and are able to inhibit each other to help the LGMD1 distinguish between approaching and passing objects.
As we now have a novel, scanning electron microscope available to reconstruct entire neurons, we aim to reconstruct the TmAs and those neurons that pass signals onto them. We also aim to map the connections made onto the TmAs, to elucidate how the LGMD1 circuit works.
The successful applicant will be part of a team with longstanding experience in electron microscopy and make use of state - of - the - art equipment, I will facilitate the project and there will be some support by technicians.
Required Education and Skills: PhD with experience in Neuroscience and / or Electron Microscopy. You should strive to forward this project independently and support PhD and Master students.

Funding Agency: FWF

Job Information

Closing date:
Employment start date:
Contract length:
3 years
Medical University of Graz
Division of Cell Biology, Histology and Embryology, Gottfried Schatz Research Center

Contact Information

Gerd Leitinger
Neue Stiftingtalstraße 6
8010 Graz

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