Job ID: 115334

Predoc/Postdoc Fellowship/Assegno (1-2y, Expression of interest) – cerebellum, autism and oxytocin

Position: Post-doctoral Position

Deadline: 10 December 2023

Employment Start Date: 1 March 2024

Contract Length: 1 year (with possibility of extension)

City: Genoa

Country: Italy

Institution: University of Genoa (research location at the Italian Institute of Technology Center in San Martino Hospital)

Department: Dept. of Pharmacy (research location at the IIT Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology in San Martino Hospital)



1) structural and functional investigation of the olivo-cerebellar circuit in mouse models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

2) oxytocin role in cerebellar physiology and impact on motor and social behavior

TECHNICAL APPROACH: patch-clamp electrophysiology, immunofluorescent staining, confocal microscopy, morphometric quantitative analysis of images, viral vectors production, in vivo brain microinjection (microsurgery) in the cerebellum and brainstem, mouse behavior (locomotion and social tests)


  • You have been awarded a MSc (Laurea Magistrale) in Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Physiology, Biochemistry, Zoology, Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, or in any related fields
  • Having been awarded a PhD is a plus but not required.
  • You are motivated, self-driven, curious, a good team player, collaborative, proactive, detail-oriented, creative and able to work independently.
  • You have a work permit to work in Italy and you have had less than 4-5 years of “Assegno di Ricerca”
  • You are fluent in spoken and written English (CEFR B2-C1)
  • You have excellent communication
  • You have a good track-record considering to the duration of your research experience
  • Technical skills: you are independent in patch-clamp electrophysiology (in brain slice or cells) and/or in vivo brain stereotaxic microinjections. Experience in the following method is a plus but optional: production of high-titer lentiviral/AAV preparations, mouse behavior, immunofluorescent staining, confocal microscopy

NOTE: Speaking Italian is not required but may facilitate bureaucratic tasks (all the meetings will be in English)


By joining the team, you will:

  • aim at publishing on high-impact factor journals and applying for more independent funding
  • receive technical training to develop the skills needed for the project and not part of your expertise yet
  • have access to excellent equipment to perform a variety of methods ranging from electrophysiology, histology, microscopy, molecular biology, mouse surgery, viral vector preparations, cell cultures work, mouse behavior
  • receive training in scientific writing and other soft skills necessary to become an independent scientist or to become a competitive candidate in the professional field of choice
  • become part of a vibrant scientific community and an international scientific network, including many national and international contacts in academia and industry useful for professional development
  • receive scientific and professional supervision and advice, including the possibility to discuss and implement a personalized career development plan, according to personal desires and consistent with the scientific project
  • receive careful support to navigate the Italian bureaucratic and academic systems in Italy, Europe and/or US
  • work in an area with a high-density of high-level research institute (IIT, Univ. of Genoa, San Martino Hospital, Gaslini Hospital) and close to many more scientifically vibrant cities (e.g.: Milan, Torin, Pavia, Pisa, Rome)
  • participate to national and international collaborations involving the Italian Institute of Technology, University of Genoa, San Martino Hospital, Italian National Research Council (centers located in Milan and Florence), University of Rome Tor Vergata, University of Chicago (USA), Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam (Netherlands)
  • receive a gross annual salary of 16’248-27’133€ (tax-free, depending on experience) for 12-18 months that can be potentially extended.


The Team led by Dr. Giorgio Grasselli at the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology (NSYN) of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) at San Martino Hospital in Genoa (Italy), is investigating synaptic and non-synaptic (intrinsic and structural) plasticity of the olivo-cerebellar circuit underlying learning and memory, and its pathophysiological alterations in brain disorders, including Multiple Sclerosis, Ataxias, and Neurodevelopmental/Neuropsychiatric Disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorder) with a multi-disciplinary approach including viral vectors for in vivo gene silencing and gene expression, patch-clamp electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy for morphological studies, two-photon microscopy.

The Team-leader is Assistant Professor in Physiology at the Dept. of Pharmacy at the University of Genoa.

The Team is part of the NSYN-Center directed by Prof. Fabio Benfenati, a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative center, devoted to the Neurobiology of Disease and to the development of new Neurotechnologies aimed at clinical translation. The Center is hosted by San Martino Hospital, devoted to clinical and translational research, promoting collaborations between scientists and clinicians. It is also close and part of the University of Genova, a source of highly qualified undergrad students in Biotech and Pharmacy and the site of many stimulating academic interdisciplinary events. The team is of course also part of IIT, a highly prestigious national research network, with top-level facilities, seminars and collaboration network. The lab is conveniently located close to the Town Center.

Relevant publications:

(*equal contribution)

Team website:



This is a call for expression of interest. If you feel you may be interested, please, do not hesitate to send an email!

Please send a CV and a brief email/cover letter (shortly outlining motivations, experience and qualifications) and contact details of 1-3 referees to Dr. Giorgio Grasselli (, referring to where this announcement was read.

The best-fitting candidates will be invited for an online pre-selection interview.

Application deadline: Dec 10 2023