Job ID: 116483

PhD to investigate cells and circuits for spatial orientation in mice

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 14 October 2023

Employment Start Date: 1 January 2024

Contract Length: 3 years

City: Paris

Country: France

Institution: CNRS

Department: Université Paris Cité


A 3-year ANR funded PhD position is available to work in the Spatial Orientation Team, under the supervision of Dr. Desdemona Fricker, at the Integrative Neuroscience and Cognition Center (CNRS UMR 8002, Université Paris Cité, 45 rue des Saints-Pères, Paris, France). The successful candidate will be involved in a collaborative project on spatial orientation and myelination, dedicated to studying the head direction circuit in the mouse brain.

The presubiculum, in the hippocampus, is crucial for head direction coding and the integration of vestibular and visual sensory signals. But the contribution of myelination to the brain wide circuit dynamics and to the intrinsic properties of specific populations of head direction neurons remains largely unknown. The appointee will examine the function of single neurons, circuit interactions, and populations activities, during the maturation of the spatial orientation system, in a transgenic mouse model where myelination is arrested. The overall aim is to advance our understanding of multisensory integration, and the role of myelination, for coordinated head direction signaling.

Applicants should hold a Masters degree with a background in neuroscience, biology, physics or engineering. The ideal candidate wishes to develop practical skills for ex vivo and in vivo experimental work, and has a desire to understand the principles underlying the functioning of the nervous system.

She/he will use high density electrophysiological recordings of single units in the awake animal (Neuropixels), slice electrophysiology (patch clamp) and optogenetics. Other techniques, including behavioral and anatomical analysis (microscopy), will complement this approach as needed. Programming skills for electrophysiological data analysis will be helpful.

For applications we request:
(i) a cover letter including a statement of motivation for this project
(ii) a curriculum vitae
(iii) the names and addresses, including emails, of two references.
For enquiries, please contact Desdemona Fricker at Applications will be evaluated until position is filled. Starting date is flexible. The position is funded by a collaborative ANR grant with the laboratory of Dr Nathalie Sol-Foulon at the Paris Brain Institute. The candidate will be enrolled with the doctoral school Ed3C PhD program, Université Paris Cité.