Job ID: 60115

Postodoctoral position (18 months): Understanding the role of the corticomesolimbic pathway in the emotional comorbidities of chronic pain

Position: Post-doctoral Position

Deadline: 1 November 2021

Employment Start Date: 3 January 2022

Contract Length: 18 months

City: Strasbourg

Country: France

Institution: Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences (CNRS), Strasbourg, France

Department: Neurosciences


Rational: Mood disorders such as depression are frequently observed in patients suffering from chronic pain. Epidemiological studies report a prevalence rate around 50% for major depressive disorder in chronic pain patients, meaning that these patients have 3-times more risk to develop depression than the normal population. Although this comorbidity is clinically well established, the underlying cerebral mechanisms remain unclear. To dissect these mechanisms, an important step was to establish a preclinical model of this comorbidity in rodents, and our group was among the firsts to establish such a model in mouse. Indeed, we showed that anxiodepressive-like disorders (ADD) progressively emerged and unfold over the course of several months following the induction of neuropathic pain. While this protracted and reversible course suggests dynamic brain alterations along the development of this comorbidity, the brain networks involved were not totally deciphered yet.

Objective: This project aims at assessing how the cortico-habenulo-tegmental network is affected during the successive phases of the chronic pain model. Accordingly, the post-doc will implement a new methodology, the fiber photometry, in order to perform longitudinal co-recordings of the activity of the 3 brain areas of this network in freely moving animals .

Methodology and experimental design: The post-doc will use a well-established CPID model which consists in constriction of the main branch of the sciatic nerve in C57BL/6J mice, in combination with in vivo calcium recordings.

Work context: The candidate will work directly with Dr Ipek Yalcin, co-leader of the team “Neuroanatomy, Pain and Psychopathologies” at the Insitute of Cellular and Cognitive Neurosciences (CNRS, UPR3212). The lenght of the contract is 18 months.

Requirements: We are looking for a motivated and autonomous candidate, with a Ph.D in Neurosciences or any related field, and a solid experience of at least 2 years in an international research lab. A strong expertise in rodent behavior, stereotaxic surgery, virus injection and fiber photometry is required. A good mastery of the analytic pipelines required to analyse such recordings will be appreciated.

Additional info: The salary of the candidate will start from 2737.88€ to 3868.47€ depending on his/her experience. PhD degree must have been obtained after the 1st of January in 2017.