Job ID: 60786

Post-doc: Genetic control of endogenous epileptogenicity in focal cortical dysplasia

Position: Post-doctoral Position

Deadline: 30 November 2021

Employment Start Date: 1 January 2022

Contract Length: 3 years

City: Prague

Country: Czech Republic

Institution: Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University

Department: Department of Physiology

Description:

We seek a postdoctoral scientist with an interest in epilepsy to work on a project (funded by AZV of the Czech Republic) on the genetic control of seizures and epileptiform phenomena in epilepsy due to malformation of cortical development.

Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is a highly epileptogenic malformation and the most common cause of pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Recent studies demonstrated that somatic mutations in signaling cascades involved in cell proliferation and migration underlie FCDs. Particularly, mutations resulting in a hyperactivated mTOR seem to play a fundamental role FCD-related epilepsy. Neither the role of the neuronal lineage carrying the somatic mutation nor the role of abnormally connected non-mutated principal cells or interneurons in epilepsy and seizures in FCD have been defined. The central aims of the project are:

  • to dissect the role of the individual neuronal classes including mutated neurons in epilepsy and seizures.
  • to evaluate cell-specific genetic silencing/activation of neuronal activity on epileptiform activity in FCD as a potential target for highly specific gene therapy for epilepsy.

Key qualifications Ph.D. in neuroscience, molecular neurobiology, electrophysiology or allied subject. Experience in rodent electrophysiology in vivo, including surgery, experimental management, optogenetics, chemogenetics, signal processing and data analysis is beneficial. Desirable achievements: publications in neuroscience and/or physiology.

The successful applicant will work with other members of our team under the direction of Prof Premysl Jiruska. The department as a whole has a strong interest in research on the pathophysiology of epilepsy. It is a key member of the EpiReC, the multi-institutional Epilepsy Research Centre of Prague, which brings together scientists and clinicians passionate about epilepsy research.