Job ID: 65757

Postdoctoral position: Electrophysiology and behavioral tests in mouse models of SCN1A neurodevelopmental disorders

Position: Post-doctoral Position

Deadline: 28 January 2022

Employment Start Date: 1 February 2022

Contract Length: 2 Years

City: Valbonne - Sophia Antipolis

Country: France

Institution: CNRS and University Cote d'Azur

Department: Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (IPMC)

Description:

We are looking for a postdoc for performing and developing experimental approaches in the framework of research projects on models of neurodevelopmental disorders and epilepsies related to SCN1A gene mutations.

Mutations of the SCN1A gene, encoding the main sodium channel of GABAergic neurons (Nav1.1), have been implicated in severe neurodevelopmental disorders (Mantegazza et al., 2021, Physiological Reviews, 101(4):1633-1689; Mantegazza & Broccoli 2019 Epilepsia 60(S3):S25-S38). In particular, Dravet syndrome (DS), an epileptic encephalopathy characterized by drug-resistant seizures and cognitive/behavioral deficits, is caused by loss-of-function mutations in SCN1A/Nav1.1, which induce generalized disinhibition of neuronal networks. We have also identified other mechanisms involved in homeostatic responses and pathological changes in neural networks in mouse models that recapitulate the DS phenotype.

The overall goals of the research projects are: 1) to better understand the pathological mechanisms in animal models, in particular homeostatic and pathological remodeling, 2) to develop treatments by directly targeting the initial genetic dysfunction (the loss of function of SCN1A/Nav1.1), as well as homeostatic and pathological remodeling.

 

You will perform:

– Chronic video-EEG recordings in mice and signal analysis;

– Behavioral tests on mice to quantify cognitive functions, motor skills and social interactions;

– Chronic pharmacological treatments (in particular intranasal application);

– Ex vivo and cell culture patch-clamp recordings;

– Statistical analysis and formatting of results;

– Follow-up of the literature and improvement/adaptation of techniques and analyses according to the obtained results.

 

We expect from you:

– PhD in neurobiology, neuroscience, biophysics, physiology or related disciplines;

– Extensive knowledge of neuroscience and electrophysiology;

– Experience in conducting animal experiments, in particular video/EEG recordings, ex vivo patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings and/or behavioral tests in mice;

– To master electrophysiological analyses and/or behavioral tests;

– Experience with mouse surgery;

– Ability to develop, plan and execute complex experiments, with good autonomy in project management.

– Ability to work in a team.

 

Application procedure:

– Cover letter (max 2 pages) addressing the essential criteria listed above,

– Detailed CV (no space restriction) with a list of published peer-reviewed articles,

which have to be submitted through the official CNRS web site: https://bit.ly/3t3mvcq

 

Environment

The group of Massimo Mantegazza (www.ipmc.cnrs.fr/?page=mantegazza&lang=uk) has an established expertise in the development and study of SCN1A/Nav1.1 models in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro, and all the tools and the techniques required by the project are routinely used. The group is funded by multiple European (Horizon Europe, EJPRD, Era-Net Neuron) and French (ANR, Foundation Lejeune, Foundation Rare diseases) grants. The Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology – IPMC – is a multi-thematic institute of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) (https://www.cnrs.fr/) and the University Côte d’Azur (UCA) (https://univ-cotedazur.eu/) located in the technology park of Sophia Antipolis (https://www.sophia-antipolis.fr/en/), in the Nice area (French Riviera). The IPMC has an international environment and hosts 20 research teams (220 persons), which benefit from state-of-the-art platforms in imaging, electrophysiology, integrative biology, functional genomics, molecular and cellular biology, cytometry, biomolecule analysis.

 

The position is for a period of 2 years. The first appointment is for one year with the option for an extension for the remaining period. The salary will be commensurate with experience according to the CNRS guidelines.

Evaluation of candidates will begin immediately and the starting date will be as soon as an appropriate candidate is selected.