Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

FutureNeuro Postdoctoral Fellow (in vivo neuroscience)


Dublin, Ireland

Job Title: Postdoctoral Researcher (in vivo neuroscience)
Location: FutureNeuro SFI Research Centre, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.
Reporting to: Prof David Henshall, Director, FutureNeuro Research Centre
Tenure: Specified Purpose Contract for up to 24 months initially
Salary: Appointable at any level on the Postdoctoral Researcher scale depending on prior experience.

About FutureNeuro and RCSI
FutureNeuro is a new national research centre focused on chronic and rare neurological diseases, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and based at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Led by Prof. David Henshall, FutureNeuro brings together multidisciplinary scientific teams with clinicians and industry to deliver advances in diagnostic medicine, personalized and network therapeutics, cross-linked by a national e-Health infrastructure platform that is disease-focused. The mission of FutureNeuro is to accelerate discoveries on genetic diagnosis and advanced molecular treatments supported by enabling e-health technology for chronic and rare neurological diseases. Building initially on internationally recognized strengths in epilepsy and motor neuron disease research, the Centre aims to develop additional research programmes in other chronic and rare neurological diseases.

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) is a private, self-financing, not-for-profit medical and surgical college headquartered in Dublin (Ireland) with global reach through its overseas medical universities and health care centres in the Middle East, the Far East and Africa. Since its foundation in 1784, it has played a leadership role in Irish surgical and medical education. Currently, it operates the largest Medical School in Ireland and provides undergraduate education in Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, and Nursing. In addition to Surgery, it also provides postgraduate training and education in Radiology, Dentistry, Nursing & Midwifery, Sports and Exercise Medicine, Healthcare Management and Leadership, and has an Institute of Research.

RCSI recognises that excellence in research is critical to the quality of its educational activities, its credibility, and, overall, to its mission to enhance human health. Recently, RCSI has implemented a new research strategy that will build upon its strength in translational biomedical and clinical research to deliver transformational, high impact changes in health care. Targeting both Irish national and EU funding, along with increased collaboration with industry, is a major part of the RCSI research strategy. Forging increased collaboration between RCSI PIs and industry is of critical importance to achieving success in this area.

Objective: The objective of this post is to perform research on mechanisms and treatment of epilepsy. Specifically, the project focuses on determining the role of small noncoding RNAs and epigenetic mechanisms and developing small molecule, antisense oligonucleotide and gene therapy-based treatments for acquired and genetic forms of epilepsy. The role requires expertise with in vivo neuroscience techniques including rodent stereotaxic surgery, neurophysiological recordings (EEG), drug injections and behavioral assessments.

Specifically, the duties of this role will include:
· Testing the role and therapeutic potential of small noncoding RNAs and epigenetic mechanisms using small molecule, antisense oligonucleotide and gene therapy-based treatments for acquired and genetic forms of epilepsy, including, but not limited to:
o Perform steterotaxic surgery in rodents such as mice to induce and record seizures
o Deliver and evaluate the effects of experimental therapeutics such as small molecules, antisense oligonucleotides and gene therapies
o Perform behavioral and other assessments of therapeutic effects in rodent models
o Assist with husbandry and colony maintenance
o Perform biochemical, pharmacological and molecular analyses of the role of the identified RNAs and pathways in appropriate animal and human cells and models, including analysis of gene expression, brain function and histopathology
· Additional
o Liaise with industry partners and colleagues funded by relevant agencies for purposes of collating, interpreting, reporting findings
o Generate, support and submit funding applications and funding agency reports
o Develop and submit funding applications
o Compliance with animal and human ethics requirements
o Biobanking/curating tissue and biofluid resources relating to the project
o Generate original peer-reviewed publications, opportunities for IP

General duties to include:
· Organising and drafting reports for internal and external stakeholders.
· Providing support in the monitoring of progress of research activities of the group
· Supporting and participating in the Centre’s research activities
· Complying with statutory legislation, RCSI and department rules and requirements in furtherance of your own and general staff welfare and safety
· Undergoing programmes of training and development as may be required from time to time
· Representing the best interests of the department and RCSI at all times
· Performing such other duties as may be required from time to time

Person Specification:
· A PhD in neuroscience, pharmacology or related discipline.
· Research in the field of epilepsy or closely-related brain disease
· Careful and organized and able to interact in a busy scientific and, in some cases, clinical environment
· Experience and a proven track record in a similar role is desirable
· Effective communications style
· Proficiency in Computer/Presentation skills
· Ability to make decisions and meet deadlines
· Ability to work on one’s own initiative as well as in a team environment

Application Process:
Please apply online at with your CV and Covering Letter no later than 5pm on the closing date.

Note: This Job Description may be subject to change to reflect the evolving requirements of the Department and RCSI in developing healthcare leaders who make a difference worldwide.

RCSI is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or race.

Similar vacancies that arise in the next 6 months may be filled from the pool of applicants that apply for this position.

RCSI Noble Purpose: building on our heritage in surgery, we will enhance human health through endeavour, innovation and collaboration in education, research and service

RCSI Vision: to become one of Europe’s leading Health Science institutions through building a truly international medical College network, enhancing leadership in Irish surgical practice and education and delivering a focused and distinctive research programme

Please apply via recruiter’s website.