The Anacker Lab at Columbia University in New York is looking for highly motivated postdoctoral researchers for several projects studying the neurobiological mechanisms of stress-induced psychiatric disorders.
Our laboratory studies the neural circuits underlying stress-induced abnormalities in cognitive and emotional behaviors that contribute to psychiatric disorders. We are using mouse models of early life stress and adult stress to investigate how adversity during different periods of development influences cognition, affective behavior, and stress vulnerability later in life. To do this, the lab has a number of transgenic mouse lines that differ in their vulnerability to stress, based on differences in hippocampal neurogenesis or functional alterations in the serotonergic system. We are using in vivo Ca2+ imaging with head-mounted miniature microscopes in freely moving mice to investigate how stress affects the activity of individual neurons within large cell populations, and how such changes in the functional activity of these neurons lead to cognitive impairments and anxiety. We then use optogenetics and chemogenetic techniques to experimentally regulate the activity of stress-responsive neurons and their projections to associated brain structures, to functionally investigate the neural circuits that mediate stress effects on cognition and anxiety.
In addition to this circuit level analysis, the lab studies the molecular mechanisms that determine neuronal activity and neural circuit function. In particular, we are using next-generation RNA sequencing and epigenetic analyses to investigate how adverse experiences during early life exert long-lasting effects on neuronal activity and neural circuit function by permanently altering gene expression in stress-susceptible brain areas.
Applicants should have a Ph.D. in Neuroscience or other relevant disciplines, and experience with rodent experimentation. Experience with stereotactic brain surgery, optogenetics, in vivo Ca2+ imaging and MATLAB programming is preferred. Positions are available immediately.
Please submit your CV with contact information for 3 references to Dr. Christoph Anacker (firstname.lastname@example.org).