We are looking for a PhD student interested in the functional, molecular and structural profile of neuronal circuits underlying learning, memory and behavior. In a 30-year research effort (lay summary, paper), we have recently identified a new gene (atypical PKC, aPKC) necessary for a form of motor learning in the fruit fly Drosophila and in which neurons it is required. The prospective PhD student will use molecular tools to identify potential interaction partners of aPKC and then use behavioral experiments as well as confocal microscopy techniques in combination with transgenics to validate and functionally characterize the role of the candidate genes.

The candidate:

The ideal candidate has a Master’s degree in a relevant field, experience in Drosophila husbandry and standard molecular cloning techniques, as well as some coding proficiency. A solid command of the English language is also important.

The position:

As is commonplace for Germany, this will be a three-year project, funded by a DFG 65% position, i.e., about 1,900€/month after tax and with full benefits, membership in our graduate schools and all the usual bells and whistles that comes with such a position in Germany. There are no lectures to attend or rotations to adhere to – just 100% of pure, unadulterated research fun. We will provide training in behavioral experiments, confocal microscopy and open science.

Our research:

Trial and error is a successful problem-solving strategy not only in humans but throughout evolution. How do nervous systems generate novel, creative trials and how are errors incorporated into already existing experiences in order to improve future trials? We use a variety of transgenic tools, mathematical analyses, connectomics and behavioral physiology to understand the neurobiology of spontaneous behavior, learning and adaptive behavioral choice.

Our lab:

We are an open science lab that prioritizes inclusion and diversity to achieve excellence in research and to foster an intellectual climate that is welcoming and nurturing. We are based at the University of Regensburg, an equal opportunity employer with over 20,000 students and more than 1,500 faculty, in Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany. Regensburg is an incredibly nice city with a high quality of life. Affordable, safe, cultural, civil, great local food, and close to other great cities like Prague or Munich.

Please send your application with your CV and a short, one page letter of motivation to my institutional address (bjoern.brembs@ur.de). Applications will be considered until the position is filled, but applications before June 1, 2024 will receive preferential treatment.

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