Opening Positions for Postdoctoral Researchers: RIKEN Brain Science Institute

Posted on January 13, 2010
New Laboratory (Tentative name: Laboratory for circuit mechanisms of sensory perception), RIKEN Brain Science Institute

【Research Field】   
The adult Drosophila has recently proven to be a highly suitable model organism to study sensory and systems neuroscience. This is because it has become possible to apply electrophysiological recordings and fluorescence imaging to monitor the activity of neurons in the fly brain in vivo. Our lab will be positioned as one of few laboratories in the world to carry out patch-clamp intracellular recording, which is a particularly powerful technique. Due to the relatively small number of central neurons and highly developed genetics, many neurons in the fly brain are identifiable. This property offers us a unique opportunity to examine the same type of cells across animals. Various genetic tools are available for labeling and manipulating neurons. It is also possible to monitor the behavior of individual flies with high spatiotemporal resolution, which helps us read out the animal’s perception. By combining in vivo electrophysiology, two-photon microscopy, genetically encoded electrical/chemical modulators, behavioral analysis, and computational modeling, we aim to understand (1) the correlational/causal relationship between neural activity and sensory perception, and (2) the synaptic, cellular, and circuit mechanisms underlying this perception.

【Job title】                              
Postdoctoral research fellow (Number of positions: 3)

Applicants should have or be expecting to receive a Ph.D. in related fields and should be enthusiastic about the research described above. We welcome applicants with backgrounds in engineering and physics as well.

【Work location】
Brain Science Institute, RIKEN (2-1 Hirosawa Wako-shi, Saitama Japan 351-0198), located in greater Tokyo area, about 30 min from the center of the city by train.

Annual contract, renewable through performance assessment up to 5 years. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Commuting and housing allowances provided. Social benefits including insurance apply. Normal public holidays apply including New Year's (Dec. 29 - Jan 3), and RIKEN Foundation Day. These and other provisions are in accordance with RIKEN regulations.

Also, the candidate is eligible for an exemption from repayment for category 1 scholarship loans provided by the Japan Student Services Organization before fiscal year 2003. Eligibility determined by applying for the MEXT Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi).

【Application and required documents】
1.    Complete CV
2.    List of research achievement and publications
3.    Statement of your skills, experience, and research interests
4.    Three letters of recommendation (with telephone number and email address, including one from the current supervisor, if available)
Please send this information to the contact address by e-mail below.

[Handling Personal Data]
All private data sent to RIKEN in application for employment is handled in strict confidentiality, and such data is not utilized for any other purpose or disclosed to any third party. Application documents will not be returned.
Application will be closed when the position is filled.

【Selection process】
Selection will be made based on application screening and interviews.

【Start of Employment】
July 1, 2010 or later (negotiable)

Kazama H. and Wilson R.I. (2009) Nature Neuroscience 12, 1136-1144.
Kazama H. and Wilson R.I. (2008) Neuron 58, 401-413.
Bhandawat et al. (2007) Nature Neuroscience 10, 1474-82.

【Contact information】
Hokto Kazama, Ph.D.