Job ID: 104859

POSTDOC POSITION (M/F) IN NEUROBIOLOGY/NEUROENGINEERING – Photocontrol of neural circuits in the adult brain

Position: Post-doctoral Position

Deadline: 31 October 2023

Employment Start Date: 1 March 2023

Contract Length: 18 months

City: Marseille

Country: France

Institution: CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Department: Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone, Aix Marseille Université, UMR7289


The “Social Cognition & Connectomics” team of Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone is seeking a post-doctoral researcher to test the hypothesis that brain rewiring controls learning and motor behaviors in adult animals using novel optogenetic tools.

During adult life, brain circuits undergo profound reorganizations over a surprising large scale. These observations led to the emergence of the brain rewiring concept1-3. This theory postulates that dynamic rearrangement of long-range circuits connecting brain structures allow to learn new skills and to face environmental changes. However, current approaches prevent brain rewiring studies from establishing causality between structural reorganization and individual learning capacities. To overcome this limitation, we have successfully developed an innovative technology termed RAIL (Remodeling of Axon Induced by Light) to connect and disconnect axon projections on-demand.

The overall objective of this project is to test the hypothesis that individual learning performance requires selective circuit rewiring using RAIL.

The candidate will first optimize and characterize different RAIL systems derived from the existing prototype. He/she will test their ability to rewire reconstructed neural circuits in vitro using brain-on-chip devices4,5. The best combination will then be tested in vivo in live adult mice. Ultimately, the candidate will test whether RAIL-induced remodeling of motor circuits accelerates motor skill learning in mice.

The results obtained during this project will be high gain because they will (i) propound a revolutionary methodology open to the Neuroscience community to study brain plasticity, and (ii) demonstrate the concept that adult circuits can be rewired on-demand to control motor behavior and learning.

Our methodology combines (i) molecular cloning, (ii) in vitro structural and functional microscopy in brain-on-a-chip devices, (iii) in vivo neural reconstruction and electrophysiological recording, and (iv) motor behavior analyses in mice.

Profile. PhD or MD/PhD with a background in Neuroscience or Neuroengineering are welcome. Applicants should show high motivation, independent skills and strong interest in cell biology and system neuroscience. Prior research experience with microfluidic-based co-cultures, molecular cloning, multiphoton microscopy, or animal surgeries will be advantageous.

Funding. The position is funded for 18 months by the ANR. Salaries will depend on the postdoc experience and qualification. Position available now

About the lab. The team ( is located on la Timone Medical campus, in the center of beautiful Marseille, South of France. We are part of the Neurotechnology Center of Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone (CNRS, Aix Marseille University). The campus offers a thriving, highly interdisciplinary and rich environment for basic and medical research, hosting experimental and theoretical neuroscientists, biologist and engineers. We benefit from state-of-the-art imaging facilities, molecular biology platform, animal facilities and microfluidics platforms through the Neurotech Center.

Applications. Applicants should provide a CV, a cover letter and contact information of 2 references to