Job ID: 82673

Postdoc – Neuroplasticity in health and disease (Supervision for Fellowship Application)

Position: Post-doctoral Position

Deadline: 15 June 2022

Employment Start Date: 1 March 2023

Contract Length: 2 years

City: Genoa

Country: Italy

Institution: Italian Institute of Technology / University of Genoa / San Martino Hospital

Department: Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology



  • You have been awarded a PhD in Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Biotechnology, Physiology, Biochemistry, Zoology, Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, or in any other related fields
  • You are interested in applying to Postdoctoral Fellowships (e.g. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship) with the support of experienced scientists and admins by at least 2-3 months before the application deadline
  • You are motivated, self-driven, curious, a good team player, collaborative, proactive, detail-oriented, creative, and able to work independently.
  • You are eligible for Postdoctoral Fellowship that you would plan to apply to (e.g.: for MSCA-PF-2023: PhD awarded after Sept 14 2015 and you have not resided or carried out your main activity in Italy for more than 12 months since Sept 14 2020)
  • You are fluent in spoken and written English (CEFR B2-C1 equivalent; certifications are a plus)
  • You have some experience in scientific writing (papers or possibly fellowship applications)
  • You have excellent communication skills.
  • You have a good track record considering the duration of your research experience
  • You have excellent technical skills in at least one of these methods: patch-clamp electrophysiology (in brain slice or cells), in vivo brain stereotaxic microinjections, production of high-titer lentiviral/AAV preparations, in vivo chemogenetics, in vivo / in slice optogenetics, mouse behavior (eye-blink conditioning or vestibulo-ocular reflex)

NOTE: Speaking Italian is not required (all the meetings will be in English)



We are offering close supervision and support for designing, planning and writing a research proposal on Neuroplasticity in health and disease to one selected candidate interested in applying for Fellowships that would be proposed to be formally hosted by the Italian Institute of Technology or the University of Genoa (depending on the institute approval), in order to join the team in the next 6-12 months. The supervision is based on previous successful experience as applicants, supervisors and reviewers.

The candidate is welcome to propose a research project or to discuss the available research direction with the supervisor (see below), based on the complementarity of their expertise and interests.

The major application goal will be the European Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (MSCA-PF), funding research projects on any topic, and which was awarded previously to the Team Leader. Other application opportunities may be discussed as well.

Applicants receiving MSCA Seal of Excellence, although not directly funded, will have good possibilities to be considered for internal funding as well.

Salary: depending on the fellowship

Start date: depending on the fellowship

By joining the team, you will:

  • aim at publishing on high-impact factor journals and applying for more independent funding
  • receive technical training to develop the skills needed for the project and not part of your expertise yet
  • have access to excellent equipment to perform a variety of methods ranging from electrophysiology, histology, microscopy, molecular biology, mouse surgery, viral vector preparations, cell cultures work, mouse behavior
  • receive training in scientific writing and other soft skills necessary to become an independent scientist or to become a competitive candidate in the professional field of choice
  • become part of a vibrant scientific community and an international scientific network, including many national and international contacts in academia and industry useful for professional development
  • receive scientific and professional supervision and advice, including the possibility to discuss and implement a personalized career development plan, according to personal desires and consistent with the scientific project
  • receive careful support to navigate the Italian bureaucratic and the academic system in Italy, Europe and/or US
  • work in an area with a high-density of high-level research institute (IIT, Univ. of Genoa, San Martino Hospital, Gaslini Hospital) and close to many more scientifically vibrant cities (e.g.: Milan, Torin, Pavia, Pisa, Rome)

Candidates who have lived/worked outside Italy for sufficiently long and meeting specific requirements may be entitled to a substantial tax exemption for up 6-13 years, , which effectively would result in an increase in the net compensation by 33-79%.



The Team led by Dr. Giorgio Grasselli at the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology (NSYN) of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) at San Martino Hospital in Genoa (Italy), is investigating synaptic and non-synaptic (intrinsic and structural) plasticity of the olivo-cerebellar circuit underlying learning and memory, and its pathophysiological alterations in brain disorders, including Multiple Sclerosis, Ataxias, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorder) with a multi-disciplinary approach including viral vectors for in vivo gene silencing and gene expression, patch-clamp electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy for morphological studies, two-photon microscopy.

The Team-leader is Assistant Professor in Physiology at the Dept. of Pharmacy at the University of Genoa, and MSCA Alumnus and Reviewer.

The Team is part of the IIT-NSYN-Center directed by Prof. Fabio Benfenati, which is a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative center, devoted to the Neurobiology of Disease and to the development of new Neurotechnologies aimed at clinical translation. IIT is a highly prestigious, internationally recognize national research institute, with top-level facilities, seminars and many international collaborations. The Center is hosted by San Martino Hospital IRCCS (“Istituti di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico”, i.e. a Scientific Institute for Hospitalization and Treatment recognized by the Italian Institute of Health), devoted to clinical and translational research, promoting collaborations between scientists and clinicians. It is also part of the University of Genova, a source of interdisciplinary collaborations, highly qualified undergrad students in Biotech and Pharmacy and the site of many stimulating academic interdisciplinary events. The lab is conveniently located close to the Town Center.

Relevant publications :

(*equal contribution)

Team website:

Research Topics: cerebellum, climbing fibers, Purkinje cells, neurophysiology, neuroplasticity, sinaptic plasticity, intrinsic plasticity, structural plasticity, motor learning, motor memory, multiple sclerosis (MS), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), neurodevelopmental disorders, autism spectrum disorder (ASD)



If you feel you may be interested, please, do not hesitate to send an email!

Please send a CV and a brief email/cover letter (shortly outlining motivations, experience and qualifications) and contact details of 1-3 referees to Dr. Giorgio Grasselli and Prof. Fabio Benfenati (, referring to the where this announcement was read.

The best-fitting candidates will be invited for an online interview to consider the fit, the competitiveness of the match, to discuss possible projects and an application strategy to MSCA PF or other fellowship opportunities.

Joining the Lab will be dependent on obtaining a fellowship covering the position.

Application’s tentative deadline: June 15 2022