Job ID: 86025

2 PhD Positions in the project ‘Blue Networks. How the Locus Coeruleus controls and reorganizes brain activity’

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 30 October 2022

Contract Length: 3y

City: Lausanne

Country: Switzerland

Institution: CIBM & EPFL



This project uses an experimental and computational approach to shed light on how LC can modify the internal state of the brain and how this affects the perception of the external world. Experimentally, we will use a mix of optogenetic manipulations, fiber photometry, pupillometry, sensory stimulations and functional MRI in rodents. This will allow us to understand how different firing patterns of the LC can mobilize distinct brain networks and modify the internal processing of sensory stimuli. Computationally, we will integrate these experimental data into neural-mass models that are calibrated to rodent data and able to simulate the microcircuit mechanisms through which the LC/NE system regulates network dynamics, thus mechanistically explaining our interventions.

Requirements: The successful candidate should have a MSc degree in the fields of neurobiology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, physics, or a related field. Candidates must be highly motivated to perform innovative multi-modal neuroimaging studies and be able to work with animal models (FELASA C, LTK-1 or equivalent). The ideal candidate will have solid theoretical knowledge and practical experience with optogenetics and/or Ca+ imaging methods for PhD position#1, and a strong background in MR imaging processing and network neuroscience for PhD position#2.
S/he is a team player, enjoys interdisciplinary work, has strong communication skills, has scientific curiosity, and performs rigorous experimental work. Fluency in English is essential.
Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through the EPFL doctoral schools’ portal. The candidate must enrol in the EPFL PhD program in Neuroscience or Physics (EDNE, EDPY, next deadline Oct 31st 2022,, to be hired for this position.
Before applying, please inquire about the position to Dr. Valerio Zerbi (, specifying your motivation and which position you are interested in with a short cover letter and contact of two referees.

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