[Comp-neuro] Two Postdoctoral openings in Theoretical Neuroscience in Christof Koch's group (Caltech)

Costas Anastassiou dbs.kochlab at gmail.com
Wed Apr 20 20:09:02 CEST 2011

Dear All:

Prof. Christof Koch’s laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has been intensely studying electric field-effects of and on neurons (Holt & Koch, J. Comput. Neurosci. 1999; Kreiman et al., Nature Neurosci. 2000; Quiroga et al., Nature 2004; Anastassiou et al., J. Neurosci. 2010; Ozen et al., J. Neurosci. 2010; Cerf et al. Nature, 2010; Anastassiou et al., Nature Neurosci. 2011). 

Prof. Koch is seeking up to two postdoctoral fellows to carry out detailed biophysical modeling at the level of individual neurons and neuronal populations to study the origin and functionality of electric fields in the brain. Numerous projects exist but two of them stand out and funding is currently available per immediately (although starting date is flexible). The first project focusses in extracellular field activity as measured in the rodent hippocampal formation and seeks to investigate the origin of the so-called local field potential (LFP), i.e. the characteristic extracellular signature during pattern activity such as theta and sharp waves-rippling. To do so, numerical modeling will be used to solve the cable equations for synaptic, dendritic and axonal compartments and evaluate their contribution to the field at an arbitrary location in the extracellular matrix. The work is conducted in collaboration with Prof. György Buzsáki's lab (Rutgers).

The second project focusses on deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS, i.e., the electrical stimulation of certain brain areas, is the basis of highly successful therapies that alleviate the symptoms of otherwise treatment-resistant disorders such as chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia. Yet the underlying mechanisms of DBS treatment remain largely unknown. One of the consequences of the lack of insight is the inability to offer alternatives for non-responsive patients (depending on the pathology, approximately 30 % of the patients treated with DBSshow no response). The research focuses on the effect of electric fields as typically imposed during DBS and involves studying the alteration of subthreshold and spiking properties of individual neurons as well as changes in communication within a neuronal population. The work is conducted in collaboration with the laboratories of Prof. György Buzsáki (Rutgers) and Prof. Itzhak Fried (UCLA). 

For both projects applicants should have a PhD in physics, engineering, applied mathematics or computational neuroscience. Familiarity with biophysical modeling of the type described in the textbook ‘Biophysics of Computation: Information Processing in Single Neurons’ would be useful, but is not required. Funding would be provided via funding by the NINDS and Caltech’s JCTM. The California Institute of Technology is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and disabled persons are encouraged to apply. Send applications and any queries to dbs.kochlab at gmail.com

For applications/questions please email Prof. Christof Koch at dbs.kochlab at gmail.com or visit the lab's website: http://www.klab.caltech.edu/

Christof Koch

Dr. Christof Koch

Chief Scientific Officer
Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle

Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology
Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

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