[Comp-neuro] Postdoc on modeling the action potential of a swimming neuron
romain.brette at inserm.fr
Wed Sep 4 15:29:36 CEST 2019
A postdoc position is available in the group of Romain Brette in the
Vision Institute, Paris, France, in collaboration with Alexis Prevost
and Laetitia Pontani from Laboratoire Jean Perrin, to work on the
development of a model of the action potential of Paramecium, a
“swimming neuron”. More details here:
Paramecium is a large unicellular eukaryote organism which swims in
fresh water using its cilia. When it hits an obstacle, mechanosensitive
channels open, depolarize the membrane and trigger a calcium-based
action potential. In turn, the action potential triggers a reversal of
the swimming direction, followed by a change of direction. This is
called the “avoiding reaction”, and it is the basis of most Paramecium
behavior. The goal of the global project is to develop an integrative
model of Paramecium, that includes: sensory transduction, excitability
and motility. In other words, a model of the behaving Paramecium in an
The specific project for this postdoc is to develop a Hodgkin-Huxley
type model of the action potential of Paramecium, together with a
phenomenological model of electro-motor coupling, that is, the relation
between membrane potential and cilia beating. Technically, the work will
involve performing appropriate electrophysiological measurements and
then developing and fitting models.
The funding is for 12 months (possibly more depending on grant results).
Although this may seem short, the project is already well advanced, as
we have developed simple reliable ways to do electrophysiological
recordings on Paramecium and already collected a number of recordings.
Prior experience in electrophysiological recording is not a requirement
as it can be learned. Be aware, however, that the work does involve a
fair amount of experimental work (but on a model organism that is simple
to handle). Conversely, we are also welcoming applications from
electrophysiologists with little experience in modeling.
To apply, please send a CV and emails of two references to
romain.brette at inserm.fr <mailto:romain.brette at inserm.fr>. Do not
hesitate to ask for more information. Applications will be considered
until the position is filled.
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