[Comp-neuro] Postdoc position in the Mainen lab at Champalimaud

Luca Mazzucato luca.mazzucato at gmail.com
Thu May 14 19:13:16 CEST 2020

 Systems Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellow

The Champalimaud Foundation, a private, non-profit research institution, is
opening a call for a post-doctoral researcher, within the scope of the
research project entitled "Neural mechanism of value based decision making
of staying or leaving - Deciding when to initiate locomotion to move to the
next reward location."
This position involves data analysis/modeling of foraging behavior and
self-initiated movements in rodents, related to a Systems Neuroscience
experiment addressing the following question.
When interacting with a complex environment, animals generate naturalistic
behavior in the form of action sequences. To analyze and classify such
behavior from video recordings is a computationally demanding task,
requiring development of specific software pipelines adapted for big data
structures using deep learning methods and state space models. This project
aims at creating such a pipeline for analyzing videos of mouse behavior
previously collected in the Mainen Lab at the Champalimaud Center for the
Unknown, Portugal. In the experiment, animals performed certain action
sequences, with variable onsets timing, leading to a water reward.
Optogenetics photostimulation of inhibitory neurons in secondary motor
regions was also performed during selected action sequences. Behavior
during this task was recorded with two high speed, high resolution cameras
pointing at the animal's face and front limbs. The large size of the
datasets generated in this experiment (~1 Tb per animal, for 10 animals)
requires an extensive effort to classify behavioral motifs. In the second
part of the project, behavioral motifs will be related to large scale
recordings of neural activity from Neuropixel probes. The fellow will
investigate the relationship between neural activity and behavior using
state space models and mechanistic models based on recurrent neural

The fellow will integrate a dynamic team of researchers as part of an
international collaboration between the Mainen Lab <https://mainenlab.org/> at
the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown and the Mazzucato Lab
<https://www.mazzulab.com/> at University of Oregon. National, foreign and
stateless candidates can develop the proposed work remotely where team
interaction is supported by online platforms (e.g. slack, zoom, etc).
Recanatesi, S. et al., biorxiv (2020).
Vertechi, P. et al., Neuron (2020).
Murakami, M. et al., Neuron (2017).
Murakami, M. et al., Nat. Neuro (2014).
Essential qualifications:
PhD in Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Biology, Experimental Psychology,
Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, or other areas relevant to
neurophysiology and animal behavior;
Proficiency in Python and Matlab programming language and familiarity with
object oriented programming;
Familiarity with Deep Learning software (TensorFlow);
Familiarity with data analysis of biological experiments;
Ability to work independently and troubleshoot technical issues;
Good capacity and value for teamwork and communication skills;
Fluency in English.
The monthly remuneration to be attributed is the 33rd level of the single
remuneration table (TRU), approved by Portaria nº 1553-C/2008, of December
31st, starting at a base gross salary of 2,128.34 Euros.
Applications will be accepted until June 15th, 2020 or until a qualified
candidate is hired. Candidates must submit a single document (maximum 4
pages; paper or PDF file) that contains a motivation letter and the
Curriculum Vitae, both written in English. Email applications must be
addressed to careers at research.fchampalimaud.org and include
“CPD2020-LOCODECISION” in the subject line. The selected candidate must
submit proof of her/his PhD or Doctoral Degree within 10 days following
notification of the preliminary results. More information about Diplomas
recognition may be found in the Euraxess portal
. All candidates who formalize their application incorrectly or who fail to
provide the requirements imposed by this tender are excluded from
admission. In case of doubt, the panel is entitled to request further
documentation to support candidate statements.
Notification of Results: The highest scoring candidate will be notified by
email or telephone. All other candidates will be notified solely by email.
Non-discrimination and equal access policy: The Champalimaud Foundation
actively promotes a policy of non-discrimination and equal access, so that
no candidate can be privileged, benefited, harmed or deprived of any right,
on basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status,
economic situation, education, social origin or condition, genetic
heritage, reduced working capacity, disability, chronic illness,
nationality, race, territory of origin, language, religion, political or
ideological convictions, and trade union membership.
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