We have a position immediately available for a postdoc to study neurodevelopment in the tunicate Ciona, taking advantage of their genetic and cellular simplicity. The larval central nervous system (CNS) of Ciona is a miniaturized but typically chordate CNS containing only 177 neurons, and represents only the second complete “connectome” ever mapped. The tractability and low-cost of Ciona embryos make them especially suited for candidates who want to build a research program at primarily undergraduate institutions. Part of the proposed project includes outreach aimed at undergraduates and high school students, applying cutting-edge techniques like CRISPR/Cas9 and scRNAseq. We seek a postdoc to help dissect a regulatory network for intrinsic control of polarized axon outgrowth in the descending decussating neurons (ddNs), which are homologous to vertebrate Mauthner cells. This builds on recent papers (www.tunicates.org/papers), capitalizing on the development of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated, tissue-specific gene knockouts in Ciona. The postdoc would be encouraged to take this project with them upon leaving the lab.
NSF funding is available starting immediately, with the possibility of extension pending further funding support.
We especially encourage applications from scientists from minoritized groups historically excluded from biological research in the USA.
To inquire, please contact Alberto Stolfi at: firstname.lastname@example.org