Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Evers0117 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Evers, Jan Felix
Application deadline:
30. Sep 2017
Start of PhD project:
1. Nov 2017

Project description:

Morphological and molecular correlate of circuit homeostasis
The nervous system is built from a large number of different neuron types, and their connectivity is accurately tuned to support normal nervous system function. These same neuronal circuits must also remain plastic in postembryonic life in order to adapt to changing environmental and/ or behavioural requirements. Plasticity in function is constrained by homeostatic regulation, maintaining circuit activity at pre-determined ‘set levels’ of activity. Thus, synaptic efficacy, membrane excitability, and the balance of excitatory and inhibitory drive are continuously balanced, contributing to the stability of neuronal function over time. The cellular and molecular adaptations that underlie this shift in synaptic drive so far remain elusive.
This project will identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie homeostasis of circuit activity, exploiting the motor system of Drosophila embryo and larva as a model. The successful applicant will use of a unique set of novel genetic tools and imaging techniques that allow effective visualization and analysis of neuronal structure, circuit connectivity and molecular composition of identified synaptic contacts throughout embryonic and larval development in the intact central nervous system.
Application: For enquiries and further questions, please send an email with your CV, letter of motivation and contacts for references to:
Couton, L., Mauss, A. S., Yunusov, T., Diegelmann, S., Evers, J. F., & Landgraf, M. (2015). Development of connectivity in a motoneuronal network in Drosophila larvae. Current Biology : CB, 25(5), 568–576.

Crisp, S. J., Evers, J. F., & Bate, M. (2011). Endogenous patterns of activity are required for the maturation of a motor network., 31(29), 10445–10450.

Giachello, C. N. G., & Baines, R. A. (2015). Inappropriate Neural Activity during a Sensitive Period in Embryogenesis Results in Persistent Seizure-like Behavior. Current Biology.

Gjorgjieva, J., Evers, J. F., & Eglen, S. J. (2016). Homeostatic Activity-Dependent Tuning of Recurrent Networks for Robust Propagation of Activity. The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 36(13), 3722–3734.

Zwart, M. F., Randlett, O., Evers, J. F., & Landgraf, M. (2013). Dendritic growth gated by a steroid hormone receptor underlies increases in activity in the developing Drosophila locomotor system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(40), E3878–87.
Methods that will be used:
• Confocal microscopy
• Expansion Microscopy
• In-vivo timelapse imaging
• Drosophila genetics
• Genome editing
• Micro-dissections
• 4D image data analysis
Cooperation partners:
Richard Baines, Manchester
Stephan Sigrist, Berlin
Personal qualifications:
The candidate is enthusiastic about molecular and developmental neuroscience, and keen to join a young international research group in a highly dynamic working environment (with English as main language). A strong plus is experience with molecular biology, statistical analysis of complex image data, and a background in either neuroscience or developmental biology.