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Postdoctoral Fellowship: Genetics of Cognition and Schizophrenia

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Posted: 11/13/2013
Job Title: Postdoctoral Fellowship: Genetics of Cognition and Schizophrenia
Employer: Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
Location: Genova, Italy

The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), located in Genova, provides state-of-the-art research facilities in mouse behavioral phenotyping, molecular and cellular biology, imaging and electrophysiology. Please see our website.

The postdoctoral position available in Dr. Francesco Papaleo's group at the Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies of the IIT is intended for outstanding researchers interested in the field of 'genetics of cognition and schizophrenia.'

We are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to investigate the genetic bases of cognitive disorders relevant to schizophrenia. The postdoctoral fellow will be responsible for investigating the effects of single and double genetic mutations in mice based on human genetic risk factors for schizophrenia. The aim is to provide a greater understanding of the role played by genetic modifications in the development of schizophrenia-relevant endophenotypes and to ultimately pave the way for more efficient therapeutical strategies. In this position you will:

  • maintain single and double mutant mouse lines for phenotype comparison;
  • investigate rodent correlates of schizophrenia symptoms, particularly cognitive (e.g., working memory, attentional control, flexibility, impulsivity, compulsivity, and extinction) and negative (e.g. social withdrawal and anhedonia);
  • analyze neurophysiologic abnormalities in critical brain regions in our genetically modified mice while performing complex cognitive tasks;
  • assess potential changes in neurometabolites and receptor expression.

The position is for 2 years initially (extendable up to 5 years) and will be based at the IIT of Genova under the supervision of Dr. Francesco Papaleo.


You're someone who wants to influence your own development. You're looking for a research environment where you have the opportunity to pursue your interests across functions and geographies.

  • A PhD in behavioral genetics, systems neuroscience, psychopharmacology or a related discipline with a strong neuroscience background.
  • At least one first-author publication.
  • Outstanding motivation, creativity, analytical thinking and a strong scientific commitment are required.
  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Experience in the field of developmental neuroscience and/or in vivo electrophysiology and/or opto-pharmacogenetics are highly desired.
  • Experience in phenotyping genetically modified mice and/or in rodent tests of cognition would be an advantage.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae and the names of three references by email to Dr. Francesco Papaleo.

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