Phd Candidate: From Stress To Depression

Phd Candidate: From Stress To Depression

Published Deadline Location
20 Feb 15 Mar Amsterdam

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Job description

We are looking for a candidate for a 4-year PhD project that will be carried out at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (MCN) of the Center of Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR). 
Stressful events lie at the root of fear, anxiety and mood disorders. Using a model of social stress exposure during adulthood, we have observed immediate (days), as well as late (months) effects at the behavioral, molecular and cellular level in the hippocampus CA1 region, in apparent absence of intermediate effects (weeks). Both extracellular matrix (ECM) and fast spiking interneurons seem to play a central role in this. Yet, to what extent, and via which molecular and cellular mechanism this transition from stress to depression is carried is not clear. 
Here, we will investigate across species (rat, mouse) to what extent molecular and behavioral changes can be modified after different type of behavioral interventions (activity, social or environmental enrichment). In addition, we will study whether and how modifying the initial response to stress at the molecular and cellular level is able to alter the precipitation of long-term molecular, cellular and behavioral changes. Hence, read-outs will be at the molecular and behavioral level, with interest in ECM producing cells in the hippocampus. As such, we are looking for a candidate with interest and skills in behavioral and molecular/cellular neuroscience. Experience with the techniques mentioned is an advantage.

Your duties
  • Performing rodent behavioral analysis (stress paradigm, behavioral intervention, spatial memory)
  • Performing rodent surgery to manipulate cell activity or protein expression 
  • Performing molecular and cellular analysis in the rodent brain
  • Supervising BSc and /or MSc students during internships
  • Writing and authoring manuscripts that will be submitted to high quality journals
  • Presenting your work to the research community (at conference calls, or (inter)national conferences)
  • Some contribution to teaching activities is expected
  • Finish project with awarded thesis

Specifications

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

Requirements

  • MSc degree in (molecular) neuroscience (or equivalent)
  • Research experience in rodent behavioral analysis, as well as molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry or proteomics
  • Fluent in English (spoken and written)
  • Pro-active, motivated and curiosity-driven attitude to pursue a career in Neuroscience
  • Capability to critically reflect upon experiments, willingness to step out of the comfort zone to initiate new collaborations using novel techniques
  • Good communication and presentation skills to guarantee efficient information exchange 

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,325 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €2,972 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 1.0 FTE.
The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for another 3 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

Employer

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,500 students. We employ more than 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity
Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.
About the department, institute, project
The Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (www.mcn.cncr.nl) at the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam (see www.cncr.nl) is seeking applicants for a PhD in Mechanisms of stress-adaption of hippocampal interneurons. Research at the MCN department aims to identify mechanisms of synaptic function and neuronal plasticity across many levels of organization, from molecules up to behavior in animal models of human brain disease.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3986

Employer

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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Location

De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV, Amsterdam

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