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Postdoctoral stipend in Neuroscience for studies of the evolution of learning and memory in vertebrates at the Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University.

The position is available immediately with a duration of one year.

Project description: The mechanisms of learning and memory are considered major challenges for science. Many proteins involved in the cellular mechanisms have been characterized in rats and mice, but to fully understand such complicated mechanisms it is essential and necessary to find out how they evolved. My laboratory is investigating the evolution of gene families that are known to have important roles in learning and memory. This will facilitate studies of molecular and cellular mechanisms also in other species than rodents. We focus on the zebrafish which is a widely use model animal for many types of biological and medical research, increasingly so for behavioral studies including learning and memory.

The first phase of our project is to sort out the evolution of protein families that are known to be key components in these processes. We especially strive to identify all relevant members of these gene families to investigate if they are involved in different aspects of learning and memory. We have already resolved in great detail the evolution of crucial gene families such as the glutamate receptors, especially NMDA and AMPA receptors which have several additional copies in zebrafish. We can conclude from these studies that most of the key genes were duplicated in the early stages of vertebrate evolution some 500 million years ago. We are now starting the second phase to determine the anatomical distribution of the mRNAs for these by in situ hybridization in the zebrafish brain, both to compare with rodents and to compare the distribution of related proteins. For this purpose, we are now recruiting a postdoctoral fellow with expertise on in situ hybridization and neuroanatomy who wishes to develop expertise in bioinformatics and genome database work.

We have previously used this approach successfully on vision and phototransduction whereby we could identify several different types of specialization of duplicated genes.

The stipend is for one year with possibility for extension.

Qualifications: The applicant shall have a PhD degree and should have expertise in in situ hybridization, molecular biology, neuroanatomy, neurobiology, signal transduction and evolutionary biology, as well as some familiarity with bioinformatics, molecular evolution and phylogenetics.

The Department of Neuroscience is located in the Biomedical Center of Uppsala University.

Information: For more information please contact professor Dan Larhammar:

Phone +46-(0)18-471 4173.


Candidates should send a CV including list of publications, a cover letter and 2 references of contact no later than April 4, 2017, or until the position has been filled, preferably by e-mail to:, or by mail to:

Dan Larhammar

Department of Neuroscience

Uppsala University, Box 593

SE-75124 Uppsala, Sweden


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