Tuesday, March 25, 2014

[Comp-neuro] post-doc available in computational neuroscience applied to regenerative biology

A funded post-doctoral position is available at Tufts University (near Boston) in the lab of Dr Michael Levin - www.drmichaellevin.org to work on applications of computational neuroscience to developmental biology and regenerative medicine. My group studies the role that slow bioelectrical communication plays in coordinating cell activity towards building and repairing large-scale anatomical structures (as occurs during embryogenesis and regeneration in species like salamanders and planaria, which can rebuild whole body parts). Through the last 14 years, we've shown that distributions of resting potentials in non-neural somatic tissues (and their dynamics via gap junctions, or electrical synapses) play an important part in regulating growth and form (having developed molecular-genetic tools for tracking and altering resting potentials in vivo). We hope to take some ideas and approaches from cognitive science and computational neurobiology to understand how memories of shape
and pattern are stored in non-neural network electrical dynamics. This project can be described as cracking the bioelectric code to understand the semantics encoded in electrical signaling among non-neural cells. We will build in silico models of shape memory storage in electrically-connected (slow) cell networks and then implement them in real embryonic (frog, chick) or bioengineered (human) tissues to test and refine the models. The ideal applicant will have a strong background in computational neuroscience (understanding how activity of neurons adds up to logic, memory, and decision-making in simple circuits); experience in computer modeling is a strong plus. This is a very interdisciplinary project and ideal for someone who is 1) strong in basic computational neuroscience, 2) likes thinking way outside the box in a novel area, 3) wants to extend their repertoire and training to include developmental, regenerative, and molecular biology, and 4) wants to contribute to an
entirely new area of deep basic and clinical significance. Please check our website and contact michael.levin@tufts.edu if interested.

Dr. Michael Levin
Biology Department, and
Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology
Tufts University
Suite 4600, 200 Boston Ave.
Medford, MA 02155-4243
Tel. (617) 627-6161
Fax: (617) 627-6121
email: michael.levin@tufts.edu

Center Administrator:
William F. Baga
Tel. (617) 627-5735
Fax: (617) 627-5035
email: william.baga@tufts.edu

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