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OPPORTUNITIES TO JOIN THE GEFFEN LAB

Postdoctoral Fellow Positions

The Geffen laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania has multiple postdoctoral positions open in systems neuroscience with the broad goal of understanding the neuronal circuits for auditory perception and learning. We are looking for energetic and talented scientists interested in studying the function of the brain. The postdoctoral fellow will have the opportunity to learn and apply a host of systems neuroscience techniques, including two-photon imaging of population activity, optogenetic manipulations, large-scale electrophysiology and behavior in mice. Prior experience with some of these methods is preferred, but not required. Depending on the candidate’s interests, all projects provide an opportunity to learn and apply advanced computational methods, including dynamic systems analysis of neuronal population activity; Bayesian approaches for understanding the relation between neuronal activity and behavior; machine learning methods to understand large-scale neuronal activity. We currently have openings for postdoctoral fellows for three projects:

(1) Neuronal mechanisms for conscious perception:

This postdoc is part of an exciting and unique new collaboration between the Geffen laboratory, the Olsen laboratory at the Allen Institute, the Saalman Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin and the Panagiotaropoulos laboratory at NeuroSpin in Paris to test two competing theories for the basis of consciousness. We are looking for an innovative scientist, eager to develop new approaches for combining behavioral, electrophysiological and optogenetic investigations and make an impact in this important question that bridges neuroscience and philosophy.

(2) Neuronal circuits for learning-driven changes in auditory perception:

Everyday auditory behavior depends critically on learning-driven changes in auditory perception that rely on neuronal plasticity within the auditory pathway. By combining state-of-the-art optogenetic, electrophysiological, behavioral and computational approaches, the project seeks to identify the function of specific circuit elements in auditory learning. Funded by NIH NIDCD.

(3) Neuronal mechanisms for hearing under uncertainty:

In everyday life, because both sensory signals and neuronal responses are noisy, important cognitive tasks, such as auditory categorization, are based on uncertain information. To overcome this limitation, listeners incorporate other types of signals, such as the statistics of sounds over short and long time scales and signals from other sensory modalities into their categorization decision processes. This project will identify the contribution of specific cell types to categorization and the neuronal mechanisms for how contextual signals bias auditory categorization. In collaboration with Dr. Yale Cohen and Dr. Konrad Kording, funded by NIH BRAIN Initiative.

Our laboratory is a close community of fun-loving scientists, striving to help each other while exploring the mysteries of the brain. Our trainees have won numerous awards and have been awarded government and private foundation grants. We value diversity and promote equity in the scientific community and beyond. The systems neuroscience community at the University of Pennsylvania is top-notch and highly collaborative, and postdoctoral fellows will have opportunities to engage in interdepartmental initiatives, including MindCore, MINS and CNI. Penn has a gorgeous campus and offers many cultural activities. Philadelphia is a beautiful city with world-class music, food and entertainment.

To apply, please email Dr. Geffen at mgeffen@pennmedicine.upenn.edu : a cover letter (summarize your prior research experience, why you are interested in the position, and your future plans) and your CV.

Graduate Student positions

We accept graduate students for rotation from the Neuroscience, Bioengineering and Psychology programs at Penn. We will design the rotation project based on the student’s interest as well as the current research projects in the lab (see above). Please read our publications and research pages for inspiration! Please email Dr. Geffen with any questions.

Undergraduate Student projects

We have a number of projects for undergrads who are interested in expanding their research skills. We welcome undergraduate students to reach out to Dr. Geffen directly if interested.

Research Technician positions

Multiple opportunities are available immediately for early-career or mid-career neuroscientists in the Geffen laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. Research Specialists will conduct research and provide technical support to several projects studying the neuronal circuits for auditory perception and cognition using electrophysiological, optogenetic, imaging and behavioral methods in rodents in the Geffen laboratory.

Research technicians’ responsibilities include: behavioral training of rodents, assistance with electrophysiological, optogenetic and imaging experiments, maintaining a mouse colony, genotyping, immunohistochemistry of brain tissue, data analysis, organization and maintenance of laboratory logs, data curation and backup, laboratory maintenance. The positions require basic knowledge of neuroscience, biology and chemistry. Whereas we expect the applicants to have training in some of these methods, training in the remaining methods and laboratory-specific training will be provided by the PI and by laboratory personnel. Ability to keep accurate records and excellent organizational skills are essential. We are looking for creative, friendly and responsible individuals.

Research Specialist A will assist with the ongoing research in the laboratory. Research Specialist B is expected to develop novel solutions to research questions in addition to using established methods. Technology development and troubleshooting will be expected as well as independently planning experiments with minimal oversight. Research Specialist C will take leadership of a specific project and supervise other laboratory members working as part of a team.

Research A/B position: https://wd1.myworkdaysite.com/recruiting/upenn/careers-at-penn/job/Stemmler-Hall-Med/Research-Specialist-A-B–Otorhinolaryngology-_JR00050741

Research C position: https://wd1.myworkdaysite.com/recruiting/upenn/careers-at-penn/job/Stemmler-Hall-Med/Research-Specialist-C–Otorhinolaryngology-_JR00040622-1

Our laboratory is a close community of fun-loving scientists, striving to help each other while exploring the mysteries of the brain. Our trainees have won numerous awards and have been awarded government and private foundation grants. We value diversity and promote equity in the scientific community and beyond. The systems neuroscience community at the University of Pennsylvania is top-notch and highly collaborative, and our lab members will have opportunities to engage in interdepartmental initiatives, including MindCore, MINS and CNI. Penn has a gorgeous campus and offers many cultural activities. Philadelphia is a beautiful city with world-class music, food and entertainment.

If you are interested in the position and would like to learn more prior to submitting your application, please email a brief statement about why you are interested in the laboratory and a summary of your previous research experience as well as you C.V. to mgeffen@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.