A Postdoc position (3 years) is available in the research group of Annette Schenck at the Department of Human Genetics at the Nijmegen Centre of Molecular Life Science (NCMLS) - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour - Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
The Department of Human Genetics in Nijmegen is a world-leading place for research into genetic forms of brain disorders, where clinical research, disease gene identification and functional studies work hand in hand. Using disease genes as an entry point and Drosophila as a primary research tool, the group of Annette Schenck dissects gene function, molecular networks and mechanisms that underlie brain development and cognition and aims to translate this knowledge back to humans.
ADHD is a highly heritable and genetically complex disorder. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated a series of genes, yet their function is poorly understood and proof that these genes regulate neuronal development and function relevant to ADHD is, in most cases, missing. This project, funded through the NWO Brain & Cognition Excellence programme, strives to collect this proof for a selection of published and unpublished ADHD genes and to unravel the role of these genes in different aspects of neuronal development, function and in relevant Drosophila behaviours such as activity, learning and memory.
Genes will be initially investigated using available genome-wide resources for gene manipulation and assays that are established in the host laboratory. The labs, department and collaborators offer great opportunities to follow up on the most interesting genes/phenotypes in flies and humans, e.g. by dissection of associated signalling pathways, by the identification of genetic or chemical modifiers that alleviate determined fly phenotypes, and by translating findings back to the human situation using neuroimaging techniques and neurocognitive testing in conjunction with association and mutation testing in exceptionally large patient samples (performed by others but involvement is possible).
The project will be carried out in a close collaboration with the lab of Barbara Franke. She heads the International Multicenter persistent ADHD CollaboraTion (IMpACT), a consortium of 5 European, 2 US and 1 Brazilian groups, which has extensive phenotypic and genetic data of more than 3000 adult ADHD patients, the largest clinical ADHD sample available worldwide. It aims to advance our understanding of the Genetics and Neurobiology of ADHD. We are particularly interested in the arising concept that ADHD results from neuronal connectivity defects and in the genetic and neurobiological overlap with other cognitive disorders such as mental retardation and autism that we investigate in large scale.
• A PhD in a domain of Molecular Life Sciences
• Strong background in Drosophila genetics, and ideally in neurobiology, good knowledge in molecular and cell biology
• high affinity for fundamental research related to human disease
• Highly motivated, with excellent interpersonal and communication skills and with the strong wish to work interdisciplinary.
Enthusiastic, creative and interactive researchers that meet these demands are encouraged to apply or contact us for further information.
Selected Publications Schenck & Franke:
(1) Anitei, M. et al. Nat Cell Biol, 2010, 12(4):330-40; (2) Zweier, C. et al. Am J Human Genetics, 2009; (3) Schenck, A. et al. Cell, 2008, 133: 486-497; (4) Qurashi, A. et al. Neural Development, 2007, 2: 18; (5) Kim et al. Nature, 2006, 442:814-7; (6) Schenck, A. et al. Dev Biol, 2004, 274 : 260-70; (7) Schenck, A. et al. Neuron, 2003, 38: 887-98.
(A) Franke B. et al., Hum Genet, 2009, 126(1):13-50; (B) Franke B. et al., Neuropsychopharmacol, 2010, 35(3):656-664; (C) Larsen H. et al., Psychol Science, 2010 Jul 7 [Epub ahead of print] (D) Cousijn H. et al., 2010, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107(21):9867-9872; (E) Franke B. et al., Biol Psychiatry, 2010 Jul 15 [Epub ahead of print]
Nijmegen: Nijmegen, located about 100 km from Amsterdam near the German border, is the Netherlands' oldest city. It offers historic sites and museums, borders beautiful forest countryside and polder landscapes and hosts one of the Netherland’s most successful universities with a particular emphasis on biomedical research and Neuroscience.
Send your application including a letter of motivation, CV and two letters of recommendation to Dr. Annette Schenck, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Only complete application documents will be considered. Please indicate “Flybase ad #010136" in the subject line of the e-mail.
Closing date is October, 1st 2010.