Postdoc in Bionic Vision at Department of Neuroscience

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

We are looking for an excellent scientist (MD/PhD or PhD) with a high potential for developing an internationally recognized research agenda in neuroscience focused on the development of the next generation bionic cortical implant. The aim of the project is to restore vision for the blinds. This project runs in collaboration with Harvard University and Technical University of Denmark (DTU). You will be working with Professor Martin Lauritzen and Assistant Proffessor Changsi Cai.

The appointment is for 2 years with the possibility of extension, starting tentatively from 1 January 2022 or soon thereafter.

Information on the department can be found at https://in.ku.dk/.

Our research
60 million people are blind world widely. Despite major advances in treatments including surgeries and medications, many patients remain incurable. In this project, we will develop the next generation bionic device to stimulate the existing visual neurons, so that the brain ‘sees’ again by artificial visual perceptions. We further envision an intriguing potential to extend it to treat other neurological disorders.

This project is an interdisciplinary and intercontinental collaboration of experts from vision, neuroscience and neural engineering. To overcome the fundamental limitation of the conventional visual prosthesis, we will develop the next generation cortical implant for vision restoration. Our neuroscience group will collaborate with Dr. Shelley Fried and his team at Harvard University, and Dr. Anpan Han’s team at Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Dr. Fried is a world-leading expert of visual prosthesis, under umbrella of ‘The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative. Dr. Han’s team in DTU holds the cutting-edge technology to manufacture super fine electrode / coil array in nanoscales.

The research focus of our group is on mechanism of sensory rehabilitation, brain vascular disease and application of neurophotonics to brain imaging. It builds upon our extensive experience and cutting-edge work on calcium signaling in neurons and astrocytes, and vascular activities. The applicant is expected to work with two-photon microscopy in the mouse cerebral cortex in both anesthetized and awake states. 

Your job
We strive to implant the bionic device in the living mouse brain, examine brain responses and unveil its underlying biological mechanism. We will examine the brain cellular and vascular activities by state-of-art in vivo two-photon microscopy, as well as mouse behavior.

Your tasks would be:

  1. Implant the bionic device in anesthetized mouse with acute cranial window or awake mouse with chronic cranial window.
  2. Use two-photon microscopy as a main tool to study brain cellular and vascular responses.
  3. Simple animal behavior study.
  4. Test efficacy of different bionic designs and feedback to Harvard and DTU collaborator.
  5. Analyze data, write and publish high quality papers.
  6. Write project reports, and participate in project meetings.
  7. Co-supervise bachelor, master, and PhD students.

Profile
We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and experience:

  • PhD or equivalent degree in natural, medical science or biomedical engineering that is obtained after 2016.
  • Excellent scientific track record
  • Prior experience in 2-photon microscopy imaging in live mice and / or visual cortex is preferred
  • Experience in Matlab programming and computational data analysis is desirable
  • Technical skills in real time data acquisition and instrumentation control is a plus
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written
  • An analytical aptitude of devising innovative scientific or technical solutions
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm, motivation, flexibility and confidence

Place of employment
The place of employment is at Department of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The lab is located at the 4th floor of Maersk Tower, a landmark of Copenhagen city. We provide world-class modern research facilities and beautiful office window view of the entire Copenhagen inner city. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

Terms of employment
The employment as postdoc is a full time and fixed-term position for 2 years with the possibility of extension. Starting date is 1 January 2022 or after agreement.

Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Currently, the monthly salary starts at 34,890 DKK/ approx. 4,690 Euro (April 2021-level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

Non-Danish and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions, if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the “Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities” of December 11, 2019.

Questions
For further information please contact Assistant Professor Changsi Cai on tel. (+45) 71171807, or ccai@sund.ku.dk.

Foreign applicants may find this link useful: www.ism.ku.dk (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure
Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. Furthermore your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. two pages).
  2. CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position. Please specify your GPAs.
  3. A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will do.
  4. List of publications.
  5. 3 references including e-mails and contacts.
  6. 1-3 signature papers in PDF, preferably first author papers.

Application deadline:  30 August 2021, 23.59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor. Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Interviews are expected to be held in September and October 2021.

University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

 

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Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

Contact

Changsi Cai
E-mail: ccai@sund.ku.dk

Info

Application deadline: 30-08-2021
Employment start: 01-01-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Neuroscience
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