POSTDOCTORAL POSITION: Funded by an NIH training grant and available for 2 years from Spring 2014; Training in Chemical Senses research, with one or a combination of the following Chemosensory Training Program (CTP) members of the Program in Neuroscience at Florida State University (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Robert Contreras (Psychology): Taste physiology; Sodium/fluid intake. The research focuses on how the rodent peripheral gustatory system codes information about taste quality and intensity, as well as how internal (e.g. sodium deprivation, hormone levels) and external (e.g. stimulus temperature) factors influence coding using electrophysiological recording methods of whole nerve and single-cell responses and parallel psychophysical studies of taste-mediated behavior
Dr. Lisa Eckel (Psychology): Taste and intake regulation; Role of estrogen and serotonin. Decrease of food intake by estrogen during the estrous cycle in an animal model of anorexia, and brain mechanisms of estrogen action and taste modulation of intake are studied in female rats.
Dr. Debra Ann Fadool (Biology/Biophysics): Olfaction; Cell physiology, Ion channel structure; Metabolic regulation and function. Patch-clamp electrophysiology (brain slice, heterologous expression, and primary cultures), molecular mutagenesis, transgenic models, and protein biochemistry are used to study modulation of the functional characteristics of ion channel proteins by phosphorylation, protein-protein interactions, or metabolic environments. Current projects involve the regulation of ion channels related to diabetes, obesity and endocrine sensing in the olfactory bulb, and the impact of obesity on olfactory anatomy and olfactometry- assessed behaviors in control and transgenic models.
Dr. Thomas Houpt (Biology): Molecular mechanisms of learning; Conditioned Taste Aversion (CTA) learning; Taste and intake;. CTA learning is a simple but robust switch in an animal’s behavior from acceptance of a palatable taste to rejection. The resulting changes in physiology and gene expression provide clues to the location and mechanisms of learning.
Dr. Michael Meredith (Biology; CTP Program Director): Olfaction/VNO physiology; Chemosensory com-munication. We study brain mechanisms interpreting natural chemical signals, unlearned (e.g. pheromones) or learned, using immediate-early gene expression and electrophysiology to map neural activation of central chemosensory circuits in amygdala.
Dr. Alan Spector (Psychology): Gustatory processing; animal psychophysics; taste and ingestive behavior. We use behavioral procedures to study neural organization underlying taste processing; including manipulations of the peripheral and central gustatory system. Current projects involve the psychophysical characterization of various genotypes of knock-out mice, assessment of the effects of gastric by-pass surgery and of gustatory nerve transection or CNS lesions.
Dr. Paul Trombley (Biology): Olfactory synaptic physiology, AMPA/KA ion-channel mechanisms. Synaptic circuits formed between principal neurons and interneurons in culture or in brain slices from olfactory bulb are used to study the actions of neuro-transmitters and neuromodulators on molecular receptors, including special types of glutamate receptor.
Current research of Program in Neuroscience faculty-members ranges from transduction through neuronal cell physiology, electrophysiology and neural circuit function, to psychophysics, mechanisms of learning, regulation of food and fluid intake and social behavior. More information is available at www.neuro.fsu.edu
The FSU Neuroscience Program includes a dynamic collaborative group of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students in several departments. The Program in Neuroscience has substantial research support facilities
The Department of Biological Science and the Department of Psychology at FSU are large diverse departments with, in addition to Neuroscience, interdisciplinary programs in Molecular Biophysics, Computational Science, and Structural Biology. FSU supports fully staffed imaging, DNA, microarray, hybridoma, and design cores.
The city of Tallahassee is the State Capital, home to two universities, situated in the Florida panhandle in close proximity (15-45 minutes) to freshwater springs, national forest, and the ocean.
Candidates must be US citizens or US permanent residents. Please contact one or more of the mentors listed above via their website contacts. Please be prepared to discuss how you can contribute to the mentor's research program and how they can contribute to your training for a career in chemosensory research. In addition to contacting potential mentors, please send a CV, three letters of reference and a statement of career research interests, emphasizing chemosensory research, to Michael Meredith, CTP Director, Program in Neuroscience, KIN 3011, Florida State University, Tallahassee FL 32306-4295. Letters of reference must be sent directly by the writer not the candidate and must provide e-mail or telephone contact information. All materials may be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage women and members of underrepresented minority groups to apply. The Florida State University is an equal employment opportunity employer.