[visionlist] Openings in biorobotics and C elegans neurobiology

N Cohen netta at comp.leeds.ac.uk
Tue Sep 11 13:05:50 GMT 2007


Two Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Neural control of locomotion behaviour in biology and machines:
A systems biology approach

University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Applications are invited for two Postdoctoral Research Fellowships to 
join a multi-disciplinary research team and study motor control of 
locomotion in C. elegans nematode worms.

Post 1: The use of fluorescent imaging tools to record neuronal and/or
muscle activity in C. elegans nematode worms

Post 2: Construction of a bio-robotic model of the worm

Background:

C. elegans is an exciting model system for biologists, modellers and 
roboticists alike. A relatively simple animal, with a small and fully 
mapped anatomy and nervous system and experimentally accessible, C. 
elegans is a leading model system in genetics and development as well as 
neurobiology. Dubbed the “hydrogen atom” of systems neuroscience, it 
is also the subject of intensifying efforts to model this creature 
completely – integrating bottom up and top-down approaches.

You will join a multi-disciplinary, dynamic, and creative BioSystems 
group within the School of Computing at the University of Leeds, with 
close ties to the Faculty of Biological Sciences, where all biological 
experimental facilities are housed, and Mechanical Engineering, housing 
all robotic construction and testing facilities.

Post 1: The use of fluorescent imaging tools to record neuronal and/or 
-------
muscle activity in C. elegans nematode worms

(Job Ref: 312252)

Your research will involve neuronal and muscle imaging experiments to 
link between neuronal and muscle activity and the behaviour of the worm. 
Work will include:  the design and implementation of assays; their 
application to wildtype and mutant worms; data collection using computer 
imaging and relevant data analysis. Possible scope also exists for the 
development and implementation of novel molecular probes.  This work will 
involve close interaction and collaboration with other aspects of the C. 
elegans project, in particular, to do with the behavioural studies and 
modelling of the worm's neural and motor control.

The development of novel imaging tools is a possible extension of the 
project. Experience in microscopy and fluorescent imaging is required. 
Experience in invertebrate neurobiology is a plus, but not a requirement.

You will be based in a laboratory that has been dedicated to C. elegans 
research for over 15 years. Previously, interest has concentrated on 
genomics approaches to the study of gene expression and nervous system 
modulation. The arrival of Netta Cohen has led to the collaborations in 
the systems biology of C. elegans with which you would be involved. The 
laboratory is fully equipped for C. elegans research: transformation of 
C. elegans is performed regularly by microinjection and microparticle 
bombardment; genetic and RNAi analyses are approaches followed routinely; 
confocal, fluorescence and DIC microscopy are fundamental technologies 
upon which much of this laboratory's activity relies.

Post 1 is available immediately (and no later than January 2008) for a 
period of two years.

Post 2: Construction of a bio-robotic model of the worm
-------
(Job Ref: 312253)


Your research will involve the design, construction and testing of robots 
mimicking C. elegans locomotion. Robots will be designed with a view to 
constructing a research tool to complement experiments on the biological 
worm. Work will include the design and implementation and testing of 
suitable sensors and actuators and lead to the design and construction of 
a robot of an entire worm. This work will involve close interaction and 
collaboration with other aspects of the C. elegans project, in 
particular, to do with the modelling of the worm's neural and motor 
control.

Prior experience in biological motor control or bio-robotics is a plus. A 
strong previous track record in robot design and construction is 
required.

Robotics research will be conducted in close collaboration with the 
Mechatronics and Robotics Research Group in the School of Mechanical 
Engineering at Leeds, an international leader in research on biomimetic 
sensors and actuators. The Mechatronics & Robotics Research Group (MRRG) 
in the School carries out fundamental and applied multidisciplinary 
research in close collaboration with a number of staff in other Schools 
of the University and also with many industrial partners. Research 
interests and activities of the group cover a broad area including: 
general mechatronics and robotics, biomechatronics/biorobotics/ 
biomimetics such as research in distributed smart sensors, actuators, 
machine intelligence and control, and machine vision, for a wide range of 
applications. Relevant laboratories to the group research are: 
Mechatronics and Control Lab, Advanced mechatronics lab and robotics lab.

Post 2 is flexible in start time, and may start immediately and ideally 
no later than spring 2008 for a period of one year.

-----------------------

Full adverts and application instructions can be found on
http://jobs.leeds.ac.uk/ -- Click on "Research" under "In this section"
and look for  Job Ref: 312252 and 312253

Informal enquiries to Dr Netta Cohen, tel +44 (0)113 343 6789, email 
netta at comp.leeds.ac.uk

Application packs and further details are available from Judi Drew, tel 
+44 (0)113 343 5432, email j.a.drew at leeds.ac.uk

Closing date for both posts 8 October 2007
Interviews are planned for the week commencing 22 October 2007.

======================================================================
Netta Cohen
BioSystems Group, School of Computing 
& Inst Membrane and Systems Biology	 Phone: +44 (0)113 3436789
University of Leeds 			 Fax:   +44 (0)113 3435457
Leeds, LS2 9JT 				 Email: netta at comp.leeds.ac.uk
United Kingdom				 www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/netta/


More information about the visionlist mailing list