[visionlist] Postdoctoral position at Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa) and SISSA (Trieste) to investigate visual coding and the development of visual prostheses

Davide Zoccolan zoccolan at sissa.it
Mon Oct 10 07:03:37 -04 2022

Postdoctoral position on studying the coding of visual shapes in rat visual cortex to develop visual prostheses for sight restoration
A postdoctoral position is available for a research project jointly supported by three of the Italian Schools of Advanced Studies: the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS) in Pisa, the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, and the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) also in Pisa. The postdoctoral fellow will work under the joint supervision of Prof. Tommaso Pizzorusso at SNS (https://www.sns.it/en/persona/tommaso-pizzorusso), Prof. Davide Zoccolan at SISSA (https://people.sissa.it/~zoccolan/VisionLab/Home.html), and Prof. Silvestro Micera at SSSA (https://www.santannapisa.it/it/silvestro-micera). The position is a full-time, 2-years research fellowship with a net salary of 2,000 EUR per month. The fellowship is funded through a special award from the Italian Ministry of University to the three schools to foster cutting-edge research at the frontier of systems, cellular and molecular neuroscience.
The project will pursue two complementary, tightly related aims. First, it will investigate how visual shapes are encoded in the cortical areas of the rat brain, using a combination of multi-electrode neuronal recordings and two-photon calcium imaging. Second, it will seek to stimulate the rat optic nerve to evoke desired patterns of neuronal activity in rat visual cortex. The overarching goal of the project is to lay the ground for the development of visual prostheses capable of evoking realistic visual percepts via optic nerve stimulation.
The postdoctoral fellow will spend half of the funded period at SISSA and half at SNS/SSSA. Funds will be available to support travels and relocation from/to Trieste and Pisa according to the needs of the project.
Who we are looking for: we are seeking a highly motivated system neuroscientist with a propensity for teamwork and an interest to carry out cutting-edge research at the frontier between basic and translational science. The successful candidate must have a PhD and solid experience in: 1) training animals in behavioral tasks; 2) performing in-vivo neuronal recordings and/or electrical stimulation in awake animals using electrode arrays and/or two-photon imaging; 3) programming with Matlab or Python for stimulus and task design and data analysis (familiarity with machine learning tools is a plus). The candidate should also have a strong publication record, as well as project management skills, critical and analytical thinking, and social and communication skills. Fluent spoken and written English is a requirement
How to Apply: the official call has been published on SNS website: https://amministrazionetrasparente.sns.it/bando/codifica-delle-forme-nella-corteccia-visiva-dei-roditori-lo-sviluppo-di-protesi-visive-il-recupero-visivo-coding-visual-shapes
The deadline for submitting applications is October 25st, 2022. Candidates interested in this position are also invited to directly contact Profs. Pizzorusso (tommaso.pizzorusso at sns.it<mailto:tommaso.pizzorusso at sns.it>), Zoccolan (zoccolan at sissa.it<mailto:zoccolan at sissa.it>), and Micera (silvestro.micera at santannapisa.it<mailto:silvestro.micera at santannapisa.it>) by e-mail, attaching a recent CV and a motivation letter detailing research interest, experience, and career goals (max 1 page).
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