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Postdoc in the Neural Control of Breathing at Department of Neuroscience

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

University of Copenhagen

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic researcher with interest in neural circuit analysis for a 2-year position to start at 1 January 2020 or after agreement.

Research area

The Neural Control of Breathing: In the past 25 years, the brain locations containing breathing rhythm and pattern forming circuits have been uncovered. Thus, the location of the core neural circuit generating inspiratory rhythm has been identified as the brainstem area dubbed the preBötzinger Complex (preBötC), but we still do not have a clear picture of the network structure of this core circuit. How many neurons comprise the core part of the preBötC, and what are the specific synaptic connection patterns? Are there dynamic changes in synaptic transmission during rhythmic activity, and what role does the electrical and chemical properties of preBötC dendrites play? Recent technical developments suggest that we may finally have the experimental tools to answer these questions, by studying the core neural circuit at cellular resolution. Using organotypic cultures of the preBötC, advanced live imaging techniques, electrophysiology, and microscopy we aim is to map the preBötC circuit at cellular resolution in organotypic slice cultures, and elucidate the role of network dynamics, and dendritic processing in respiratory rhythmogenesis.

Job description

The specific aim of the current position is to investigate the network structure of the brainstem circuit that forms the central core of the neural control of breathing.

The appointed fellow will perform experiments on organotypic slice cultures of the brainstem from newborn mice involving whole-cell patch clamp recordings, and imaging using genetically-encoded calcium or voltage sensors. Morphological techniques like biocytin labeling, expansion microscopy, transsynaptic viral tracings, and confocal microscopy will be used to elucidate the network structure of the preBötC. Development of novel sensor-constructs, based on externally supplied material, will complement the in vitro experiments.

The successful candidate should have:

  • A PhD in a relevant scientific area (e.g. neuroscience, biology, biochemistry).
  • Experience in electrophysiology, cell imaging, and cell culture is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of tissue processing and analysis (histology, immunostaining, microscopy).
  • Knowledge of basic plasmid cloning techniques is an advantage.
  • Courses and certificates in Laboratory Animal Science is an advantage.
  • An ability to work independently as well as show capacity for effective team work.
  • Excellent written and oral English communication skills.
Place of employment

The place of employment is at Department of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. We are located in the Panum building 24.4, in completely new lab space dedicated to electrophysiology, imaging and cell culturing.

Terms of employment
The employment as postdoc is a full time and fixed-term position for 2 years. Starting date is 1 January 2020, 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 34,000 DKK/ approx. 4,480 Euro (April 2019-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 June 28, 2013.

For further information please contact, please contact Associate Professor Jens C. Rekling, e-mail:

Foreign applicants may find this link useful (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. one page).

2. CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.

3. A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate (if applicable), c) transcripts of records, including courses followed and marks obtained. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will do.

4. List of publications.

5. Letters of recommendation and the name of at least two references

Application deadline: 20 October 2019, 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

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

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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