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Synapse Development and Homeostasis

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD and surrounding area

Position Description:

Two postdoctoral research positions are open in the laboratory of Dr. Mihaela Serpe, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Neurosciences and Cellular and Structural Biology Division. Our group studies mechanisms of synapse assembly, maturation and homeostasis. We investigate how glutamate receptors are recruited and stabilized at synaptic sites using the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) as model system for glutamatergic synapse development. Our lab discovered that  synaptic trafficking, stabilization and function of fly NMJ receptors require an essential auxiliary protein, Neto. We are currently examining how Neto-mediated interactions control synapse assembly, maintenance and plasticity. We are also investigating how signaling by Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) coordinates NMJ growth and synapse activity. Much of our work aims to describe, in molecular terms, how intracellular and trans-synaptic signaling enable the recruitment of synaptic components and receptor function at the developing synapse. Our group addresses the mechanisms underlying these processes using multidisciplinary approaches, including genetics, molecular and cellular biology, super resolution imaging, single cell RNA sequencing and electrophysiology recordings in live animals and reconstituted systems. The lab is located in the Porter Neuroscience Research Center, a highly interactive research environment within the main NIH campus. 

For more information, please see Cell Reports 2020, 32: 107866, PLoS Genetics 2016, 12: e1005810, PNAS 2015,112: 6182, Neuron 2016, 92: 1036, eLife 2018, 7: e35518.


Applicants must have a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree (or anticipate receiving their degree in the near future) with less than five years of postdoctoral experience. A strong background in cell biology, biochemistry or electrophysiology is required. The ideal candidates will have a solid publication record, demonstrating scientific rigor and creativity. Electrophysiologists interested in receptor gating mechanisms are particularly encouraged to apply. Salary is negotiable, depending upon qualifications. US citizenship or permanent residency is not required.

To Apply:

Inquiries regarding these positions should be directed to Dr. Serpe ( To apply, please submit a brief statement of research interests, CV, and the names of three or more references.


This post will be available until May 10, 2021 or until filled.

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