Research Assistant in Drosophila Connectomics Research

University of Cambridge Department of Zoology

Two Research Assistant posts are available in the Drosophila Connectomics Group directed by Greg Jefferis and Matthias Landgraf in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge. Positions are funded by a new £4.1M Wellcome international collaborative award with HHMI Janelia Research Campus in the US (FlyEM, Gerry Rubin, and Gwyneth Card), the MRC LMB in Cambridge (Greg Jefferis) and the University of Oxford Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (Scott Waddell). This project will produce the first synaptic-resolution connectome for a whole male adult Drosophila central nervous system, offering exciting opportunities for comparison with pre-existing female brain data. This resource will be rapidly shared with the more than 200 labs worldwide as well with computational and systems neuroscientists. This project follows a very successful 2016-20 project which focused on learning and memory, and innate olfactory/thermo-hygro-sensory circuits (see [1] for associated publications).

Applicants will work with electron-microscopy image data, annotate and proof-read automatically segmented reconstructions of neurons and their connectivity, develop opensource tools for data analysis and perform neuron and circuit analyses to obtain biological insight.

Candidates will join a team in Zoology with 10 team members and will interact closely with a similar team in the US and experimental groups in Oxford (SW) and Cambridge (GJ). They will need to be highly motivated and develop a good understanding of the nature of the data and the scientific aims of the project. Close teamwork will be essential, but team members will have increasing opportunities for scientific independence as their expertise develops.

[1] https://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/research/groups/connectomics/publications

Essential

  • Relevant Masters or 2 or more years of practical experience in neuroscience, computer science, physical sciences
  • Basic understanding of neuroscience
  • Strong desire to understand circuit basis of brain function and behaviour;
  • Some experience with computer programming/scripting/data analysis (e.g. R, Python, Matlab, unix shell)
  • Experience in analysing and writing scientific results
  • Good communication skills (written and oral)
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Attention to detail

Desirable

  • Expertise in Drosophila neuroanatomy
  • Background in computational neuroanatomy
  • Proven ability to work with very large datasets
  • Ability to reason about computational bottlenecks
  • Proven ability to develop R or python packages or parse and write C++ code
  • Experience sharing code and data post-publication, following standard open research practices
  • Expertise in EM reconstruction software or EM of neural circuits

Interview dates: Remote interview on 7th-25th September.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years with the possibility of extension until 30 Sep 2024 subject to project status and funding.

We welcome applications from individuals who wish to be considered for part-time working or other flexible working arrangements.

We particularly welcome applications from women and /or candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our department/institution/Faculty/School/University.

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Please quote reference PF23541 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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