Postdoctoral Fellow - Cholinergic Neuromodulation

Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois
Competitive salary and benefits
April 10 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

Postdoctoral Scientist positions supported by NIH funds (with possible 2-year initial contract), studying cholinergic neuromodulation of circuits and behavior, are immediately available at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Individuals with strengths, prior training, and interest in neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, behavior, or chemical biology are encouraged to apply directly to Dr. Ryan Drenan in the Department of Pharmacology at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.


How are cholinergic circuits organized in the brain and how do they modulate other transmitter systems? Why does acetylcholine act slowly and non-specifically in some circuits and rapidly in other circuits? How are cholinergic receptors targeted to cellular compartments and how does this targeting impact the physiology of cholinergic circuits? Most importantly, what role does cholinergic modulation play in behavioral regulation? Dr. Drenan’s research group is asking/answering such questions, and seeks talented, motivated, independent-thinking postdoctoral colleagues to join the lab. The lab uses cutting edge approaches such as in vivo calcium imaging, 2-photon microscopy, optogenetics, gene editing, and chemical biology methods. An example of the latter can be found in our most recent publication in Nature Methods (doi:10.1038/NMETH.4637) (

The successful applicant should hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree with expertise relevant to the research questions/approaches described above. Prior experience with patch clamp electrophysiology, 2-photon imaging, or behavioral approaches are preferred though not required. Interested individuals should send a detailed CV with bibliography, a brief statement of research accomplishments and future interests (max one page), and 2-3 strong letters of recommendation to

The Department of Pharmacology has particular strengths in the areas of neuropharmacology, neurobiology, physiology, and biophysics of ion channels and receptors. Feinberg School of Medicine is an outstanding neuroscience environment, and there are many opportunities for collaboration with labs in other departments. Northwestern University and the city of Chicago offer unparalleled cultural and professional opportunities for postdoctoral scholars.


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