Postdoctoral or Research Scientist - Pain Mechanisms

University of Texas Health Science Center
Houston, Texas
Salary will match the applicant's experience to the corresponding NIH stipend level.
March 14 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

An NIH-funded postdoctoral position is available to conduct investigations into basic mechanisms that drive persistent ongoing pain under neuropathic and inflammatory conditions. Major research foci are on ion channels and cell signals responsible for recently discovered depolarizing spontaneous fluctuations of membrane potential that drive ongoing activity in primary nociceptors, and on selectively targeting these fluctuations to treat ongoing pain in vivo. Multidisciplinary approaches are employed using rat and transgenic mouse models of peripheral and central injury, including spinal cord injury. Methods include in vitro whole-cell patch recording, in vivo teased fiber recording, calcium imaging, caged calcium photolysis, neuropharmacology, RT-PCR, RNA-seq, western blot, immunohistochemistry, and both standard reflex tests and sophisticated operant tests of evoked and ongoing pain-related and anxiety-related behavior.

This position would be ideal for an applicant seeking to make breakthroughs that will enable effective treatments of chronic pain, or an applicant seeking to make fundamental contributions to our understanding of mechanisms that drive persistent alterations of behavior. Applicants should have strong interests in both cellular electrophysiology and behavior, and should have experience in at least one of the following: cell biology, electrophysiology, and/or optimizing assessments of pain or other motivational states in rodents.

Work will be done within the adjoining laboratories of Edgar Walters and Michael Zhu, two highly collaborative researchers with outstanding records as scientific mentors. Their labs are located in the world’s largest medical center (containing numerous research groups with allied interests in pain, neuroplasticity, and behavioral mechanisms), within the most diverse city in the nation -- and also one of the most affordable. 

Please email a CV and statement of research interests to Dr. Edgar T.  Walters:

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