Associate Research Scientist
Columbia University's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute (the Zuckerman Institute) brings together researchers to explore aspects of mind and brain, through the exchange of ideas and active collaboration. The Zuckerman Institute's home will be the Jerome L. Greene Science Center on Columbia's new Manhattanville campus. Situated in the heart of Manhattan, at full capacity the Zuckerman Institute will house approximately 47 laboratories employing a broad range of interdisciplinary approaches to transform our understanding of the mind and brain. In this highly collaborative environment, labs work together to gain critical insights into human health by exploring how the brain develops, performs, endures and recovers from trauma or disease.
A lab within the Zuckerman Institute seeks an Associate Research Scientist (ARS) to facilitate research in conduct research into the neural circuit mechanisms of information seeking. Animals are motivated to acquire knowledge. A particularly striking example is information seeking behavior: animals often seek out sensory cues that will inform them about the properties of uncertain future rewards, even when there is no way for them to use this information to influence the reward outcome, and even when this information comes at a considerable cost. The neural circuitry and mechanisms underlying this motivation are not well understood. The ARS will conduct research to elucidate the role of various neural populations in information seeking in mice using a behavioral task the lab has developed. This work requires expertise in training mice to perform the task and the generation and analysis of neural population activity data in freely moving animals, as well as molecular biology and surgical skills to conduct experiments using optogenetics and viral tracing
The candidate will have the conceptual knowledge and facile experimental abilities to become an integral member of the lab capable of functioning independently. They will be quantitatively sophisticated and be able to perform experimental science independently. They will possess an experimental facility that combines genetics, optical imaging of neural activity, and behavior. At the same time, being able to integrate data into theoretical modeling. The ideal candidate will have expertise in sensory guided behaviors and other behaviors guided by sensory feedback as well as strong theoretical, experimental, and computational skills. The candidate should also possess superior motivation, drive and a demonstrated aptitude for research.
MD, PhD, or doctorate in related field