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To Interested Parties:

The laboratory is actively seeking  postdoctoral scholars, master’s or staff scientists for innovative research on cortical circuits using mouse genetic models, advanced microscopy,  and biochemical approaches .

If you are interested please send your CV and list of references directly to Dr. Maness: Apply Here

POSITIONs are available in the Patricia Maness Laboratory at University of North Carolina School of Medicine and Neuroscience Research Center  in Chapel Hill to investigate the function of genes that regulate excitatory and inhibitory synapses in cortical circuits relevant to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The project focuses on defining molecular mechanisms in brain development of the autism spectrum disorder risk gene Ankyrin 2 and cell adhesion molecule NrCAM using novel mouse genetic models. Positions are available for postdoctoral, master’s, and graduates student candidates.

The Maness laboratory focuses on defining novel mechanisms for establishing neuronal connectivity in the developing mammalian brain using mouse models, molecular biology, and protein biochemistry.  A key focus of the lab is understanding the molecular mechanism by which Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules (CAMs) regulate dendritic spines and synapses during the adolescent to adult transition. Genes encoding Neuron-Glial related CAM (NrCAM), L1, and NCAM are linked to autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. These CAMs reversibly engage the spectrin-actin adaptor protein AnkyrinB, which encoded by the autism-linked Ank2 gene but the function of this interaction remains to be elucidated. We also have a project on endocannabinoid signaling for regulation of inhibitory synapse number in the prefrontal cortex. Identification of the molecular action of CAMs and Ankyrin in developing cortical circuits is a high priority focus of NIH in understanding normal and pathological brain development.

The applicant will study with Dr. Patricia Maness (mouse genetic models, DNA mutagenesis, superresolution microscopy), and interacting UNC faculty Dr. Paul Manis (electrophysiology), Dr. Pablo Ariel (spinning disc confocal microscopy), and Dr. Sheryl Moy (Mouse Behavioral Core) to acquire specialized training in state-of-the-art techniques and to attain project goals.

Visit our website for further details:

The successful candidate will have some experience with mouse handling, perfusion, dissection, histology, and  microscopy. Training will be provided to advance capability in these technologies. Projects will involve histological analysis of mouse genetic models by animal perfusion, brain dissection and fixation, vibratome sectioning, immunostaining, and primary neuronal cultures. The candidate will use standard and advanced fluorescence microscopy (confocal, spinning disk) and image analysis software (Fiji, Imaris). Experience with DNA methods (plasmid preparation, site directed mutagenesis) and cell culture is highly desirable.

The Maness laboratory in the Biochemistry Department is in the Genetic Medicine Building of the UNC School of Medicine, with access to outstanding core facilities in the UNC Neuroscience Research Center and Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. Our environment offers a rich venue for training in developmental neuroscience, and many opportunities for collaboration and personal enrichment.

Please send CV and list of references to:  Dr. Patricia Maness