A Postdoc Scholarship in Non-Visual Photoreception – Umeå University (UmU)

Posted 2 years ago

A Postdoctoral Scholarship is available in the laboratory of Prof. Lena Gunhaga at Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine, Umeå University, Sweden. We are seeking a highly motivated applicant for a position in the fields of photoreceptors, circadian biology and nervous system development. The ideal candidate is expected to work both independently and as part of an interactive team.

The full-time scholarship is for 1+1 years (with a possible renewal for at least one year, pending satisfactory performance). Starting date: As soon as possible, but at the latest 1 October 2022. Scholarship: 312 000 SEK (~ 30 200 Euro)/year (without need to pay taxes).

Project Description

Most adult mammals synchronize their circadian clocks to the daily cycles of light and darkness. However, little is known about how photoreceptive pathways affect embryonic development. Our recent publication, using GFP reporter mice, provided evidence of early embryonic expression of Opsin 3, a specific photoreceptor (Davies et al., eNeuro, 2021). This complements previous knowledge regarding of how external signalling molecules regulate the development of the nervous system (Sjödal et al, Dev. Cell, 2007; Pandit et al., Development, 2015; Palaniappan et al., 2018). The main focus of this project is to understand the molecular mechanisms that control light- and opsin-dependent development of the nervous system.

The applicant will investigate how non-visual opsin signalling affects embryonic development. The applicant will perform functional assessments of photoreceptive pathways in mice (from embryos to adults) and chick embryos. Methods would include circadian photoentrainment studies and several in vitro approaches, as well as functional and behavioural studies of relevant opsin knockout mice, transcriptome analyses, mouse and chick tissue cultures and image analyses (including 3D imaging such as OPT and LSFM). The study also requires routinely used developmental and molecular biology methods, such as cloning of expression constructs, genotyping, immunohistochemistry, RNA in situ hybridization and statistical analyses.


The ideal candidate should have a PhD in molecular or developmental biology, neurosciences, genetics, biochemistry or a similar scientific field. A thorough theoretical and practical grounding in molecular and cell biology is a prerequisite, with knowledge and a strong interest within the fields of circadian biology and photoreceptors being desirable. Practical experience with model systems for the study of vertebrate embryogenesis, behavioural mouse studies, molecular and cell biology methods and photoentrainment is an advantage. The applicant should be proficient in written and spoken English and have good computer skills (Word, Photoshop, Excel). Also, it is important that the candidate demonstrates independence, as well as organisational, collaborative, communication and problem-solving skills.

To apply for this position, please submit a PDF (max 5 pages) containing:

    1. a letter of interest describing relevant experience and research interest,
    2. a curriculum vitae including demonstrated methodologies,
    3. the names and e-mail addresses for two or more references, with stated professional relationship with the applicant.

Please submit the PDF to lena.gunhaga@umu.se by 1 May 2022 at the latest.

About us

More information about the laboratory of Prof. Lena Gunhaga at Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine, Umeå University, Sweden: https://www.umu.se/en/research/groups/lena-gunhaga/.

At Umeå University, everything is nearby. Our cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other’s successes. If you are interested in knowing about Umeå University as a workplace, read more at: https://www.umu.se/en/work-with-us/.

Umeå University also offers a strong postdoc community with the Umeå Postdoc Society (UPS) which fosters networking amongst postdocs, organises social and career development events and works towards improving the postdoc experience at Umeå campus. Check out their website: https://umeapostdocsociety.se/ and do not hesitate to get in contact with them early on!

We look forward to receiving your application!

Job Features

Job CategoryTeaching and scientific research, Postdoctoral

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