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Ref2014: Postdoctoral position in Sensory Neuroscience (Keays Lab)

The Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) is a basic biomedical research institute sponsored largely by Boehringer Ingelheim, as well as research grants from national and international funding agencies. With around 250 employees from 40 countries, the IMP is committed to scientific discovery of fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying complex biological phenomena. 

A position is available in the Keays Lab for a postdoctoral scientist in the field of sensory neuroscience. 

Our group: The Keays Lab is focused on three questions: 1) Where are the primary magnetosensors? 2) Where is magnetic information processed in the brain? 3) How is magnetic information encoded in the brain? In answering these questions, we exploit our unique infrastructure and state-of-the-art methods including whole brain iDISCO clearing; in vivo 2-photon microscopy; single-cell sequencing; CRISPR-based genome editing; as well as a broad range of established molecular and cellular methods. Our long-term goal is to unravel this scientific mystery and exploit this knowledge to design artificial magnetoreceptors enabling the remote manipulation of neuronal circuits. 

The Keays laboratory has an established track record of publishing important papers. See: Hochstoeger et al, Science Advances 2020; Nimpf et al, Current Biology 2019; Tripathy et al, Neuron 2018; Gstrein et al, Nature Neuroscience 2018; Edelman et al, PNAS 2015; Treiber et al, Nature 2012.

The project. This project will explore how neurons within the pigeon hippocampus encode magnetic information, exploiting our unique infrastructure and customised 2-photon microscope. The successful applicant will measure neuronal activity using a genetically encoded calcium indicator (GCaMP6), while exposing the birds to a virtual magnetic reality. Specifically, we will ask whether there are “magnetic place cells” in the avian hippocampus and explore how magnetic information is incorporated into a spatial map.

The candidate. The successful candidate will have a PhD in Neuroscience with existing expertise in calcium imaging and data analysis. Experience in molecular biology, histology, and familiarity with avian model systems is advantageous. It is envisaged that the successful applicant will mentor undergraduate and master students and be in the position to apply for independent fellowships.

Our Environment. We offer an internationally competitive salary with full benefits. Childcare facilities are available on campus (

The project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) until 2024.

Applications should be addressed to Dr. David Keays and should include a CV and academic transcript. 

David Keays 
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) 
Campus-Vienna-Biocenter 1
A-1030 Vienna, Austria