PhD Position in Neurobiology

Duke University

United States

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PhD Position in Neurobiology

Work Arrangement: 
Requisition Number:  147329
Regular or Temporary:  Regular

Durham, NC, US, 27710

Personnel Area:  MEDICAL CENTER
Date:  Jun 22, 2023

School of Medicine:


Established in 1930, Duke University School of Medicine is the youngest of the nation’s top medical schools. Ranked tenth among its peers, the School takes pride in being an inclusive community of outstanding learners, investigators, clinicians, and staff where traditional barriers are low, interdisciplinary collaboration is embraced, and great ideas accelerate translation of fundamental scientific discoveries to improve humanhealth locally and around the globe.


Comprised of 2,400 faculty physicians and researchers, the Duke University School of Medicine along with the Duke University School of Nursing and Duke University Health System create Duke Health. Duke Health is a world-class health care network. Founded in 1998 to provide efficient, responsive care, the health system offers a full network of health services and encompasses Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Primary Care, Private Diagnostic Clinic, Duke Home and Hospice, Duke Health and Wellness, and multiple affiliations.


Our lab at Duke Neurobiology is seeking to recruit a postdoctoral fellow to lead a project that aims to determine the genetic and circuit basis of simple value-based decision making. Specifically, the funded project will aim to exploit the significant variation in the decision outcomes we observed among different wild-caught Drosophila strains to identify the specific genes – and by extension the circuitry that they participate in – whose variations in function and/or expression underlie the observed behavioral variation.


Drosophila females are capable of making value-based decisions: they have the capacity to memorize and rank the values of different acceptable options before committing to a decision. Furthermore, Drosophila offer an EM-level connectome and extensive genetic access to their relatively simple and likely easier to understand brain, making them an excellent model for studying the neurobiology of value-based decision making. For more information, see some of our published work in Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.1151842), Cell Reports (DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.09.033), Current Biology (DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.076), eLife (DOI: 10.7554/eLife.46165), and PNAS (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1911583116). 


Our lab is well funded, collaborative, and located in an intellectually vibrant neurobiology research community.


Education And Experience

  • The ideal candidate is someone who has (or is about to have) a Ph.D. in Neuroscience or related field, possesses strong problem-solving and quantitative skills, and is curiosity driven.
  • Competence in molecular and genomic approaches, strong motivation to learn new techniques, and ability to code are a must.
  • Working knowledge in e-phys, Ca2+ imaging, and optics is highly desirable. 


In addition to applying to the position online interested candidates should send a cover letter, CV, and contacts for three references to




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Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Nearest Major Market: Durham
Nearest Secondary Market: Raleigh

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