Key information

Job reference
Competitive with benefits, subject to skills and experience.
Application close date
29 July 2021, 00:00 BST
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 15 July 2021

This is a full-time, fixed term 1 year position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.


The research group

We seek a talented and passionate scientist to join the lab of Lucia Prieto-Godino (

The lab employs a multidisciplinary approach to understand how neural circuits function and evolve, combining techniques that range from in vivo calcium imaging, electrophysiology, electron microscopy circuit tracing, single-cell RNA sequencing, genome editing, behavioural analysis, field work and environmental chemical analysis. We are part of the Crick Neurophysiology group, a cluster of active neuroscience research groups.

Project summary

The role of this post is to provide experimental support for key projects in the lab during the maternity leave of the group leader.

We and others have previously shown that olfactory guided behaviours can evolve through changes in the periphery, at the level of olfactory sensory neurons (e.g. 2017 Neuron, 2016 Nature, 2020 Science Advances). In addition, behavioural diversity can evolve through modification in how sensory information is processed in the brain, but we know much less about how this happens. We have found that evolutionary relatives of the lab model D. melanogaster display species-specific behaviours towards odour sources. This is associated with changes their olfactory sensory neurons and central circuits. We are now following up on those findings.

Another on-going project investigates the mechanisms regulating transcriptional and proteomic diversity in neurons. We recently found prevalent neuronal-specific regulation of stop codon readthrough in Drosophila (Prieto-Godino et al. Nature 2016), suggesting a mechanism to generate alternative neuron-specific protein functions. The project investigates how this process is regulated, its functional significance, and whether is conserved in vertebrates.

Key experiments to be performed by the successful applicant, integrated within on-going projects, include behavioural assays, electrophysiological recordings of olfactory sensory neurons, molecular biology and confocal imaging.

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:

A successful candidate will need to be an independent thinker, motivated to do science and able to work in a highly collaborative environment.


  • PhD in Neuroscience (or related disciplines) or in the final stages of PhD submission
  • Track record of writing papers as evidenced by publications or pre-prints
  • Ability to work independently and also capable of interacting within a group
  • Experience with Drosophila genetics
  • Experience with molecular biology
  • Experience of electrophysiology in Drosophila
  • Experience performing behavoural experiments in Drosophila


  • Knowledge of Matlab, R, Python, Igor or similar programming languages