Bookmark and Share

This article is in the news archive.

Research Associate - Drosophila connectomics group (Fixed Term)

Department/Location: Department of Zoology

Salary: £29,301-£38,183

Reference: PF11073

Category: Research

Published: 23 December 2016

Closing date: 5 February 2017

One research associate post is available in the newly established Drosophila connectomics group headed by Greg Jefferis and Matthias Landgraf in the Department of Zoology, located on Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ. The position is funded by a £3.25m Wellcome Trust collaborative award to the Department of Zoology.

Start date is 13th February 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter. The research project is in collaboration with co-applicants from HHMI Janelia Research Campus in the US (Gerry Rubin, Davi Bock), the MRC LMB in Cambridge and the University of Oxford Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (Scott Waddell). The project will reconstruct neurons and their connections from a recently completed electron microscopy (EM) volume of a whole adult fly brain. This will enable a comprehensive understanding of the neural circuits basis of memory storage and retrieval.

You will work in a highly collaborative team using web-based software to trace neuronal structures and connections. Sophisticated data analysis tools will be used to identify traced neurons and to analyse their organisational logic. Experienced senior staff will give full training in neuron tracing, data analysis and the required Drosophila neuroanatomy.

We are looking for highly motivated individuals with a background and research experience in Drosophila neuroscience and a long-term interest in understanding the circuit basis of brain function and behaviour. In exchange we will work to develop your research skills and scientific independence. You will be expected to plan and execute EM tracing strategies to reveal circuit principles of olfactory memory circuits. You will also be expected to contribute directly to the analysis, scientific publications and to present your work at UK and international conferences. There will also be opportunities to mentor junior team members. This is an opportunity to join at the very beginning of one of the first large scale connectomics efforts that will have a major impact on circuit neuroscience.


  • Relevant PhD in neuroscience
  • Deep understanding of neuroscience
  • Research experience in Drosophila neurobiology or electron microscopy of neural circuits
  • Strong desire to understand circuit basis of brain function and behaviour
  • Experience mentoring junior scientists
  • Experience analysing, writing and presenting scientific results
  • Good communication skills (written and oral).
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Attention to detail


  • Expertise in Drosophila neuroanatomy
  • Expertise in Olfactory System/Mushroom Body circuits
  • Expertise in CATMAID EM reconstruction software
  • Experience with computer programming / scripting / data analysis (e.g. R, Matlab, Python, unix shell)
  • Experience with Image Processing (e.g. Fiji / ImageJ)

Duties and responsibilities

  • Planning and executing EM tracing strategies to reveal circuit principles of olfactory memory circuits
  • Analysing and writing up the results
  • Providing expertise to the connectomics group in Drosophila neuroananatomy/development or EM
  • Mentoring junior team members

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for up to 24 months in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference PF11073 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Posted on 09/01/2017

Further news

Go to the news index page.