Electric brain stimulation modeling at the Allen Institute

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Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:41 pm

Electric brain stimulation modeling at the Allen Institute

Post by Costas »

Our mission at the Allen Institute for Brain Science is to accelerate the understanding of how the human brain works in health and disease. By implementing a team science approach on a large scale we strive to generate useful public resources, drive technological innovations and discover fundamental brain properties through integration of experiments, modeling and theory.


Electric stimulation has long been employed to perturb physiological and pathological processing in humans and animals. In the human brain, invasive electric stimulation approaches have been used e.g. in Parkinson’s disease (PD) to prevent motor symptoms and in epilepsy to prevent or disrupt seizures. Concurrently, ongoing efforts are testing electric stimulation as a means to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Despite its rich history, extensive usage and exciting potential, the biophysical and behavioral consequences of electric intervention in the mammalian brain are poorly understood. In addition, the behavioral and cognitive effects induced by electric stimulation are difficult to predict and its long-term effects ill-known. As a consequence, electric stimulation treatment remains phenomenological and in many cases, despite its promise, ineffective.

We are seeking to fill a position at the level of Scientist to work on an exciting new translational neuroscience program to (i) understand the local and distributed brain circuits excited or suppressed during electric stimulus, and (ii) develop optimized methodologies and stimulation protocols for the entrainment of cortical and associated brain areas. The Scientist to be hired will develop simulations accounting for the interactions between electric fields and neurons, networks and circuits. Notably, the simulations will be pursued in parallel with state-of-the-art in vivo experiments in rodents in collaboration with in-house experimental colleagues to inform and test various hypotheses about electric stimulus entrainment. The goal is to


Computational modeling of neurons and circuits
Computational modeling of brain electrostatics using available solvers
Design, implement and analyze large-scale network simulations
Publish/present findings in peer-reviewed journals/scientific conferences
Preparation written and oral reports on a regular basis
Maintain clear and accurate communication with supervisor, team members and external collaborators


PhD degree in computational neuroscience, physics, biology, bioengineering or related fields.
Strong background in scientific computing; experience in computational neuroscience is preferred (especially using biophysical simulations and NEURON software), but other strong applicants will be considered (with background in computational physics, biophysics, and related disciplines). Experience with parallel computing is a plus as well as familiarity with high-level programming languages such as python
Ability to meet aggressive timelines and deliverables in a collaborative environment
Strong publication record
Experience in pursuing research projects in collaborative fashion
Proven independent thinking and flexibility
Familiarity with in vitro and in vivo electrophysiological monitoring techniques
Strong written and verbal communication skills

If interested please apply for the position ("Scientist I - brain stimulation modeling") in this link:
http://www.alleninstitute.org/what-we-d ... ob-search/
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