Postdoctoral positions in the Smith lab at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)

The laboratory of Spencer LaVere Smith (aka SLAB, moved to the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) in July 2018 (it was previously at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). We are recruiting postdoctoral researchers in our new laboratory.

Mammalian brains are complex systems consisting of a large number of interconnected brain regions, each containing many neurons. To gain mechanistic insights into brain function, it is necessary to simultaneously record neural activity with subcellular resolution from multiple brain regions and/or hierarchical levels. In our laboratory, we have developed new technology and imaging systems for making just such measurements. We have built large field-of-view two-photon microscopes for visualization of activities of 10^5 – 10^6 neurons at the same time (Stirman JN et al., Nat. Biotech. 2016; Ji N et al Nat. Neurosci 2016). In addition, our laboratory runs the NEMONIC (NExt generation MultiphOton Neuro Imaging Consortium) project, a collaborative research group of neurobiologists and engineers developing a variety of new technologies for measuring brain activity with subcellular resolution in challenging experiments. Using these state-of-the-art technologies, we perform systems neuroscience studies to better understand mammalian visual processing (Smith IT et al., Nat. Neurosci. 2017). We are also working to understand the visual discrimination abilities of mice using behavior training systems (Yu Y et al., Scientific Reports 2018). In our lab, researchers enjoy generous support to pursue independent research while familiarizing themselves with next-generation systems neuroscience and state-of-the-art multiphoton imaging systems. Projects can be tailored to applicants, and emphasize all or some of these aspects of work in the lab.

Candidates should have a doctoral degree or a prospect of obtaining it. Candidates also need to have at least one first author paper. Experience with neurobiological experiments, optics, and/or analysis of multivariate data are advantages, but none are required. We will train highly motivated candidates. Some ability in English is necessary, especially to discuss scientific work, but speaking fluently is not essential.

Salaries are determined according to the Postdoctoral salary provision of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and are competitive with other postdoctoral positions in the US.

We are accepting postdocs now. Please be aware that there are procedures such as visa applications for studying abroad, thus it can take a few months between acceptance and starting. If you are interested, even if you have a year or more left in your PhD work, please reach out to us early so we can make arrangements.

1) CV
2) A simple cover letter
3) Contact information for three or more references

Please send the PDF file including the three information to No specific format is required. After document review and videoconference interview, candidates will be invited to a laboratory seminar.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

【Contact information】
Spencer Smith / SLAB
2002 BioEngineering Building; Mail code 5100
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5100

Yu Y, Hira R, Stirman JN, Yu W, Smith IT, Smith SL (2018)
Mice use robust and common strategies to discriminate natural scenes.
Scientific Reports 8(1):1379.

Smith IT, Townsend LB, Huh R, Zhu H, Smith SL (2017)
Stream-dependent development of higher visual cortical areas.
Nature Neuroscience 20(2):200-208.

Ji N, Freeman J, Smith SL (2016)
Technologies for imaging neural activity in large volumes.
Nature Neuroscience 19(9):1154-64.

Stirman JN, Smith IT, Kudenov MW, Smith SL (2016)
Wide field-of-view, twin-region, two-photon imaging of neural activity in the mammalian brain.
Nature Biotechnology 34(8):857-62.

Smith SL, Smith IT, Branco T, Hausser M. (2013)
Dendritic spikes enhance stimulus selectivity in cortical neurons in vivo.
Nature 503(7474):115-20.