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Postdoc ‘Functional connectivity of the memory engram’

Intrusive memories in the form of flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive recollections, are amongst the most devastating symptoms of post-traumatic stress …

2 maanden geleden


Geert Grooteplein Zuid, Nijmegen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 36 uur
€ 2911 - € 4615 per maand


Intrusive memories in the form of flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive recollections, are amongst the most devastating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Whereas these memories are extremely vivid and highly emotional, they lack temporal context, being reexperienced as if they were happening in the present. The declarative content also seems to be fragmented and is characterised by impaired factual recall (e.g., on the surrounding context). These observations suggest an aberrant storage of the trauma memory in PTSD.

In this project, part of the VIDI grant awarded to Henckens, we aim to investigate the differences between adaptive vs. maladaptive (aberrant) trauma memory by investigating the memory engram in a mouse model for PTSD. Specifically, we aim to 1) investigate the functional connectivity across the memory engram for a traumatic vs. neutral event, and 2) relate trauma memory engram functional connectivity to the long-term behavioural consequences of trauma exposure by dissociating trauma susceptible vs. resilient mice. To this end, optogenetic stimulation of tagged engram neurons in transgenic TRAP mice will be combined with in vivo neuroimaging.

Specifically, you will learn to design, perform, and analyse behavioural experiments in mice, as well as stereotactic surgery, optogenetic stimulation and functional MRI data acquisition and analyses. You will collaborate with scientists with varying disciplines, participate in international conferences, and prepare manuscripts for publication at the end of the project.


The ideal candidate will have a PhD degree and excellent track record in (medical/molecular) biology, molecular life sciences, biomedical sciences, medicine, neuroscience, or in a related field. Your attitude is proactive and goal-directed. You posses good organizational skills.

You also have:

  • FELASA Certificate to conduct animal experiments, and experience in rodent research; behavioural testing, stereotactic surgery, optogenetics (preferred).
  • Experience in rodent fMRI; data acquisition and analyses (preferred).
  • Experience with coding (R, Matlab or Python) (preferred).
  • Interpersonal and communication skills to effectively collaborate and communicate in an interdisciplinary, international research setting.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
Candidates who only partially meet this profile are nonetheless strongly encouraged to apply.


Working at Radboud university medical center means that you are ahead of the curve and working together on the healthcare of the future. And there is more. Our secondary terms of employment are impressive. These are fully tailored to you thanks to our Employment Conditions Selection Model. At Radboud university medical center, you will be given trust, and you will take the responsibility to handle everything together. We provide annual courses, both professional and personal.
  • In addition to your monthly salary and an annual vacation allowance of 8%, you will receive an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
  • If you work irregular hours, you will receive an allowance.
  • As a full-time employee (36 hours per week), you are entitled to approximately 168 vacation hours (over 23 days) per year.
  • Radboud university medical center pays 70% of the pension premium. You pay the rest of the premium with your gross salary.
  • You get a discount on health insurance as well: you can take advantage of two group health insurance plans. UMC Zorgverzekering and CZ collectief.
In addition to our terms of employment, we also offer employees various other attractive facilities, such as childcare and sports facilities. Want to learn more? Take a look at the CAO UMC.

Additional information

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Marloes Henckens. Use the Apply button to submit your application.

We request applicants to send a motivation letter explaining their interest and qualifications regarding the position, their prior research/work experience, a CV, and contact information of two professional references. The deadline for application is Nov 30, 2022, 23:59 CET. Recruitment agencies are asked not to respond to this job posting.