University of Calgary
UofC Navigation
Share this Job:

Postdoctoral Scholar, Physiology & Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine

Job ID: 23644

Updated: November 9, 2021

Location: Foothills Campus

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Position Description

Area: Neuroscience, Cardiovascular Physiology, Autonomic Function

Duration: 1 year 

Start Date: As soon as possible

Salary: Minimum $50,000 per year plus Plan C health benefits

The Department of Physiology & Pharmacology in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary is accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar in Neuroscience, Cardiovascular Physiology, Autonomic Function. 

Job Description:

In 2020, the Phillips Lab within the University of Calgary was part of a team that was awarded $48 million through the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Bridging the Gap Plus (BG+) program. This program is intended to develop new approaches for treating spinal cord injury by integrating injury stabilization, regenerative therapy, and functional restoration. To achieve this our team is building implantable and adaptive devices for the treatment of spinal cord injury. This is being done in collaboration with the University of British Columbia (Drs Brian Kwon and Chris West), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Dr. Gregoire Courtine), UC Davis (Dr. Karen Moxon), UCSD (Dr. Mark Tuszynski) and others. 

Unstable blood pressure is a primary cause of death and disease. A central focus of the research associated with this position is helping to understand the circuits underlying blood pressure regulation and blood pressure stability (Nature, 2021). We use this new knowledge to develop next-generation therapies for stabilizing blood pressure and reducing death and disease. To realize this vision, the Phillips Lab is seeking Postdoctoral Fellows to join our team. Therefore, we are interested in hearing from highly motivated individuals with broad experience in neuroscience and/or cardiovascular physiology and/or biomedical engineering. Interest in new technology development is also an asset.

Training Environment: We have a fully-translational lab that provides training opportunities that span from animal models to clinical trials, that study the autonomic nervous system and its role in regulating blood pressure. Our research questions revolve around manipulating neuronal structures that regulated hemodynamics and blood pressure. We use circuit-targeted neurostimulation of sympathetic structures to stabilize hemodynamics after the loss of supraspinal control (i.e., spinal cord injury). Our approaches include but are not limited to electrical stimulation, optogenetics, single-cell transcriptomics, tissue clearing and 3D visualization, high-resolution MR and CT imaging, and full clinical trials to test this technology. We are also involved in developing new technologies including implantable stimulators, closed-loop systems, and implantable sensors. Furthermore, we are undertaking the commercialization process for this technology. Our closed-loop system was developed in animal models and is now licensed to industry and starting the testing process in humans through clinical trials.  

Our lab is well funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Wings for Life, and DARPA, amongst others. We work in close collaboration with the core facilities within the Libin Cardiovascular Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and with a multidisciplinary team of scientists and clinicians. As such, the training environment is excellent within the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and our weekly seminar series features leading international and national neuroscientists. All trainees have access to the REALISE program (https://hbi.ucalgary.ca/our-education/realise) which provides professional skills to aid in trainee success. We have strength in autonomic, computational, and electrophysiological techniques within and surrounding our lab. Thus, the successful candidate will have access to a wide variety of techniques and approaches that will provide a unique training experience in neural and cardiovascular physiology. 

Calgary is a lively multicultural city nestled minutes from the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park. We are interested in hearing from motivated individuals with broad experience in neuroscience, and an interest in helping to develop new technology.

Who should apply:  We are looking for a highly motivated and energetic individual to conduct independent research understanding the circuits underlying orthostatic stability, and characterizing the mechanisms underlying the function of our neuroprosthetic baroreflex stimulation. This research will include utilizing lower body negative pressure to manipulate blood pressure. This will be tested in various transgenic animal models (mice, rats). Successful applicants will have good communication skills, interest, and experience in neuroscience/physiology/engineering. Furthermore, applicants should value working in a highly interactive and multidisciplinary team environment. 

The Postdoctoral Scholar will be part of Dr. Aaron Phillips’ research group. The research team focuses on understanding the sympathetic nervous system, and how it changes after the loss of supraspinal control (i.e., spinal cord injury). The team then uses this knowledge to conceive and develop new therapeutics, primarily neurotechnology. 

 

Qualifications:

  • Postdoctoral Scholars: PhD (completed within the last three years) and/or MD in the field of neuroscience, biomedical science, biomedical engineering, hemodynamics
  • Engineering: Solid and demonstrated engineering experience is an asset
  • Experience with physiological technology development/validations
  • Demonstrated excellence in the form of peer-reviewed publications
  • Experience with preclinical animal neuro/physiological or clinical neuro/physiology
  • Exemplary critical thinking skills and a demonstrated ability to troubleshoot independently
  • Communication: Fluency in English, both written and oral. Experience presenting to an academic audience is required
  • Time-management: The applicant must have excellent time management skills and be able to work in a self-directed manner within an interdisciplinary environment
  • Supervision: Previous experience mentoring undergraduate and graduate students is an asset

Application Details:

  • Cover letter describing research background and interests
  • CV with complete list of publications
  • Names and contact details of three professional references

Please send application materials to:

Dr. Aaron Phillips
Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Libin Cardiovascular Institute
Calgary, Alberta
Email: [email protected] 

Additional Information

To learn more about postdoctoral scholar opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Postdoc Careers website. For more information about the Cumming School of Medicine visit Careers in the Cumming School of Medicine.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit ucalgary.ca.

To succeed as one of Canada’s top universities, where new ideas are created, tested and applied through first-class teaching and research, the University of Calgary needs more of the best minds in our classrooms and labs. We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone. For more information visit research.ucalgary.ca/postdocs.

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. 

 

Need help?

View our Application FAQs for answers to common questions regarding the application and selection process.