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Graduate Student

Iowa City, IA, USA

Job Type

Full Time

About the Role

Graduate students in the lab attend courses to fulfill the requirements for a Ph.D. and carry out research into the foundational biological mechanisms of neuronal plasticity underlying learning & memory, neuronal alterations in genetic/neurodevelopmental disorders, and/or metabolic alterations in genetic disorders. We are strongly committed to providing an outstanding, collaborative, supportive environment for graduate training. This provides an excellent foundation for a postdoc in academia or industry, or an immediate transition in positions in industry or beyond. Students interested in doing graduate research in the Tomchik lab are encouraged to apply to one of the relevant graduate programs at Scripps, FAU, or Max Planck. Feel free to email Seth Tomchik with questions about eligibility.


  • Strong interest in carrying out graduate-level research in one of our lab's major areas of research: learning and memory, genetic/neurodevelopmental disorders (NF1), and/or metabolism.

  • Currently enrolled in an eligible Ph.D. program at Scripps, FAU, or Max Planck.

About the Lab

Our research focuses intensively on dissecting the mechanisms of learning and memory in normal conditions and in models of genetic disorders (primarily neurofibromatosis type 1 [NF1]). Genetic disorders such as NF1 affect learning and memory, as well as a range of other cognitive and behavioral processes, increasing the risk of developing comorbidities including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, we seek to understand both how learning and memory works in normal conditions, as well as how genetic disorders affect neuronal function broadly. This research involves technical approaches ranging from genetics & biochemistry to in vivo imaging with genetically-encoded fluorescent reporters and circuit manipulation with thermo/optogenetics. These experiments involve the mechanistically powerful genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster and human induced pluripotent stem cells.

We provide a positive, collaborative environment with open communication, continually increasing the creativity/rigor/depth of our science, supporting the search for truth and fight for justice in all realms, and fostering individual advancement of our lab members. Diversity is key to both our culture and success.

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