Open Positions

Ph.D./Postdoctoral research positions

Status: Regular Full Time

Benefits Eligible: Yes

Laboratory/Department: Regulatory Biology Laboratory – Dr. Satchin Panda
The goal in the lab is to understand the Circadian Timekeeping System in animals.

Position Description: We are currently seeking a postdoctoral fellow with a long term career interest in studying the neural basis of circadian rhythm and its entrainment to light-dark cycle. The neurobiological research aspect in the laboratory focuses on molecular and circuit mechanisms of circadian and diurnal rhythms, using a combination of behavioral, electrophysiology, trans-synaptic viral tracing, next-gen sequencing, serial blockface electron microscopy, advance fluorescent based imaging techniques. The successful candidate will employ electrophysiology, SBEM, advance imaging, together with engineered viruses to dissect the physical and functional connectivity underlying adaptation of animals to their ambient lighting condition.

We primarily study the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) and their interaction with several target brain regions including the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), olivary pretectal nucleus (OPN), lateral geniculate in the context of their respective circuitry. We have discovered that the ipRGCs are principal conduits of all light input to non-image forming visual responses in mammals. However, the molecular and circuit mechanisms underlying how mammals adapt to ambient lighting condition through ipRGC-based pathways is not understood. ipRGCs affect a range of brain functions including but not limited to photoentrainment of circadian rhythm, pupillary light reflex, brightness perception in visual scene, photophobia, migraine pain, depression, alertness, sleep, melatonin release, and possibly certain types of epilepsy. Therefore, understanding ipRGC function has broad impact in both basic science and translational research. We have generated several mouse lines and a series of engineered viruses to specifically label or perturb ipRGCs or their target cell types in the brain. In parallel, we have optimized multiscale imaging methods from light microscopy to large volume SBEM to map the neural circuits underlying ipRGC functions. The laboratory is well equipped with electrophysiology, animal behavior, and molecular biology tools for this project. The successful candidate will work with respective scientific cores of Salk Institute in areas of shared resources.

Education: The candidate should hold a doctoral degree with a strong background in neuroscience.

Experience: Experience on electrophysiological recording, animal behavior, SBEM, or advance imaging techniques is preferred, with computational background considered an advantageous. Training will be provided in all necessary areas for successful completion of the project.

Application Instructions: Applicants should send curriculum vitae, statement of research interests and experience, and three references to:

Satchidananda Panda, PhD
Regulatory Biology Laboratory
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
10010 N. Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037

BILD 99, BISP 196 or 199 positions available (Independent Research Program)

We are currently taking students as a part of the BILD 99, BISP 196 or 199 Independent Research Program. We have several different projects available. The first project would be working on elucidating the molecular basis of the circadian clock.  Another project would be examining the impact of the timing of food on the circadian clock.  Lastly, we want to use advanced microscopy and labeling techniques to map the neural circuits of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells.  Basic biology, molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry background is preferred, but not required. Must be willing to work with live animals.

Please email Dr. Satchin Panda ( with a CV/resume if you are interested.

Lab Assistant I positions available

Please email Dr. Satchin Panda ( with a CV/resume if you are interested.