Information from GAUSS & GAUSS Career Service

Research opportunities at Janelia Farm Research Campus

logoThe Scientific Computing Associate (SCA) II position represents an alternative to traditional scientific roles (e.g. postdoc) and provides an ideal environment to establish a career in computational research or software engineering. The position aims at developing qualifications and experience in computational research and professional software engineering in a research environment that enables the candidate to pursue their future career in science or industry. For each project, the SCA will be paired with an experienced software engineer and a member from the specific lab, often the lab head, to quickly learn techniques and about the project itself. The developed software will be openly accessible and the SCA will have the opportunity to become a lead contributor and to potentially publish results. The SCA position is a time-limited appointment for 12 to 24 months, with discretionary renewal for a 12-month term (maximum of 36 months in total).

For further details see below

What we provide:

  • A competitive compensation package, with comprehensive health and welfare benefits.
  • The opportunity to collaborate with skilled scientists and software engineers and work alongside computational and experimental enthusiasts
  • The ability to work as an independent scientist
  • An exciting and inspiring work environment at HHMI Janelia


What You’ll Do:

We are seeking an SCA to join our team at HHMI Janelia to lead a project aimed at in silico biophysical modeling of extracellular ion dynamics in the mammalian brain. Dr. Kayvon Pedram will provide mentorship on biochemical aspects of the work; Dr. Ahmed El Hady will provide mentorship in theoretical neuroscience; and Dr. Stephan Preibisch and his team will provide mentorship in algorithm development and software engineering. Successful candidates will be interested in exerting intellectual and operational freedom to tackle research objectives at the intersection of these three fields.

In brief, neurons convey information through electric pulses, which are generated by rapid ion transport between the cell’s interior and the local extracellular environment. These action potentials propagate from one neuron to the next via chemical synapses, where neurotransmitter-containing vesicles are released into the extracellular space for detection by neighboring neurons. The process of neurotransmitter release itself depends on a rapid, synaptically localized calcium exchange with the extracellular environment. While it is widely understood that transmembrane ion gradients are a crucial aspect of the biophysics that underlies communication within neuronal networks, there is a much more limited understanding of how molecules in the extracellular space, which are heterogenous and actively remodeled throughout the brain, contribute to neuronal communication over a variety of spatial and temporal scales. You will build theoretical frameworks and computational models to explore how extracellular factors, such as ion-ion interactions and mechanical perturbations, influence the diffusion of charged molecules, and subsequently, neuronal excitability. You can expect a close, bidirectional relationship between your theory/modeling efforts and experiments ongoing in the lab and will have the opportunity to test theoretical predictions in the laboratory, if desired. A detailed project description and bibliography will be provided to candidates at the interview stage.


What You Bring:

  • M.S. or Ph.D. in Computer Science, Physics, Neuroscience, or related fields (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Engineering).
  • Extensive coding experience
  • Collaborative and collegial attitude toward staff at all levels.

For more information and application , please check here:—Biophysical-Modeling_R-2284-1

Ahmed Elhady


Dr. Ahmed El Hady
Research Group Leader
Cluster for Advanced Study of Collective Behavior
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
Universitätsstraße 10, 78464 Konstanz
Room ZT 907
Postbox 687