Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Seeking post-doc fellow in Neuroscience

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    05/07/2020 16:30 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Tarragona
    Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)
    International Research Proposal Support Unit

Professors Dr. Josep Tomàs and Dr. Maria A. Lanuza, established at the School of Medicine at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Reus, Spain), are interested in receiving Expressions of Interest of potential candidates for the Marie Sklodowska – Curie Individual Fellowship (MSCA – IF) 2020 call. Selected candidates will receive dedicated support from our group to write a successful proposal.

The present overarching goal of our group is to investigate the synaptic activity dependent-interaction between the metabotropic receptors (muscarinic, purinergic and neurotrophic) synaptic signaling at the neuromuscular system. We focus on its role (1) during healthy development, adult and ageing of the neuromuscular junction functionality and (2) in the preservation of vulnerable neuromuscular junctions in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. We also perform neuroprotective strategies based on physical exercise and pharmacology.

Our research is based on 5 pillars:

  • Muscle contraction is essential for neurological motor health, as a retrograde signal to regulate the synaptic function at the neuromuscular synapse, contributing to its integrity.
  • Retrograde neurotrophin signaling via TrkB kinase activity is crucial for regulation of neuromuscular neurotransmitter release at short times and for maintenance of synaptic function and structural integrity at long term and it is regulated by muscle contraction.
  • Muscarinic and purinergic receptors pathways regulate synaptic function in the skeletal muscle linked to BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway.
  • ALS is associated with impaired neuromuscular transmission, early loss of neuromuscular synapses and impaired neurotrophin signaling via TrkB.
  • Muscles are selectively affected in ALS showing a fast-to-slow transition and exercise prevents it.

Our research is based on these techniques:

  • Nerve-electrical stimulation ex-vivo of muscles combined with pharmacological treatments
  • Exercise training
  • Biochemical and molecular techniques
  • Proteomic and Interactomic techniques
  • Electrophysiology
  • Super-resolution and confocal microscopy

Our publications: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4795-4103

For the Marie Curie IF call of 2020, we are looking for postdoc(s) with experience in some of these methologies:

  • Proteomic and Interactomic techniques AND/OR
  • Super-resolution microscopy to analyse molecular interaction between metabotropic receptors signaling pathways in healthy and ALS muscles.

We are looking for talented and innovative young scientists, strongly committed to high quality frontier research and able to add new insights to the existing URV core expertise. Only candidates with an outstanding record of research achievements and publications in top-quality journals will be considered.

Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) as Hosting Institution located at Scientific Campus of Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain), has all the technical and scientific facilities for carry out this project.

Universitat Rovira i Virgili is well positioned both nationally and internationally due to the Excellence of its research and the commitment and internationally recognised staff. URV is made up of 12 Faculties and Schools, with 24 Departments, which welcome annually 11.400 undergraduate, 1.500 master and 1.200 PhD students (20% of them full time employees). In 2019, it was named World’s 78th Best Young University aged less than 50 years and 401-500 Best University in the World (by Times Higher Education World University Rankings), and 501-600 by Academic Ranking of world Universities. Being the within the top 10% universities in number and impact of its publications is a clear measure of the quality of the research we can offer to the future MSCA-IF fellows.

Testament to the quality of its research is the fact that URV is host for around 100 MSCA fellows, in different programmes (COFUND, ITN, IF), displaying a strong bond to the principles of the MSCA programme.



At the deadline for the submission of the proposals (09/09/2020), researchers:

  • Shall be in possession of a doctoral degree or 4 years of full-time equivalent experience;
  • Must not have resided or carried out their main activities in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the above mentioned deadline.
  • Must be fluent in English (both written and spoken).



Researchers willing to apply should check that they fulfil the eligibility criteria and then send an expression of interest, consisting of:

  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • A summary presentation of their research proposal / A motivation letter


Expressions of interest must be submitted to uspir@urv.cat (Title of the e-mail “URV- MSCA - IF - Profs. Tomàs-Lanuza”).

Proposals will be pre-selected on the basis of internal evaluation. Candidates will be informed of the results of the pre-selection a week after the deadline.


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