Mechanism of neurotransmitter release in the brain

We are sorry, this position has been filled.

Computational modeling of the machinery that releases neurotransmitters (NT) at neuronal synapses, statistical analysis of experimental data. Synaptic release and synaptic plasticity, the ability of synaptic strength to change in time, underlie memory and complex computation by the brain and artificial neural networks used in machine learning. The mechanisms governing the machinery are poorly understood. This project focuses on molecular dynamics simulations of the membranes that the NT release machinery must fuse on sub millisecond timescales. Machinery components will be added to the simulations to test if they can accomplish membrane fusion and NT release, and to test if they can reproduce experiments on neuronal synapses. The student will be expected to develop software and run simulations that measure properties of the membranes and of the proteins that constitute the release machinery.

Lab: O'Shaughnessy group

Direct Supervisor: Prof O'Shaughnessy

Position Dates: 6/01/2018 - 8/31/2018

Hours per Week: Full Time

Paid Position: Yes

Credit: Yes

Positions Available: 1

Qualifications: Mathematics, coding

Eligibility: Junior, Senior, Master's


Prof O'Shaughnessy, [email protected], 824 Mudd