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Training Positions Available!

Applications are invited for the Postdoctoral Program in Functional Neurogenomics. This training program is associated with the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and is supported by a T32 training grant awarded by the NIMH.  Outstanding postdoctoral scholars will work in the laboratory of one of approximately 30 program-affiliated faculty members with positions in various departments at Vanderbilt University or Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact any of the training faculty to learn about opportunities in individual laboratories. Additional information is also available by emailing the Program Director, Roger J. Colbran, Ph.D. (Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics).


At Vanderbilt University, we hold the sincere belief that fostering the advancement of and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion of all students, faculty, and staff benefits all members of our community. To bring to life our vision of inclusive excellence, we are intentional about recruiting, retaining, and supporting diverse and underrepresented groups of students. We encourage individuals from all populations to apply to our programs. The university does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, socio-economic background, or disability.

About the Training Program

Neuroscientists continue to struggle to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie mental illness, and even more so to translate this information into the personalized therapies needed for numerous diseases. Although research over the past five decades has uncovered genes, gene variants, molecular networks, cellular interactions and brain pathways underlying brain disorders, our translation of this information to a useful understanding of disease mechanisms that can facilitate the development of new therapeutic approaches remains limited.

The goal of the Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Training Program in Functional Neurogenomics is to train the next generation of neuroscientists to address these issues. Our trainees receive close personal mentoring to foster the development of the technical and intellectual skills needed to understand and exploit:

  • The functional impact of genetic and epigenetic variation in vivo
  • The developmental and regulatory context within which genes produce alterations in synaptic physiology
  • The circuit-level pathologies that lead to changes in behavior
  • The best practices in translating research findings into novel therapies.

Our program facilitates the merger of multiple disciplines, providing trainees with experience in the opportunities afforded by genetic model systems, the translation of human genetic findings into construct-valid animal models, the manipulation of molecules, cells and circuits with advanced technical approaches in vivo, and in capturing the physiological and behavioral consequences of such manipulations.  These efforts are founded on a robust institutional investment in neuroscience leadership, faculty, educational programs, technological expertise and core facilities over the past two decades.

Two established neuroscientists with a long-standing interest in advancing the careers of junior scientists oversee the Program. The Program Director is Roger J. Colbran, Ph.D., Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and fellow of the AAAS. Dr. Colbran’s research lab employs multidisciplinary approaches to investigate molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity, and their link to neuropsychiatric disorders.  The Program Co-Director is Lisa Monteggia, Ph.D., Barlow Family Director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and Professor of Pharmacology  Dr. Monteggia’s current work focuses on the molecular and cellular basis of neural plasticity as it pertains to psychiatric disorders and the mechanisms underlying antidepressant efficacy. Drs. Colbran and Monteggia are highly experienced mentors, having trained numerous predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows who have gone on to productive careers as independent research scientists.