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Postdoctoral Fellow Position: Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits, Division of Intramural Research

The Section on Sensory Cells and Circuits led by Senior Investigator Alexander Chesler, Ph.D., at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is recruiting a postdoctoral fellow for fully funded research to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying somatosensation, interoception, and pain.  

The central question guiding our research is how sensory input is detected and processed by the brain to evoke specific behaviors, sensations, and emotions. Our work focuses on identifying peripheral sensory neurons tuned to specific types of stimuli, the molecules they use for transduction, and the neural circuits they activate. Through our research we seek to understand (1) how defined sensory inputs elicit bodily responses, (2) the basis by which some stimuli are perceived as innocuous and others noxious, and (3) how these distinctions are modulated by physiological state or prior experience. The hope is that improving our knowledge of these basic mechanisms will be useful in developing new therapeutic approaches for treating pain and interoceptive disorders. 

Our laboratory combines cell and animal models as well as working with human subjects with rare inherited pathogenic variants in the PIEZO2 gene. We are located within a highly collaborative network of outstanding labs in the Porter Neuroscience Research Center and the NIH Intramural Program, providing a stimulating and collegial interdisciplinary training environment. The candidate will be able to apply cutting-edge techniques including in vivo functional imaging and electrophysiology, spatial transcriptomics, opto- and chemogenetics, and behavioral tracking in animal models, as well as quantitative sensory testing and microneurography in human subjects. 

The position is located in Bethesda, Maryland.


Candidates should have a Ph.D. with a strong track record of peer-reviewed publications and less than 4 years of postdoctoral experience. Expertise in molecular, cellular, or circuit-level neuroscience is essential. We strongly encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to apply. The position is fully funded; however, there are ample opportunities for fellowship grant writing, and other career development support is readily available. 

How To Apply

Please send a CV, a brief description of research experience and interests, and the contact information for three references to Please write “Postdoctoral Application 2024” in the subject header.  

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) are part of NIH within the Department of Health and Human Services. 

For more information about the Postdoc Fellow program, visit the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education.

NIH and NCCIH are committed to building a diverse workforce and promoting an inclusive environment. HHS and NIH are equal opportunity employers.