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Postdoctoral Position in Neuroimaging of Pain and Affect

Dr. Lauren Atlas’s laboratory is recruiting one to two postdoctoral researchers with expertise in fMRI and affective science to join the Section on Affective Neuroscience and Pain (ANP) to lead new projects on the psychological modulation of pain and emotional experience using high field imaging (7-Tesla MRI). Dr. Atlas’s lab is part of NCCIH’s new intramural program, and affiliated with the Intramural Research Programs of the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Learn more about the NIH Intramural Training Program.

Research in the ANP Lab focuses on the mechanisms by which expectations, learning, and other cognitive and affective factors influence pain, emotion, and clinical outcomes. We combine approaches from experimental psychology, neuroimaging, psychophysiology, and computational modeling to investigate pain and emotional experience in healthy individuals as well as individuals with chronic pain and/or affective disorders. We are particularly interested in the intersection of appetitive and aversive learning, how psychosocial factors influence pain and clinical outcomes, and questions motivated by pain’s central role in the opioid crisis. Postdoctoral researchers are expected to develop their own projects, with guidance, and to collaborate with other researchers in the lab.

We are looking for someone to spearhead new projects using high field imaging (7T-FMRI) to examine pain and perception across domains. The candidate should have a strong background in psychology and neuroscience and must have received a Ph.D. in a relevant field by the time of appointment. Candidates with successful publications in the fields of pain, emotion, and/or computational modeling are encouraged to apply. Postdoctoral positions require experience with 1) design of behavioral and fMRI experiments and 2) analysis of fMRI data using statistical parametric mapping packages (SPM, AFNI, etc.). Programming skills in MATLAB, C, and/or Python are highly desirable. These requirements will be flexible for candidates with clinical experience in pain populations. Appointments and salary are commensurate with research experience and accomplishments (

The candidate will be supported with the excellent intramural NIH fellowship in a stimulating and interactive research environment at NIH. NIH has exceptional multidisciplinary research facilities including structural and functional MRI, MEG, PET, and TMS. Our lab is fully funded with dedicated weekly scan time, a full-time data analyst, and the opportunity to work alongside some of the world’s foremost fMRI experts. Training in advanced imaging and other techniques is available, as are courses in grant writing and career development. This is an exciting and collaborative environment for those interested in pursuing a career in clinical and cognitive neuroscience. Learn more about the NIH Intramural Program.

How To Apply
Applicants should submit a CV, a brief description of research interests and career goals, and the names of three references to Dr. Lauren Atlas (Investigator/Chief, Section on Affective Neuroscience and Pain, NCCIH/NIMH/NIDA, NIH). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The Department of Health and Human Services and NIH are equal opportunity employers committed to equity, diversity and inclusion.