How to join:
Please email me your C.V. and a cover letter describing the following:
Your research experience
Your philosophy with regards to science
A clear description of the types of projects that excite you the most
Any funding/fellowship opportunities you currently have or are interested in applying for
- Your general goals during your stay in lab and your career goals thereafter
After initial communications, please have 2 letters of reference ready.
1 position open (external funding necessary).
While working on projects in line with the lab's research mission, you will lead a team of fellow postdocs, research assistants, and undergrads in terms of developing conceptual skill sets (e.g. journal clubs, experimental planning) and practical skill sets (e.g. surgery training, practice presentations). I will open any door I can for you to present your work at seminars, conferences, etc, and we will work closely to make sure your time in the lab is effective, efficient, and doesn't last a century. My goal is to train you well enough to achieve full independence as a neuroscientist and subsequently in the career of your choice. It's absolutely crucial that you work with me on this for your development; we're a team, and our mutual expertise and success can only synergize. The ideal candidates will have extensive experience in a subset of the following: optogenetics, virus engineering strategies, in vivo imaging approaches, immunohistochemistry, and behavioral assays that cover either classical/operant conditioning or anxiety/depression-like readouts.
This position has been filled.
I am looking for a candidate with 1-2 years of full-time lab/managerial experience. This position entails two equally important goals: to lead a project relevant to the lab's interests while working alongside fellow postdocs, research assistants, and undergrads; and, to organize and maintain the lab's experimental infrastructure (e.g. equipment stock, placing orders). The same promise I make to postdocs I make to you.
These positions have been filled.
Research assistants will both lead a project and receive ample support from the rest of the lab to plan and execute experiments, while also having opportunities to present their work as posters or talks during seminars and conferences. For these positions, I am looking for candidates with at least 2 years of extensive lab experience as undergraduates or 1-2 years of full-time lab experience as a research assistant / technician. A minimum 2 year commitment to the lab is required. Our teams will meet weekly, both individually and in a group setting. During the initial stages, we will build optogenetic and behavioral apparatuses with in-house engineers and carry out a subset of the experiments proposed in the research page. In parallel, we will also actively work together on your transition into and out of the lab throughout your stay.
My lab is currently recruiting graduate students to begin between 2017 and 2019 in the Graduate Program for Neuroscience at Boston University!
2 positions open.
I am eager to recruit 3 undergraduates whose interests in neuroscience both resonate with the lab's mission and the lab's philosophy. While prior experience isn't necessary, it is highly encouraged; at the very least, I am looking for undergraduates who are primarily motivated by learning and performing topnotch memory research in a methodical and creative manner. Each undergraduate will work with a postdoc or a research assistant and, over time, is expected to be independent in terms of carrying out experiments. A minimum 2 year commitment to the lab is required. Many of the undergraduates I worked with previously have gone on to present our work at conferences, have been essential to our previous discoveries, and have transitioned to graduate/medical school, industry, etc. Most have excitingly been authors on our publications because their contributions to the science consisted, most importantly, of genuine effort. Again, the lab is an egalitarian playground for science -- everyone contributes, everyone is given credit, and everyone is happy.
Why you should:
My vision for mentoring all members of the lab has three common components:
My job as a scientist and a mentor is to help you make an unknown known, while simultaneously helping you bend the arc of your career in the direction in which you are most productive and find most personally rewarding.
Together, we'll do everything we can to make the venn diagram consisting of scientific productivity and well-being overlap as fully as possible.
- Our daily routines will consist of hard work and good luck -- ideally, a lot of the former will lead to some of the latter, as J.K. Rowling once wrote.
With these components in mind, I will aim to bring out the best neuroscientist in you who can identify the edge of what our field knows and doesn't know, and who is capable of asking the questions that will push that frontier forward. Our job, ultimately, is to fillet the brain to figure out how memory works.
Memories are not perfect, and neither am I. Memories, however, can be updated with new information, and so can I. Once a year, I will have a feedback mechanism in place whereby each lab member anonymously provides one paragraph of my mentorship abilities that they find most useful and one paragraph of weaknesses that they believe I can, and should, improve. These reviews will be publicly available on this website for everyone to view, for two reasons: 1) Any applicant can get a cross-section of my mentoring strengths and weaknesses to measure if their approach to science resonates with my own; 2) Because I can, and should, be held responsible for every word on this page.
While my door is always open, we will also meet once a week for an hour to discuss both our experiments and your personal career development. Moreover, I will help you hands-on with one experiment a week so that my expectations of you are tampered by the realities of science's often tedious timescale. To facilitate collaboration and active, wide-ranging feedback, we will also host open lab meetings where anyone in our scientific community can join to listen and/or provide feedback on our data and interpretations.
Again, my job is to help you make an unknown known -- every job I can think of requires this essential skill. Therefore, in terms of your career plans, let's do a quick thought experiment: imagine that I have 5 lab members with distinct trajectories in mind. One goes into science writing; the second goes into consulting; the third goes into industry; the fourth goes to work at Google; and the fifth goes to a tenure-track position in academia. In what world are any of these members anything but successful?
Thus, my goal as a PI and mentor is to fortify your career-specific trajectory because your training in my lab centers on learning to science exceptionally well and learning how to apply these conceptual skill sets in a way that leaves any field better off than when you entered it. I genuinely believe that this strategy is both suitably lofty and very much tractable.
I will fund at least one conference a year for you because they're an ideal opportunity to simultaneously explore a new corner of the world and a new corner of neuroscience, to recharge your science battery, and to communicate our work to the larger science community. Presenting at one is not a prerequisite for attending. Indeed, I highly encourage our team to attend conferences annually so that we can keep our finger on neuroscience's pulse and because, over time, poster lanes tend to become memory lanes.
What's the point of being a science family if we can't mentally decompress and soak up some sun or pretend like we know how to ski? In addition to occasional dinners and local lab outings, we'll have a lab retreat each year and vote on which destination best suits our current mood. These retreats are meant to be 100% centered on food, liquid beverages of the delicious variety, and embracing our camaraderie. There's no catch: we're just there to have fun -- whether it's a weekend at a lake house in New Hampshire, burying ourselves in the sands of the Cape, taking over the most yelp-certified cuisine of Maine, or going to a Patriots game and tearing up out of reverence every time Tom Brady takes the field.