Two postdoc positions in neurotrophic factors, plasticity & drug action

The research group of Eero Castrén is looking for an enthusiastic young scientist to investigate the role of neuronal plasticity and neurotrophic factors in the mechanisms of drug action, especially antidepressant drugs. We are working in the Neuroscience Center of the University of Helsinki, with excellent facilities and environment.

We have recently discovered that different antidepressant drugs directly bind to the BDNF receptor TrkB Casarotto et al., Cell, 2021. This project will build on these findings and search for novel potential antidepressants that are selective to TrkB and the mechanisms of action on TrkB and its downstream signaling, including neuronal responses and behavioral effects in mice.

The successful candidate should have a doctoral degree and preferentially prior postdoctoral experience, with solid expertise in cellular and molecular biology, previous experience in neuroscience and mouse behavioral testing is an advantage. The candidate is expected to do research, supervise doctoral students, and participate in the teaching program of the Neuroscience Center. Salary is negotiable and based on experience.

Please send the application, CV, list of publications, and 3 references by January 31st, 2023  to:

Eero Castrén

Recent publications

This list is a selection of notable recent publications. Click here for the full list of publications. 

  • Casarotto P.C., Girych M., Fred S.M., Kovaleva, V., Moliner R., Enkavi G., Biojone C., Cannarozzo C., Sahu, M.P., Kaurinkoski, K., Brunello C.A., Steinzeig A., Winkel F., Patil S., Vestring S., Serchov T., Diniz C.R.A.F., Laukkanen L., Cardon I., Antila H., Rog T., Piepponen, T.P., Bramham C.R., Normann C., Lauri S.E., Saarma M., Vattulainen I., Castrén E. Antidepressant drugs act by directly binding to TRKB neurotrophin receptors. Cell 184, 1299–1313, 2021.
  • Winkel F., Ryazantseva M., Voigt M.B., Didio G., Lilja A., Llach Pou M., Steinzeig A., Harkki J., Englund J., Khirug S., Rivera C., Palva S., Taira T., Lauri S.E., Umemori J. and Castrén E. Pharmacological and optical activation of TrkB in Parvalbumin interneurons regulates intrinsic states to orchestrate cortical plasticity. Mol. Psychiatry, doi: 10.1038/s41380-021-01211-0. 2021
  • Lesnikova A., Casarotto P., Moliner R., Fred S.M., Biojone C.*, Castrén E.* Perineuronal net receptor PTPσ regulates retention of memories. Front. Synaptic Neurosci. 13:672475, 2021. doi: 10.3389/fnsyn.2021.672475
  • Fred S.M., Laukkanen L., Vesa L., Goos H., Cardon I., Moliner R., Maritzen T., Varjosalo M., Casarotto P.C., and Castrén E. Pharmacologically diverse antidepressant drugs disrupt the interaction of BDNF receptor TRKB and the endocytic adaptor AP-2. J. Biol. Chem. 294: 18150-18161. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.008837, 2019
  • Castrén E., Monteggia L. BDNF signaling in depression and antidepressant action. Biol. Psychiatry, 2021