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Department of Molecular Cell Biology

Oren Schuldiner

Principal Investigator / Head of Group
Dept. of Molecular Cell Biology
Wolfson Building for Biological Research  
Room 504A
Weizmann Institute of Science
Rehovot 7610001, Israel
Office: +972-8-934-2769

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Research Possibilities

We are seeking highly motivated individuals who are interested in using Drosophila as a model to neuronal remodeling. Candidates should be hard-working, good at problem solving, innovative, and well-trained in at least one of these fields: genetics, neurobiology. A working knowledge of basic molecular cloning and experience with Drosophila is strongly preferred.

Interested candidates should email a statement indicating research interests, a CV, and contact info for three professional references to Dr. Oren Schuldiner at

PhD students: Highly motivated graduate students are welcome. Please first apply to the Feinberg Graduate School. Following acceptance to FGS, please send a CV and contact info for 1-2 reference letters.
Rotation students: Highly motivated rotation students are always welcome.
Please contact Oren by mail. 

View current available positions.

Position Duration and Dates Description
Master's Rotation 1st, 2nd, 3rd Rotations Neuronal remodeling is an essential process used to sculpt the mature nervous system in vertebrates and invertebrates. One major mechanism is axon pruning in which neurons eliminate specific sections of their axons in a stereotypic manner. Not much is know about the molecular mechanisms that underlie this process. Defects in pruning may result in neurological conditions such as synesthesia or autism and the molecular mechanisms involved in axon pruning during development are also involved in axon fragmentation during neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS. Therefore, uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying axon pruning during development should increase our knowledge more broadly on axon fragmentation during development, disease and after injury. We are studying this process in the fly as it is an awesome genetic model organism with cutting edge techniques that enable us to mutate and visualize single neurons within a whole brain. We are looking for bright and enthusiastic rotation students to join and push forward one of our ongoing research projects. Looking forward to see you!
Start: Jan 1, 2019
Duration: 4.5 years
In our lab we study the mechanisms of neuronal remodeling, which is a conserved strategy to refine neural circuits across the animal kingdom. Defects in remodeling are thought to drive neuropsychiatric diseases such as autism and schizophrenia. Our lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neuronal remodeling using the fruit fly (Drosophila) as it is a genetically powerful organism that undergoes stereotypic remodeling during development. We have various options for an aspiring PhD student which include: understanding the role of adhesion mediated neuron-neuron interactions during axon pruning or axon regrowth; uncover the role of neuronal activity during circuit remodeling; understand the role of cytoskeleton regulation during axon pruning. Please see our website for more information and contact us if you are interested in coordinating an interview.
Start: Jan 1, 2020
Duration: 4.5 years
Precise connectivity of neurites to subcellular domains is a conserved feature of complex circuits, but the mechanisms defining precise wiring are largely unknown. The Drosophila mushroom-body is uniquely poised to study subcellular wiring as the adult γ-lobe harbors five distinct compartments, defined by localized innervations of other neuronal populations. Thus, different locations along the axons serve as distinct "meeting points" for specific groups of neurons. Interestingly, these compartments bear a functional importance - while some are involved in appetitive learning, others are important for aversive learning. However, the formation of these compartments remains unsolved. Previously, we have identified one set of adhesion molecules that are required for the precise wiring of two types of neurons (γ neurons and a subset of dopaminergic neuron) that together form the γ4/5 compartments. In this research program, we propose to uncover the adhesion 'code' that is required for the formation of other axonal compartments and to explore the logic of the wiring and compartment formation.