Staff Scientist Position: Neural Developmental Dynamics at NICHD


Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Date Posted: 9/26/2023
City: Bethesda
State: Maryland
Primary Category: Neural Developmental Dynamics
Type of Position: Staff Scientist

Description & Details:

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Division of Intramural Research (DIR) is seeking to recruit an outstanding Staff Scientist to join the Section on Neural Developmental Dynamics. The ideal candidate should have a strong track record of achievements in using zebrafish as a model system in development, confocal microscopy and image analysis, and/or the development of computational models of development.

The candidate will be expected to analyze the dynamics of cell shape and movement of primordium cells and develop computational models that help understand how gene regulatory networks, signaling and mechanics contribute to the emergence of pattern, form, and cell behavior in the migrating lateral line primordium. Applicants will be expected to supervise postbaccalaureate fellows and will have the opportunity to develop original research projects.

The mission of the Section on Neural Developmental Dynamics is to investigate how the dynamic behavior of cells and their interactions with their environment determine the self-organization of cell communities in the nervous system of the zebrafish embryo. Recent and ongoing work centers on using a combination of cellular, molecular, genetic, biomechanical, live imaging and computational approaches to understand the development of the posterior lateral line primordium. This includes the use state-of-the-art microscopy, image processing and the development of multi-scale computational models to understand the self-organization of cell-fate, morphogenesis and migration of the lateral line primordium. Special emphasis in our work is on analysis of high resolution 4D timelapse data of primordium migration and the development of multiscale models of multicellular morphogenesis, development, and behavior.


  • The successful candidate must demonstrate evidence of scientific research productivity sufficient to perform these duties and responsibilities.
  • Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent, completed formally mentored postdoctoral training in related research areas, and an outstanding record of publication.
  • Must have experience in genetic, molecular, cellular and computational approaches coupled with image analysis to study self-organization of cell fate, morphogenesis and collective migration in development using the zebrafish lateral line primordium as a model system.
  • Competence with Python based approaches to image analysis and modelling environments for development of multiscale models of multicellular morphogenesis and behavior, like Compucell3D, Morpheus and/or Chaste would be an asset.
  • Demonstrated experience in staff training and mentoring, outstanding communication, and time and space management skills.

To Apply:

Applicants must submit their curriculum vitae, complete bibliography, a brief description of future research interests, copies of their 3 most important publications with a description of their contribution to each paper and arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to:

Dr. Ajay Chitnis,
Building 6B, Room 3B315,
6 Center Drive, MSC 2790,
Bethesda, MD 20892

Contact name

Ajay Chitnis

Contact email


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