Candidate for Neuropharmacology & Pain group - Deadline 3 February

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 03 Feb 2022


Institute of Neurosciences 

Psiconanoleptics: Towards a precision GPCR-based antipsychotic strategy 

Are you a postdoctoral researcher thinking about your next career move? Juan de la Cierva- training contract grant are a great option to work at Institute of Neurosciences of the University of Barcelona . The Institute of Neurosciences, awarded with the seal of excellence Maria de Maeztu, will allow you to work in a first class research environment to boost your career. We offer support to applicants and a mentoring programme.  

General information 

The Juan de la Cierva-training grants are aimed at promoting the employment by Spanish research organizations or R+D centres of young PhD holders for a period of two years in order to complete their post-doctoral research training in Spanish R+D centres other than those in which they completed their pre-doctoral training. 

Participants have to apply online at the call website . The selection is based on a competitive process based on their curricular merits and on the scientific-technical record of the research team in which they wish to join, giving special relevance to the merits of the tutor researcher.  

Research group 

Applicants will be integrated into the research group “Neuropharmacology & Pain”  (P.I. Francisco Ciruela).  

The research conducted at the Neuropharmacology and Pain group focus on seeking new pharmacological strategies to reach an effective management of neurological, neuropsychiatric and pain diseases. We are interested in developing novel brain biotechnologies (e.g., fluorescence-based biosensors, photopharmacology, biological agents, etc.) that may evolve into new tools both for the study of neuropathological mechanisms and the diagnosis of neurological diseases, and which eventually could be developed as neurotherapeutic agents. 

The project in which the applicant will be involved consists at implementing a pioneering concept based on the combined use of nanobodies and photopharmacological tools targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) involved in psychiatric diseases. We have demonstrated the usefulness of photopharmacology in preclinical models of disease [1–6], thus highlighting its high spatiotemporal resolution in the different approaches used. Recently, we have engineered selective nanobodies (Nb) holding intrinsic activity (i.e., agonist and antagonist) against these GPCRs. Importantly, these Nb can be easily combined with our photopharmacological strategies, thus providing a long-lasting (days) light-controlled activity of the neurological agents. 


1. Taura J, Nolen EG, Cabré G, et al. Remote control of movement disorders using a photoactive adenosine A 2A receptor antagonist. J. Control. Release. 283, 135–142 (2018). 

2. Hüll K, Fernández-Dueñas V, Schönberger M, López-Cano M, Trauner D, Ciruela F. Optical Control of Adenosine-Mediated Pain Modulation. Bioconjug. Chem. 32(9), 1979–1983 (2021). 

3. Font J, López-Cano M, Notartomaso S, et al. Optical control of pain in vivo with a photoactive mGlu5 receptor negative allosteric modulator. Elife. 6, e23545 (2017). 

4. López-Cano M, Filgaira I, Nolen EG, et al. Optical control of adenosine A 3 receptor function in psoriasis. Pharmacol. Res. 170 (2021). 

5. López-Cano M, Font J, Aso E, et al. Remote local photoactivation of morphine produces analgesia without opioid-related adverse effects. Br. J. Pharmacol. (2021). 

6. Gómez-Santacana X, Pittolo S, Rovira X, et al. Illuminating Phenylazopyridines To Photoswitch Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors: From the Flask to the Animals. ACS Cent. Sci. 3(1), 81–91 (2017). 

Requirements for candidates 

Participants must hold a doctoral degree and have obtained it between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 for general access, and between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2021 for access for people with disabilities equal to or greater than 33%, unless they can accredit a cause for interruption in accordance with the call for applications. 

Working conditions 

Granting of a maximum of 500 two-year grants for the employment of people holding a doctorate degree by Spanish R+D centres, of which 9 grants are reserved for the employment of people with a disability equal to or greater than 33%. The grants, which amount to 30,000 euros per year, are intended to co-finance the salary and the employer's social security contributions of the persons hired during each of the annual periods. In addition, an additional grant of 4,800 euros will be awarded to cover expenses directly related to the execution of their research activities. 

Get in contact with the hosting research group 

If you are interested in our group send your CV ( ); Reference: JdC Candidate) 

Support for applicants 

The Institute of Neurosciences offers support ( ) and a mentoring programme   

Link to the callHere  

Deadline: 3 February 2022 

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