PhD student in bioinformatics at the Neurogenesis and Cortical Expansion Group

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Institute of Neuroscience Alicante (CSIC-UMH)

The Neurogenesis and Cortical Expansion Lab led by Víctor Borrell is seeking a highly motivated student to develop a PhD in our team at the Institute of Neuroscience (CSIC-UMH) in Alicante, Spain, a “Severo Ochoa Excellence Research Center”. The predoctoral researcher will work on a project funded by a Plan Nacional project that aims at understanding the evolution of mechanisms regulating gene expression in neural stem cells during embryonic development and relevant for the increased size and cellular complexity of the cerebral cortex in amniotes.

The predoctoral researcher will be involved in the bioinformatic analysis of high dimensional genomic datasets (RNA-seq, ATACseq, Hi-C) at the bulk and single cell level. The project involves the analysis of genomic data from multiple non-conventional species (snake, chicken, mouse, ferret), and integration across species for meta-analyses.

The candidate must have a strong background on the bioinformatic analysis of genome-wide datasets (i.e. use of Seurat, Monocle), profound skills in programming language (R, Python) and proficiency in statistics. Genuine interest for basic biomedical and interdisciplinary research will be valued, as interaction with wet-bench researchers in the lab is key for the success of this project. Additional specific training may be provided as needed, including collaborative visits to the NY Genome Center (NY, USA).

We offer a fully funded FPI contract (4 years) associated to this research project. The candidate will join a research team of three postdoctoral researchers, seven PhD students and two technicians. The lab and the Institute of Neuroscience offers extensive networking and additional training opportunities.

  • Chinnappa K, Villalba A, Márquez-Galera A, Prieto-Colomina A, Nomura Y, Cárdenas A, Llorens E, Soler R, Tomasello U, López-Atalaya JP, Borrell V (2022) Secondary loss of miR-3607 reduced cortical progenitor amplification during rodent evolution. Science Advances 8 (2), eabj4010
  • Fernández V, Martínez-Martínez MA, Prieto-Colomina A, Cárdenas A, Soler R, Dori M, Tomasello U, Nomura Y, López-Atalaya JP, Calegari C, Borrell V (2020) Repression of Irs2 by let-7 miRNAs is essential for homeostasis of the telencephalic neuroepithelium. EMBO J 19:e105479
  • Llinares-Benadero C, Borrell V (2019) Deconstructing cerebral cortical folding: genetic, celular and mechanical determinants. Nat Rev Neurosci 20:161-176
  • Cárdenas A. , Villalba A, De Juan Romero C, Picó E, Kyrousi C, Tzika AC, Tessier-Lavigne M, Ma L, Drukker M, Cappello S, Borrell V (2018) Evolution of cortical neurogenesis in amniotes controlled by Robo signaling levels. Cell 174:590-606


  • Project: “Genetic regulation of cortical stem cell lineages in amniote evolution
  • Funding: AEI Predoctoral contract (FPI)
  • Expected starting date: Inmediate
  • Duration: December 2026


Candidates should submit a brief CV and a letter of motivation to:

Please include “NCEG – Predoctoral position” in the subject of your email.