Multiple postdoctoral research positions in Computional Neuroscience

POSITION: Xaq Pitkow’s Computational Neuroscience group jointly at the Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University is seeking several highly motivated postdoctoral researchers for multiple exciting and ambitious projects at the interface of neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Successful applicants will develop theories of distributed neural computation and work closely with our outstanding experimental and theoretical team members to test these theories.


  • Reverse-engineering the inference algorithm used by mammalian cortex, by connecting circuit architecture, distributed computation, probabilistic inference, and learning. This is a close collaboration between twelve research groups, led by Andreas Tolias (BCM) and me (BCM/Rice), and including key theorists Ankit Patel (BCM), Matthias Bethge (UTübingen), Liam Paninski (Columbia), Richard Baraniuk (Rice), Raquel Urtasun (UToronto), Richard Zemel (UToronto), Sebastian Seung (Princeton) and experimentalists Chris Xu (Cornell), Thanos Siapas (Caltech), and Clay Reid (Allen Institute).
  • Revealing how brains play games. We have designed dynamic, immersive virtual and physical environments for animals, and will simultaneously record many neurons while the animals behave. We will use control theory and network analysis to model how recorded neural activity represents amibiguous sensory variables and what neural transformations explain the animal’s behavior in the games. This is a close collaboration with Dora Angelaki (BCM), Valentin Dragoi (UTHS), and Paul Schrater (UMN).
  • Neural models of human language. We are collaborating with Nitin Tandon (UTHS), a neurosurgeon who records from the brains of human patients. We will analyze data about dynamically changing interactions amongst language-associated brain regions, and use these data to test cognitive theories about language.

QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates must have outstanding mathematical skills, a Ph.D in a relevant quantitative discipline, and demonstrable expertise in computational neuroscience, statistics, machine learning, information theory, or control theory. Strong communication skills are also required. Previous knowledge of neurobiology is advantageous but not essential.

ENVIRONMENT: We are an energetic, highly collaborative theory group residing in two world-class academic research institutions renowned for biomedical and engineering research. Read more about the lab and our projects here. Houston itself is a cultured city with fabulous restaurants and a warm climate, with a well-connected international airport.

APPLYING: Postdoctoral fellowships are for an initial appointment of one year, with further extensions depending on progress. The positions provide a competitive annual salary and benefits. Applicants should email a letter of research interests and CV to Xaq Pitkow (xaq(a)rice.edu). The start date is flexible, and we look forward to reviewing completed applications as they arrive.