Trainee in Neuroscience, Cardiovascular Physiology, Autonomic Function

Trainee in Neuroscience, Cardiovascular Physiology, Autonomic Function

We welcome applications from all levels of trainees. Clinical and preclinical positions are available.


Please send application materials to:

Dr. Aaron Phillips
Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Libin Cardiovascular Institute
Calgary, Alberta


More details:


Job Description:

In 2020, the Phillips Lab within the University of Calgary was part of a team that was awarded $48 million through the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Bridging the Gap Plus (BG+) program. This program is intended to develop new approaches for treating spinal cord injury by integrating injury stabilization, regenerative therapy, and functional restoration. To achieve this our team is building implantable and adaptive devices for the treatment of spinal cord injury. This is being done in collaboration with the University of British Columbia (Drs Brian Kwon and Chris West), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Dr. Gregoire Courtine), UC Davis (Dr. Karen Moxon), UCSD (Dr. Mark Tuszynski) and others.

Unstable blood pressure is a primary cause of death and disease. A central focus of the research associated with this position is helping to understand the circuits underlying blood pressure regulation and blood pressure stability (Nature, 2021). We use this new knowledge to develop next-generation therapies for stabilizing blood pressure and reducing death and disease. To realize this vision, the Phillips Lab is seeking Postdoctoral Fellows to join our team. Therefore, we are interested in hearing from highly motivated individuals with broad experience in neuroscience and/or cardiovascular physiology and/or biomedical engineering. Interest in new technology development is also an asset.

Training Environment: We have a fully-translational lab that provides training opportunities that span from animal models to clinical trials, that study the autonomic nervous system and its role in regulating blood pressure. Our research questions revolve around manipulating neuronal structures that regulated hemodynamics and blood pressure. We use circuit-targeted neurostimulation of sympathetic structures to stabilize hemodynamics after the loss of supraspinal control (i.e., spinal cord injury). Our approaches include but are not limited to electrical stimulation, optogenetics, single-cell transcriptomics, tissue clearing and 3D visualization, high-resolution MR and CT imaging, and full clinical trials to test this technology. We are also involved in developing new technologies including implantable stimulators, closed-loop systems, and implantable sensors. Furthermore, we are undertaking the commercialization process for this technology. Our closed-loop system was developed in animal models and is now licensed to industry and starting the testing process in humans through clinical trials.

Our lab is well funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Wings for Life, and DARPA, amongst others. We work in close collaboration with the core facilities within the Libin Cardiovascular Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and with a multidisciplinary team of scientists and clinicians. As such, the training environment is excellent within the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and our weekly seminar series features leading international and national neuroscientists. All trainees have access to the REALISE program ( which provides professional skills to aid in trainee success. We have strength in autonomic, computational, and electrophysiological techniques within and surrounding our lab. Thus, the successful candidate will have access to a wide variety of techniques and approaches that will provide a unique training experience in neural and cardiovascular physiology.

Calgary is a lively multicultural city nestled minutes from the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park. We are interested in hearing from motivated individuals with broad experience in neuroscience, and an interest in helping to develop new technology.

Who should apply:  We are looking for a highly motivated and energetic individual to conduct independent research understanding the circuits underlying orthostatic stability, and characterizing the mechanisms underlying the function of our neuroprosthetic baroreflex stimulation. This research will include utilizing lower body negative pressure to manipulate blood pressure. This will be tested in various transgenic animal models (mice, rats). Successful applicants will have good communication skills, interest, and experience in neuroscience/physiology/engineering. Furthermore, applicants should value working in a highly interactive and multidisciplinary team environment.