Postdoctoral Fellowship Opening

Postdoctoral Fellowship

Axonal transport of mitochondria and lysosomes and maintenance of energy metabolism in neuronal degeneration and regeneration

Postdoctoral positions are available to study mechanisms (1) regulating axonal mitochondrial trafficking and anchoring in order to sense, integrate, and respond to changes in metabolic and growth status, synaptic activity, energy availability, pathological stress and regeneration following brain injury; (2) regulating axonal transport of endolysosomes and autophagosomes in maintaining synaptic and axonal degradation capacity in neurodegenerative diseases; and (3) regulating glial-axon transcellular signaling in maintaining axonal integrity and energy metabolism.

Dr. Sheng’s laboratory is located in the Porter Neuroscience Research Center ( on the Bethesda campus of NIH, close to Washington DC. This Center is home to more than 80 research groups and more than 800 scientists from different NIH Institutes focusing on diverse aspects of neuroscience, including the cell biology of the neuron. NINDS fellows enjoy an extensive training and support infrastructure with numerous career development opportunities and broad access to the resources of NIH. For information, see

The Sheng lab has applied cutting-edge microfluidic chamber technology and live and STED super-resolution imaging of mature neurons isolated from aged disease mice and human iPSC neurons, combined with in vivo analyses of genetic mouse models with gene rescue. The recent research in the Sheng lab has provided new mechanistic insights into (1) presynaptic energy-dependent variability and reliability of synaptic transmission; (2) mitochondrial transport and energy metabolism in facilitating CNS regeneration after injury; (3) axonal mitochondrial anchoring and energy maintenance in aging neurons; (4) autophagy-lysosome transport in the maintenance of axonal degradation capacity; and (5) defective axonal transport of presynaptic cargoes underlying synaptic dysfunction and behavioral abnormalities that bear similarities to autism. Recent publications from the lab include Cell (2008); Cell Metabolism (2020); Cell Reports (2012, 2013; 2019); Current Biology (2012; 2021); Developmental Cell (2021), EMBO J (2015); JCB (2005; 2013; 2014; 2015; 2016; 2018); Molecular Psychiatry (2021); Nature Cell Biology (2001; 2004); Nature Communications (2019); Neuron (2000; 2009; 2010; 2015; 2017; 2021); Nature Metabolism (2020).

The lab is equipped with two confocal microscopes (Zeiss LSM880 Airyscan and Olympus FV1000 with TIRF), a Nikon Ti-E motorized inverted stereo microscopy with Neurolucida, one electrophysiological setup, and a Seahorse XFe96 Analyzer for energy metabolic study. The lab has access to STED super-resolution microscopy, electron microscope (1200EX JEOL), and state-of-the-art mass spectrometry facility. The open lab space in Porter Neuroscience Building and extensive infrastructural core facility create an interactive environment. NIH and NINDS provides ample training opportunities for fellow career development.

The Sheng lab is a highly collegial and collaborative environment consisting of postdocs and graduate students who have the freedom to pursue a broad range of projects in the areas. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to develop a research program that will provide the foundation for a future independent research career. Positions are fully funded by the NINDS intramural program, but the trainees are encouraged to apply for independent career development funding. Former trainees in the Sheng lab have been awarded NIH K99, HHMI fellowship, and NINDS Competitive Fellowships. Ten of trainees from the Sheng lab have landed academic positions.


The positions are open to highly motivated, independent, and career-oriented candidates with PhD and/or MD degrees, and less than 5 years of postdoctoral experience. Experience with one of following research areas, including neuronal organelle transport, membrane trafficking, energy metabolism, mitochondria or lysosome biology, synaptic function, neural regeneration, and aging-associated degeneration, is strongly preferredGood written and oral communication skills are also essential. More information about Sheng lab research, resources, publications, and the career development of former trainees can be found at Sheng lab webpage:

To apply, please send CV, research interest statement, and the name of three referees via email to:

Dr. Zu-Hang Sheng, Senior Investigator, NINDS, NIH, E-mail:

DHHS and NIH are equal opportunity employers and are committed to inclusion and diversity. Positions are subject to a background check. The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.