Phd position in "Light Induced Learning In In-Vitro Neuronal Networks" 

This project is a collaboration between the Synaptic Plasticity laboratory (Prof. Marco Canossa) at CIBIO and the NL laboratory (Prof. Lorenzo Pavesi; Dr. Beatrice Vignoli) at Physics. The candidate will work under the supervision of Dr. Beatrice Vignoli within the framework of the ERC project BACKUP ( centered on determining how the acquisition and storage of new information (learning and memory) by a neuronal network artificially activated by optogenetic are made possible by modifications of synaptic connections between neurons (synaptic plasticity). Increasing experimental evidence suggests that also astrocytes play an active role in synaptic modification. Central evidence is that they modify the structure and the function of the neuronal network but the underlying mechanisms for this function remain obscure. Main objectives of the project are to artificially create in vitro neuronal networks that could be activated by optogenetic to understand how molecular and functional modification of specific groups of synapses may lead to information storage; understand the molecular mechanisms involving glial cells in synaptic plasticity; create a reference biological asset for the construction and/or implementation of an artificial neural network (artificial intelligence). The project will be conducted combining optogenetics, dynamic imaging of neuronal and astrocytes activities and electrophysiological techniques. We are seeking candidate willing to investigate memory circuit physiology. The PhD student will have the opportunity to experience state-of-the art technologies for neuroimaging including super-resolution microscopy and optogenetic for circuit control. A strong interactions with the other members of the BACKUP project is foreseen.

Starting 1 November 2020 - 3 years 

Application should be submitted at (deadline July 23rd - 4:00 pm (Italian time)

For information and preliminary interview contact Dr. Beatrice Vignoli: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phd position in "Entangled photon sources for an integrated photonics quantum simulator" 

An European project will start 1 October 2020 to develop chip-scale quantum photonic-electronic integrated platform, fully interfaced to a classical computer (project EPIQUS: Electronic-photonic integrated quantum simulator platform). At the core of the EPIQUS project, a quantum photonic chip based on a low-loss (≤ 1dB/cm) SiN platform and operating at NIR wavelengths (800-850nm) will be developed. The use of SiN will enable a monolithic integration of the quantum photonic circuits (pump distribution, generation and manipulation of entangled photons) with silicon SPADs on the same chip – a far-reaching goal that will represent a leap forward in
the field of photonic quantum technologies. The PhD will contribute to this project by designing, testing and characterizing multiple (up to 16) scalable entangled photon sources (pumped by a NIR pulsed diode laser to produce on-chip photon pairs via nonlinear four wave mixing), for the quantum simulator. Here the idea is to build up on recent results of the NL lab ( and develop a suitable integrated source. After a first phase of design of the source, the source will be fabricated and tested to prove the generation of multi entangled photon pairs. These will be ten feed into the quantum circuitry for quantum simulation experiments. The work will be carried out in the NL laboratory with strong interactions with the European partners in Austria, Germany, Spain and Korea.

Starting 1 November 2020- 3 years – call published middle June 

Info at

For information and preliminary interview contact Prof. Pavesi : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Phd position in "Twin photons and single photon entanglement for QRNG and QCD" 

Based on an integrated silicon light source the PhD will elaborate two different devices, which are instrumental for quantum security and quantum communication. These are quantum random number generators and quantum key distribution set-up. The activity will be carried out within the European project Qrange ( and the Italy-India collaboration with prof. U. Sinha ( The generation of random numbers plays a crucial role in many applications in science. It can be used for simulation and cryptography. It is of fundamental importance that the generated numbers are truly random and due to a quantum process, as any deviation may adversely affect modelling or jeopardize security. The aim of this PhD is to develop and test a on-chip quantum photonic scheme of QRNG based on single particle entanglement ( and quantum entropy measurements. In addition, to make secure a communication protocol between two parties, quantum mechanics is used to exchange an encryption keys, this scheme is called quantum key distribution (QKD). The second aim of the PhD is to develop and test a scheme of QKD based on single photon entanglement where the developed source will be used on the Indian quantum key distribution on fiber test-bed.
The PhD student will join a team of physicist, mathematician and computer scientists.

Starting 1 November 2020- 3 years – call published middle June

Info at

For information and preliminary interview contact Prof. Pavesi: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Phd position in "Neuromorphic photonic circuits to modulate neuronal excitability in autism and epilepsy"

Investigating the cellular mechanisms controlling neuronal excitability paves the way to develop novel therapeutic opportunities for a number of invalidating brain disorders. The goal of this project is to study in-vitro models of epilepsy using drugs and neuronal networks in vitro and to modulate their electrical activity by using neuromorphic photonic circuits. Neuronal cultures from the brain of mouse models of autism and epilepsy will be grown on neuromorphic photonic circuits and cutting-edge techniques (including optogenetics, confocal microscopy, and multi-electrode array recordings) will be used to investigate the interactions between neurons and photonic circuits.

Application should be submitted at

For more info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.