Research Support - Laboratory/Non-Laboratory, Staff/Administrative
This full-time position involves research on the neural circuits connecting the thalamus and neocortex. Work will largely be experimental but will also require up to 25% general laboratory duties. A successful applicant will be required to perform complex and technically difficult experiments involving stereotaxic injections of viruses, acute brain slice preparations, and in vitro whole-cell electrophysiological recordings from pairs of neurons. The applicant will also be required to analyze results in order to provide conclusive and reproducible results for research projects independently and working with other researchers. This position is for one year from the date of hire with possible extension contingent upon funding renewal.
General job duties include:
1. Carrying out complex, multi-step laboratory procedures specified in protocols or the oral instructions of a senior research worker. These procedures could include 1) performing multiple major survival surgeries on an individual animal in which mice undergo a viral injection and or head-posting 2) brain harvesting to provide living slices of forebrain tissue for neurophysiological and histological analysis 3) electrophysiological experiments involving single- and dual microelectrode recordings from neocortical or thalamic neurons in vitro 4) performing optogenetic electrophysiological experiments 5) habituating awake mice to the experimental apparatus with daily training sessions of increasing intervals 6) behavioral training of mice in choice-based, perceptual whisker-based decision task during head-fixation and 7) motivating mice using water or food restrictions.
2. Operating, maintaining, and calibrating apparatus and equipment common to area of assignment, such as analytical balances, pH meters, Barnstead GenPur xCad water purifier, Leica M80 stereomicroscope, stoelting digital stereotaxic instrument, Parker Picospritizer, AM-systems pulse stimulator, BioCLAVE bench top autoclave, Sutter P-1000 electrode puller, Leica VT1200S, Zeiss Axio Examiner.A1 microscope, Molecular Devices Digidata 1550B4, and Molecular Devices 700B voltage- and current-clamp amplifier.
3. Selecting and adapting equipment, instruments and methods to meet requirements of the laboratory program or specific research needs.
4. Participating in ordering, preparing electrophysiological solutions, aliquoting virus and pharmacological agents, laying out surgical supplies, equipment and apparatus. Conferring with other staff personnel in drafting work schedules and plans for execution of the more complex laboratory studies.
5. Employing a wide variety of experimental techniques to conduct laboratory preparations of histological nature. Familiarity with Leica’s SM2010 R - Sliding Microtome is desired.
6. Reviewing literature as suggested by the investigation. Selecting relevant facts, techniques and procedures from the literature. Summarizing the findings from the literature. Presenting either data collected or relevant research papers during laboratory meetings.
7. Supervising and directing the work of students performing routine work.
Other job duties include:
1. Microtome sectioning, staining, slide mounting, and photographing neural tissue.
2. Maintaining mouse breeder records.
3. Breeding numerous strains of mice held in the laboratory.
4. Genotyping of specific mouse strains.
5. Facilitating routine inspections of the laboratory by university entities, such as the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
6. Electrophysiological and optogenetic data collection from acute brain slices in vitro.
7. Data analysis using the computer program PClamp, Signal, Spike2, and Axograph. Simple figure making skills (taught by lab head) will be required.
Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills
Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in neuroscience or related field; one to three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in standard laboratory procedures and safety requirements and performing analytical and research techniques in an area related to research being performed; may require software specific to the area of research; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. At least one year of previous research experience in a neuroscience laboratory is required.
Prior experience in electrophysiology, anatomy, imaging, and optogenetics is desired. Any experience handling mice and viruses is an advantage. Applicants should be well organized, reliable, independent, and possess considerable attention to detail. Excellent verbal and written skills are expected.
Required Application Materials
Applicants must apply online the MSU application system. Applications should include a cover letter and curriculum vitae. The cover letter should include a brief description of past research accomplishments/experience, research interests, and career goals.
The position is a 40-hour per week position, with hours focused during business hours. Occasional work will be required on weekends or evenings.
Description of End Date
This is an off-dated position funded for one year from the date of hire with possible extension contingent upon funding renewal.
Summary of Health Risks
Position may work with live animals, human/animal tissue and/or blood, viruses/pathogens, bio-harzadous chemicals and materials, radioactive materials, and sharp implements.
Bidding Eligibility Ends on 4/16/19 at 11:55 PM
Internal Number: 569386
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