The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis invites applications for a qualified Junior Specialist for the Translational Neuroscience Laboratory of the MIND Institute and Psychiatry and Behavioral, led by Dr. Jill Silverman.
This position will involve making contributions to translational science through interdisciplinary studies focused on questions that define genotype and phenotype relationships in neurodevelopmental disorders, with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and recurring seizures. This position will provide technical support and active participation and contribution to the research for grants funded by the National Institutes of Health, the RDM Positive Impact Foundation, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and/or foundations focused on Jordan and ADNP Syndromes, a variety of genetic neurodevelopmental disorders, characterized by the symptoms described above.
The position requires an understanding of general laboratory procedures including sterile techniques, live, small animal work, breeding colony maintenance, and the use of analytical laboratory equipment. Applicants must possess the ability to independently and proactively problem solve using open-access information (internet websites) that will allow for the project's forward progress and the ability for the incumbent to independently problem solve in the laboratory for research projects that utilize genetically modified rodents for behavior and neurophysiological analysis (in vivo) as well as cell/neuron culture (in vitro) research. The candidate should also possess confident with communication and capable to work successfully among a fast paced competitive nationally laboratory but also work closely and collaboratively within a tight knit interdisciplinary team. The ideal candidate should have superior attention to detail and diligent recordkeeping. MAJOR RESPONSIBLITIES
The incumbent for this position will be involved in interdisciplinary studies focusing on identifying in vivo phenotypes (i.e., behavioral outcomes and/or seizures) and in vitro phenotypes (i.e., neuronal growth, complexity and firing rates), that result from genetic mutations. To discover these phenotypes, the incumbent must master breeding and maintaining a colony of genetically modified mice and be comfortable and confident in performing genotypic analysis, possess strong skills in basic rodent husbandry, harvesting brain tissue and generating for neuronal cultures.
Both live animal and cell/neuronal culture work requires the collection and analysis of extensive behavioral and biological data, and the preparation of data as figures for grant applications, presentations, and publications, for which they will co-author or lead. The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills; as well as the ability to work well independently and as part of a team. Strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as interpersonal skills, are a must, as this candidate will be a key member of a large team.
General responsibilities include: I. RESEARCH ACTIVITY (75% EFFORT)
Utilize genetic techniques in vivo by breeding, tattooing for identification, tail snipping, genotyping, and maintaining live mouse colonies via basic rodent husbandry.
Utilize general laboratory procedures, such as genotyping by PCR and protein analysis by Western blotting, with a high level of knowledge of DNA/protein extraction, and electrophoresis procedures as well as troubleshooting.
Preparation of compounds, including sterile techniques, preparation of analytical reagents, and use of analytical laboratory equipment.
Utilize genetic techniques in vitro by breeding of genetically modified mice and harvesting their tissue for cell/neuron culture.
Utilize sterile procedures required for cell culture from start to finish (e.g., plating to dividing neurons and maintenance of live cells for weeks).
Familiarity with microscopy for neuronal cell culture and with a troubleshooting independently by information available from open access web sources.
in vitro data collection and capturing microscopic images.
Collecting brain tissue from genetic mouse models.
Collect in vivo behavioral outcomes by executing multiple behavioral assays for motor, sensory, cognitive, and sleep behaviors in genetic mouse models.
in vivo data collection by behavioral analysis and/or histopathological techniques.
Analysis of collected behavioral and biological data.
Preparation of data as figures for grant applications, presentations, and publication.
Organize large data sets, communicate with lab their process of data management, processing, and statistical analysis of experimental data.
The incumbent will be trained by several experienced laboratory personnel that have been in the laboratory for an extended period. Since training requires a dedicated investment, the candidate will actively participate and perform validation experiments using control samples/subjects to verify skills.
Junior specialists from our laboratory typically co-author one or more manuscripts with the laboratory team and are often the lead author on at least one manuscript.
Contributions to manuscript writing include preparation of methods text, results text and multi-paneled figures with detailed figure legends, according to the submission journals guidelines.
On lead authorship manuscripts, the incumbent will meet with the PI to outline the figures, and generate a bullet pointed outline of the introduction and discussion sections, in addition to the above items on methods, results and discussion.
Work closely with co-workers, lab manager and PI to track grant budgets.
Take regular inventory of supplies, prepare orders, and keep track of purchases.
Order required supplies for independent work weekly or biweekly.
II. PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE AND ACTIVITY (15% EFFORT)
Active participation in lab meetings by sharing and discussing their own collected data, commenting on and advising other lab members data and choosing relevant journal articles from PubMed/Google Scholar and prepare a discussion for the group, for which the candidate will lead.
Collaboration amongst the group requires strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as interpersonal skills, since our laboratory works as closely intertwined team.
The team meets one-two times weekly discussing literature and problem solving with the PI. The JS and the PI will meet 1:1 every other week.
The incumbent will be expected to routinely be familiar with the literature of the laboratory, competing, and collaborating laboratories as well as be able to navigate scientific literature and select appropriate, high-quality articles relevant to their research project and the laboratory.
III. UNIVERSITY AND PUBLIC SERVICE (10% EFFORT)
Keep administration paperwork for laboratory safety and animal care and use records.
Work independently and collaboratively to assure the laboratory's IACUC is always up to date.
Learn and be confident and comfortable with the UC Davis Animal Tracking System and the animal care training logs.
Represent the laboratory on certain team calls for sub committees of campus veterinarians, and the IDDRC (sleep and gait).
Prepare for laboratory inspections and liaison with inspectors by communicating directly with co-workers and lab management, committees include Chemical Safety, Laboratory Safety, Hazardous Waste tracking and removal, Animal Care and Use.
UC Davis is the home of the Aggies — go-getters, change makers and problem solvers who make their mark at one of the top public universities in the United States. Since we first opened in 1908, we’ve been known for standout academics, sustainability and Aggie Pride as well as valuing the Northern California lifestyle. These themes are woven into our 100-plus-year history and our reputation for solving problems related to food, health, the environment and society.Our 5,300-acre campus is in the city of Davis, a vibrant college town of about 68,000 located in Yolo County. The state capital is 20 minutes away, and world-class destinations such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley are within a two-hour drive.