Mar 09, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit:

Unit Job Summary: The Research Specialist 1 will participate in research focused on molecular mechanisms underlying neural circuit wiring. The ideal candidate must be highly motivated to perform cutting edge research with the intent of publishing in highly respected journals. Someone who is planning to apply to graduate school would benefit greatly from this opportunity (a 2-year commitment is required though). Our research uses molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, microscopy, and circuit function assays (electrophysiology, optogenetics) for experimentation with the genetic model system Drosophila (fruit flies) and primary neuron and S2 cell cultures. Accurate recording and reporting of experimental results is important. Reading and analysis of relevant research literature will be expected. All aspects of these projects will be guided and supervised, but the candidate will operate independently on a daily basis and will be encouraged to contribute intellectually to the studies. The successful candidate will also be responsible for cleaning and maintaining laboratory rooms and equipment, assisting with receipt and inspection of research materials, ordering and stocking of materials and equipment, and maintaining the laboratory fly stocks. May coordinate the work of students and collaborate with other members of the laboratory. Ultimately, we want an enthusiastic, fun, collegial, productive group of researchers that can work well independently, collaboratively, with general supervision. 70% - Experimental work. Some of the laboratory tasks will include: 1) Fly genetics to create appropriate lines, 2) Dissect, stain, and mount Drosophila brains, ventral nerve cords (embryonic, adult, larval, and adult), and body wall preps (all require fine hand motor skills for dissecting under stereoscope magnification), 3) Imaging brains and dissected preps using a Zeiss LSM 800 confocal microscope, 4) Electrophysiology - NMJ and whole cell recordings, 5) Other - PCR, cloning, S2 cell cultures, transformations, biochemistry. Additional research opportunities and techniques are available depending on motivation and interests. 15% - Supplemental research activities. Maintain detailed records of all experimental data and generate reports/presentations for periodic lab discussions. Read and keep abreast of scientific and technical literature. 15% - Lab maintenance. Assist with general lab duties: maintain fly lab stocks, make common buffers, agar plates, maintain laboratory rooms and equipment, order and stock laboratory supplies, etc.

Unit Education: Bachelor's degree or higher in biology, biochemistry, genetics, neuroscience, or related field.

Unit Experience: A minimum of one year of relevant research experience required. Microscopy experience (widefield, DIC, fluorescence, confocal) preferred. Experience with Drosophila melanogaster preferred. Background in neuroscience preferred. Experience with dissections and immunostainings preferred.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Knowledge of basic chemistry, buffer prep, and calculations required. Knowledge of research techniques or methods required. Analytical skills required. Problem-solving skills required. Attention to detail required. Organizational skills required. Verbal and written communication skills required. Ability to work independently and as part of a team required. Familiarity with standard molecular biology lab equipment required. Knowledge of Microsoft Office required.