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West Virginia University Research Corporation is seeking applications for a Laboratory Technician with the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute Department of Neuroscience
About the Opportunity
The overall laboratory goal is to determine how neutrophil activity influences the cognitive output of the central nervous system.
The research group is interested in understanding how the activity of the immune system affects cognition. Cognition or cognitive domain encompasses all the elements necessary for an animal to learn and adapt to changes to its environment. As such, cognition is the interplay between the following processes: working memory, attention, executive function, mental flexibility, declarative memory, and episodic memory. Because of the complexity of this domain, in our lab we use tasks that help us determine whether our manipulations affect any one of these processes. Specifically, our manipulation entails changing immune cell function in both the brain and periphery, and determining its effect on these processes.
The immune system has 2 branches, adaptive and innate. We are interested in the innate immune system. This is the system that is first activated in response to both injury and pathogen challenges. Neutrophils are the most abundant cell type within the innate immune system. In humans, these cells make up about 70% of all white blood cells. In mice they make up about 30%. These cells are the first cells to infiltrate injury and infectious sites. Similarly in the brain, upon injury or infection neutrophils are recruited acutely to the site. The activity of these cells within any injury site is critical in initiating inflammation, that is recruitment of other immune cells, release of molecules to break down extra cellular matrices, etc. This activity is also critical for the initiation of healing response.
In our lab, we use transgenic mouse models and pharmacology to alter neutrophil function globally or within the covering (meninges) of the brain. Then using behavioral tests, we determine whether these changes affect cognitive processes. Furthermore, using immunohistochemistry and imaging, we look at the effect of the neutrophil manipulation on brain morphology. Also, using cell cultures we look at how direct and indirect interaction with neutrophils affect the activity of different brain cells. Finally, using the methodologies described above, we will determine how neutrophil activity in injuries like stroke contribute the long-term cognitive decline associated with the injury.
At WVU Research Corporation, we strongly believe in work-life balance and keeping time for things we love outside our work. WVU Research Corporation offers a comprehensive benefits package with a variety of options to suit your needs:
• 13 paid holidays (staff holiday calendar)
• 403(b) retirement savings with a fully vested 3% employee contribution match, (Employees have the option of contributing an additional 1-3% of their earnings to the plan, which is also matched by the WVURC)
• A range of health insurance and various other benefits
• Dependent Education Scholarship
• WVU Perks
• And More!!
What you’ll do:
- Mouse colony upkeep
- Manage day-to-day administrative activities of the lab
- Do the purchasing for the lab
- Act as liaison between lab and the administration of the department and university
- Help establish protocols for the lab
- Maintain all the certification for the lab
- Attend all lab meetings
- Assist students and PI with experiments when necessary
- Help train new lab personnel on laboratory protocols and guidelines
- Develop ideas for experimental project within the scope of the lab work
- Conduct research and present research updates at lab meetings
- Participate in journal club
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