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Senior Research Assistant

Company: Case Western Reserve University
Location: Elyria
Posted on: January 26, 2023

Job Description:

Job Description


Working with a high degree of independence and under general direction, the Research Assistant 4 will coordinate activities in the lab to study the mechanisms of an adaptive behavior, with a primary focus on feeding in the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. The goal of the research will be on understanding the neural circuitry and biomechanics of rapid decision making in response to changes in the mechanical properties of food.
Perform the most complex quantitative analytical procedures, participating in the development of quantitative models and statistical analysis of results. Work with collaborators developing mathematical analyses of rhythmic behavior, computer simulations of the mechanics and neural circuitry controlling feeding in Aplysia californica, and bio-robotic devices. (30%) Provide input and recommendations to principal investigator in the areas of electrophysiology, biomechanics, and behavior. Assist in developing laboratory procedures, coordinate information with others as needed. (28%) Coordinate major activities of laboratory/ research, maintain the facility within the laboratory that houses Aplysia. (10%) Teach or instruct others in research techniques. Collaborate with and/or supervise research group members in experimental design and analysis, and help with the coordination of external collaborations, as required. (15%) Co-author research papers and reviews, and present results at national and international conferences (10%)

Serve as the Chemical Hygiene Officer and respond to requests for information from the Case Western Reserve University Department of Environmental Health and Safety, troubleshooting equipment. (3%) Pick up packages and perform other duties as assigned. (4%)

Department: Frequent contact with supervisor to discuss research and maintain workflow.
University: Occasional contact with other departments to share information.
External: Occasional contact with external collaborators.
Students: Regular contact with student employees to train and supervise on job functions.
May supervise Research Assistants and Technicians. Supervise and guide the research of undergraduate students in the laboratory; this includes helping them to learn essential techniques such as animal surgery, electrophysiology and biomechanical measurements, and assisting with their experiments. Ensure that students correctly acquire and analyze data, and help students with initial drafts of reports on their research.
Experience: 5 to 8 years of related experience required. Experience performing neurophysiology experiments for analysis of circuitry and behavior preferred.
Education/Licensing: Bachelor's degree in science required. (Neuroscience, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, or related fields preferred).
Knowledge of electrophysiology, including the ability to do circuit analysis and biophysical analysis of neurons using sharp micro-electrodes, and to implant hook electrodes and to apply suction electrodes Ability to operate and trouble-shoot electrophysiological and electronic equipment. Experience with animal surgery, including working under a microscope to do fine micro-surgery. Experience with computer-based data acquisition and analysis. Experience with biomechanical analysis of muscles. Experience with measurements of animal behavior. Experience with computer programming, ideally in MATLAB, Mathematica, Python and/or C/C++. Excellent interpersonal communication skills and a high level of proficiency in written and spoken English. Ability to communicate scientifically with individuals from other disciplines, mainly from Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics. Ability to meet consistent attendance. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors and customers face to face.

The employee will work in laboratory in the Department of Biology. Electrophysiological and biomechanical experiments will be carried out using ordinary personal protective equipment (i.e., a laboratory coat). If working under a laboratory hood to mix chemicals, gloves and goggles should be used. There are no unusual hazards associated with work in the laboratory. The employee should be able to lift loads up to 25 pounds, to be able to bend, stretch, stoop, crouch, push, pull and reach above shoulders, and may have to slide heavy carboys containing seawater, to be able to clean seawater spills, and to re-fill aquaria with seawater on a regular basis as part of maintaining the Aplysia animal facility. The employee will use repetitive motion, including the use of a keyboard and a computer mouse both while taking data at an electrophysiology rig and while analyzing data.

Diversity Statement


In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. - Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Reasonable Accommodations


Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. - Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Equity -at 216-368-3066 -to request a reasonable accommodation. - Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

COVID Vaccination


Case Western Reserve University has implemented a COVID Vaccination policy requiring evidence of COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty and staff with an on-campus presence. Religious and medical exemptions may be provided in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. For more information go to: https://case.edu/equity/covid-19-accommodations. Applicants may contact the Office of Equity at 216-368-3066 /equity@case.edu for information regarding religious or medical exemptions as an accommodation.

Keywords: Case Western Reserve University, Elyria , Senior Research Assistant, Other , Elyria, Ohio

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