The Department of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center seeks a highly qualified and motivated laboratory research scientist for a Staff Associate I position to participate in NIH funded studies on the biology of essential tremor (ET) through study of human post-mortem brain specimens. The candidate will work with a collaborative team of researchers in Dr. Faust's laboratory at Columbia University and with Dr. Elan Louis at University of Texas Southwestern. Researchers participate in quantitative morphologic analyses in human brain tissue specimens and molecular analyses to map out biological changes in the tremor circuitry that may define disease pathogenesis in ET. In a second project, we are exploring the role of dysregulated ER calcium handling in human ET brain samples and a novel mouse model with tremor using biochemical and morphologic techniques. We are looking for a self-starter and a highly collaborative person who will bring energy to the lab group.
At CUIMC, we stand together because diverse experiences, perspective, and values enrich every dimension of our work. Join our team and see how your unique skills and experiences can create a real impact by changing lives.
Dissection of specified brain regions and preparing samples for paraffin embedding, vibrotome sectioning or cryostat cutting.
Perform immunohistochemistry on human brain tissue sections.
Analyze stained brain tissue sections with quantitative morphologic methods, including collecting microscopic images (light microscopy, confocal microscopy) and characterizing axonal and synaptic changes and other neuropathological parameters.
Analyze whole slide scanned digital images using digital image analysis programs.
Perform protein extractions and Western blot analyses of frozen brain tissues.
Participate in analysis of proteomics data and subsequent validation experiments.
Organization of data from experiments and participate in manuscript preparation.
Maintenance of laboratory equipment, tissue samples and supplies.
Act as a resource for new team members.
The laboratory of Dr. Phyllis Faust in the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University Medical Center investigates the pathogenesis of essential tremor (ET), a highly prevalent neurological disorder in which the underlying biology remains poorly understood. Our studies draw from the largest repository of autopsy brains from individuals with essential tremor through the Essential Tremor Centralized Brain repository at the NY Brain Bank (a joint effort between UT Southwestern and Columbia University investigators) in a clinically well characterized, prospectively followed cohort of brain donors, providing a strong basis for determining clinical-pathological correlations.
We have identified degenerative changes in cerebellum as core biologic features in ET, supporting the hypothesis that the cerebellum and Purkinje cell dysfunction are central to tremor generation in ET. We developed a novel approach using statistical comparisons based on composite analyses of multiple quantitative morphological metrics to define disease patterns in cerebellar degenerations. We are currently mapping out the pathological changes in ET versus control autopsy brain specimens across cerebellar functional/anatomical compartments and correlating these changes with ET clinical phenotypes. We are also examining whether degenerative changes in ET may more broadly involve other structures in the cerebello-thalamo-cortical loop and olivo-cerebellar loop, as physiological networks posited to be involved in the origins and propagation of tremor in ET. Morphological studies will be combined with proteomic analyses in key regions of the tremor circuit in ET versus control brains to further identify molecular mechanisms of ET pathogenesis.
A second recently developed project will examine human brain tissues with Western blot analyses for molecules involved in calcium handling in endoplasmic reticulum, in cerebellum and other brain regions. In a novel mouse model with tremor, we will examine morphologic changes in the brain that occur with ER calcium dysregulation.
Experience with quantitative microscopic analyses.
Experience with protein extraction and Western blot analysis.
Good computer skills, including knowledge of statistical analyses.
Ability to function independently and in team environment to move projects forward.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills; highly self-motivated
Ability to multi-task and work on multiple projects simultaneously
Demonstrated organizational skills and ability to pay close attention to detail
Accurate, detailed data and record keeping
Minimum Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree in neuroscience, biology, biomedical science, or comparable scientific field.
Minimum of 2 years of laboratory research experience preferred after obtaining Bachelor's degree.
Background in Neuroscience is preferred, with knowledge of neuroanatomy.
Experience with digital microscopic image analyses that may include machine learning and/or programming, and bioinformatic analyses are highly valued skills.
Ability to read scientific literature and adapt/design new protocols.
A minimum of 2 - 3 years commitment to the lab.
Hiring Salary Range:
Staff Associate II: $58,710-$60,500
Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Pay Transparency Disclosure
The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.