Post-Doctoral Associate - Integrative Biology and Physiology
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Salary: 54,840.00 - 56,484.00
Internal Number: 357049
The early career scientist will conduct research related to novel small molecule orexin agonists as treatments for obesity and sleep disorders. The incumbent will perform high fat diet (HFD) feeding studies in mice and rats to induce weight gain, and in animal models of obesity. Following this, the incumbent will be treating these HFD fed rodents with small molecule orexin agonists, to understand their efficacy in preventing or reversing diet-induced obesity. The scientist will also study the effect of peripherally injected orexin agonists on sleep quality in rodents. The Sable Promethion indirect calorimetry system will be used to study physical activity and energy expenditure (EE) following agonist administration. Additionally, the Data Sciences International (DSI, St. Paul, MN) telemetry system will be used to monitor sleep/wake states in rodents following agonist treatment. Furthermore, the incumbent will perform protein and gene expression assays to determine changes following agonist administration in rodents. Apart from the above, they will be involved in the daily operations of the laboratory, including miscellaneous administrative duties, purchasing, chemical inventory maintenance and the management of research project expenditures. They will be expected to independently perform a variety of standardized tests and routine procedures, many of which are covered by established methods, procedures, and techniques and are expected to improve the existing methodologies and develop new ones. The early career scientist will also learn to recognize and help solve problems that arise during the performance of ongoing studies in the laboratory.
Conduct animal (rat and mouse) handling, husbandry, breeding, colony maintenance, behavioral testing, including, but not limited to metabolic phenotyping (i.e., spontaneous physical activity, energy expenditure), body composition, food intake and preference measurements, and cognitive and anxiety/addiction potency testing.
Inject various compounds and solutions into experimental animals.
Assist with and eventually independently perform surgery and perfusions on experimental animals.
Collect tissue and fluid samples (e.g., body fat, brain tissue, blood) from experimental animals; store and analyze the tissue (e.g., ESLISA kits, PCR, immunohistochemistry, estrous classification).
Prepare buffers, reagents, and other solutions and test for pH level.
Keep meticulously detailed records of all experiments and procedures in a laboratory notebook; perform statistical analyses of data obtained from experiments and render interpretations of the data.
Operations - 20%
Keep the laboratory stocked, maintain inventories of supplies and order items as necessary.
Properly handle hazardous materials and dispose of all waste materials in an appropriate manner. Maintain chemical inventories and read and maintain appropriate Material Data Sheets and safety files.
Adjust, calibrate, and perform minor repairs on equipment used in the laboratory.
Become familiar with the assigned literature, attend weekly lab meetings, participate in laboratory journal clubs, and report to the PI regularly on progress.
Assist and eventually independently write study protocols, standard operating procedures (SOPs) manuscripts and grant applications.
Presenting and Instruction - 10%
Present research summary in national and international meetings in oral and poster format by preparing abstracts and slides for presentation.
Instruct students, fellows and other inexperienced professional persons in proper laboratory methods and procedures.
A Doctorate Degree (PhD, which is completed within the last 3 years) in relevant scientific fields (neuroscience, physiology, nutrition, psychology)
Previous lab experience
Knowledge of the basic principles of biological science is required to assess observations, prepare specimens, run a variety of behavioral and biological assays, interpret the results of standardized tests, etc.
Sufficient knowledge of the physiology of rats and mice is necessary in order to induce anesthesia, perform surgeries, and collect tissue and/or fluid samples
Must possess or be able to readily obtain certification to perform animal studies and procedures
Sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics is required to analyze and interpret test results.
Knowledge and skill sufficient to maintain and operate standard instruments (fluorescence microscopes, pH meters, etc).
Prior experience with rodents
Rudimentary knowledge of common histological preparations is advantageous to prepare tissues for examination.
Experience with manuscript and grant writing is a plus.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.