Quantification of structural and functional change
at ORAU Workforce Solutions

Date Posted: 8/10/2019

Opportunity Description

Title of Research Opportunity: Quantification of structural and functional changes following mechanical loading in neurons Located at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is the Army's central laboratory. Its diverse assortment of unique facilities and dedicated workforce of government and private sector partners make up the largest source of world-class integrated research and analysis in the Army. The Soldier Protection Science Branch of the US Army Research Laboratory is looking for an applicant to perform research in the area of the in vitro traumatic brain injury (TBI) research. TBI occurs when an external mechanical force causes brain distortion or strain beyond a certain tolerance. The complex structural and functional interactions in the brain make in vivo evaluations of the tolerance extremely difficult, making in vitro models more appropriate. The objective of this research is to obtain an injury criteria threshold leading to the onset of neuronal dysfunction by evaluating structural and electrophysiological outcomes following mechanical loading at different strains levels and rates. The research will require working in a cellular biology lab as part of a team to address the above objectives to generate, maintain and evaluate neuronal cell cultures. The main focus will be image processing to quantify structural changes to neurons following mechanical loading through established and novel methods. Other areas of analysis will include signal processing of electrophysiology data. This research opportunity aligns with the Army’s goals for Soldier Lethality as it will enable improved head protection. Required qualifications: Applicants should have be working towards a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, neuroscience, biology or a closely related discipline. Candidates should demonstrate a strong academic background with research experience in cell culturing and microscope techniques, Matlab, Image J and image processing. Keywords: Traumatic brain injury, neuroscience, cell culture

Opportunity Snapshot

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Grooming future leaders in science and technology requires enhancing the skills, knowledge and experience of workers early in their careers. To that end, ORAU (Oak Ridge Associated Universities) assists in connecting the best and most diverse students, recent graduates, faculty and professionals with world-class fellowships, internships and jobs, whether in national laboratories, research institutions, federal government offices or private sector R&D departments.

ORAU works with agencies such as the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Research Associateship Program (RAP) allow Postdoctoral Fellows, Journeyman Fellows (undergraduate and graduates students and recent graduates), Senior Researchers, and Summer Faculty engage in research initiatives of their own choice, that are compatible with the interests of the government and will potentially contribute to the general effort of the ARL. We work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to place recent graduates in full-time and part-time jobs in the Office of Research and Development at EPA under the National Student Services Contract. ORAU also works with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

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