The University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology invites applications for 1-3 Junior Specialist positions in the sub-specialty area of cardiovascular research. Junior Specialist appointees will be involved in interdisciplinary studies focusing on questions within this sub-specialty. Junior Specialists will devote 90% of time to research and related activities, and 10% to professional competence and public service, as described below. Junior Specialist positions are short term, two-year maximum appointments made to help meet the needs of laboratory and department research projects. Appointments are 100% (full-time).
These positions are tenable in the laboratory of Dr. Donald M. Bers, Distinguished Professor and Department Chair. As a large laboratory (20-25 members), we undertake a diversity of research activities and engage in numerous collaborations. Our goal is to investigate at cellular level the regulation of the heart, comparing normal with dysfunctional responses. We use animal disease models with pathologies such as heart failure or arrhythmias. We study processes related to both acute function (excitation-contraction coupling) and gene expression (excitation-transcription coupling). We focus on cell signaling molecules such as protein kinases, as well as membrane ion channels, transporters and pumps, along with energetics and mitochondria. Complementing our functional analyses, we aim to understand structural determinants such as post-translational modification, translocation, assembly or polymerization of proteins. We characterize mechanisms and molecules with the intention that they may be identified and validated as therapeutic targets for the treatment of heart disease.
Candidates' responsibilities: Research (90%): Successful candidates will participate in laboratory studies, assisting principal investigators (PI), senior investigators, postdoctoral researchers and/or graduate students. The incumbent will actively participate in creative activities including research presentation and publications. In addition, the incumbent will analyze and organize data that contributes to the writing of manuscripts suitable for publication. Candidates will participate in scientific discussions in the lab setting, weekly lab meetings and the monthly departmental science in progress talks.
The candidate will assist the PI and support the laboratory research in multiple ways, including:
Preparation of cardiac myocytes from small animals (rats, rabbits, mice) using approved protocols, for use in acute experiments.
Management (including selective breeding and genotyping) of mouse colonies representing various gene-altered models relevant to heart disease.
Maintenance of cell cultures, including adult differentiated cells in primary culture, stem cells (iPSC), and immortalized cell lines.
Generation and monitoring of specific animal heart failure models, by surgical and/or dietary or drug intervention.
Molecular biology experiments: Western blotting, PCR, recombinant protein expression and analysis; work with adenoviral constructs.
Functional experiments on cells and tissues using diverse techniques such as live or fixed imaging, fluorescence assays or electrophysiology.
Related activities in which specialists participate also include:
Shared lab maintenance duties: ordering and stocking of supplies, cleaning / sanitization, record keeping.
Managing or co-managing safety training and documentation for lab personnel.
Informal scientific discussions within the lab and progress reports, university symposia, poster presentation sessions, or even regional, national or international scientific meetings.
Professional Competence (5%):
The candidate will be encouraged to participate in weekly lab meetings, attend weekly seminars/conferences, contribute towards weekly journal clubs and other activities, as applicable within the Department of Pharmacology.
Public Service (5%): The candidate is expected to contribute to university and public service. Examples of service include:
Mentoring and/or training undergraduate students.
Dissemination of experimental procedures/technical expertise to other research groups.
Consultation with campus regulatory authorities (animal and safety committees), facilities managers, equipment vendors and field service providers.
Potential hazards in the laboratory may include human and animal tissue, adenoviruses and some carcinogenic, acutely toxic or corrosive substances. Personal protective measures, along with training and supervision, are provided. The laboratory operates in full compliance with all regulatory bodies' mandates.
UC Davis is the home of the Aggies — go-getters, change makers and problem solvers who make their mark at one of the top public universities in the United States. Since we first opened in 1908, we’ve been known for standout academics, sustainability and Aggie Pride as well as valuing the Northern California lifestyle. These themes are woven into our 100-plus-year history and our reputation for solving problems related to food, health, the environment and society.Our 5,300-acre campus is in the city of Davis, a vibrant college town of about 68,000 located in Yolo County. The state capital is 20 minutes away, and world-class destinations such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley are within a two-hour drive.