Researcher 2 - Department of Neuroscience

University of Minnesota

Date: 3 days ago
City: Minneapolis, MN
Contract type: Full time
University of Minnesota

All required qualifications must be documented on application materials


  • Bachelor's degree in neuroscience, related-biological sciences, biomedical engineering and one (1) year of professional experience; or an equivalent combination of neuroscience, biological science, or biomedical engineering related education and research experience totaling at least five (5) years.

  • Must be able to accommodate a flexible work schedule, including some hours in evenings or weekends, as needed.

  • Experience in working independently and possessing problem solving skills.

  • Ability to rapidly acquire new skills in experimental procedures

  • Ability to work as part of a research team.

  • Experience handling and caring for animal subjects.

  • Experience with optical imaging and/or behavioral recordings in rodents


  • Prior experience in training animals to perform behaviors.

  • Computing skills, specifically in quantitative and statistical data analyses or analysis programs (e.g. Matlab). Skills in computerized data acquisition.

  • High level of intellectual curiosity about brain function in health and disorders of the nervous system

This position is in a neuroscience research lab studying how information about behaviors is represented in the brain and how brain disorders disrupt information processing, for example brain trauma and neurodegenerative disorders. The studies involve optical recordings of neuronal activity in animals trained to perform behaviors and assisting with data analysis.
A primary responsibility will be performing these recordings in experimental animal subjects. The responsibilities also include handling and daily care of the animals, and training in the required tasks. Additional responsibilities include keeping accurate records and regulatory compliance.

Job Responsibilities:

(50%) Independently prepare and perform optical imaging studies involving animal subjects under the general supervision of senior lab staff. This includes setting up the animals within the experimental apparatus, all aspects of imaging and computerized data acquisition. Analyze and process experimental data obtained. Trouble shooting when problems arise.

(30%) Responsible for care and handling of the animals and training the subjects to perform various behavioral tasks. The position also includes help with the experimental surgeries and, over time, learning to perform these surgeries independently. Responsibilities also include assisting with histological evaluation of brain tissue.

(10%) Responsible for compliance and regulatory proceedings/policies on the care, handling and use of animals in these studies. Keep detailed records of all experiments and procedures in laboratory notebooks, databases, and spreadsheets.

(10%) Conduct background literature research on relevant topics including current methods and new findings in the field. Help monitor and train undergraduate student workers and assist in writing papers and grants.

About the Ebner Lab

Our laboratory is trying to understand how single neurons and populations of neurons encode the information needed to plan and execute limb movements. Our goal is to decipher how the brain represents different movement parameters and then uses this information to control movements. We are investigating both kinematic and dynamic movement parameters, recording the activity of neurons in the cerebellum and cerebral cortex in primates during motor behaviors. A variety of movements are studied, including reaching to targets in space, tracking moving targets, the learning of new visuomotor relations, and hand movements. Using analytical and statistical techniques, we sort out how information about movement parameters is embedded in the neuronal discharge.

At a higher level of integration, we are interested in how information in the brain is represented spatially and temporally in populations of neurons. In the cerebellum we are using flavoprotein fluorescence and Ca++ dyes to visualize neural activity. Using epifluorescence and multi-photon imaging, we are able to construct detailed spatial and temporal maps of the neuronal activity in the cerebellar cortex. One major question is to understand the spatial patterns of activity generated during behavior. We are also using optical imaging to examine the abnormalities in the cerebellar cortex in the spinocerebellar and episodic ataxias.

For more information about the lab, please visit:

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The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC)

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation's most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.

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