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Postdoctoral Fellow


Postdoctoral Fellow

  • req2459
  • Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23284
  • SOM-Anatomy & Neurobiology
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
Position Summary:

A postdoctoral position is available in the Lafrenaye lab to work with a translational pig model of traumatic brain injury. Investigations will focus on social and sensory changes following diffuse brain injury and how these changes are associated with microglial-axonal interaction alterations. This postdoc will work with a collaborative research group (both in the lab, at VCU, and at external institutions) to help guide these studies, perform animal surgeries, histological and molecular processing/assessment, and single-cell RNA sequencing for experiments of traumatic brain injury pathology in a higher order translational model. The ideal candidate will have experience with animal surgery, microglia assessments (molecular and/or histological), RNA sequencing/bioinformatics, and/or assessments of diffuse brain-injury-induced pathologies. The duration of the postdoc is dependent upon funding.

Core Responsibilities:

Responsibility 1 (_30_%): Assist with and conduct pig surgical and behavioral procedures.

o Task 1: Conduct the surgical preparation, traumatic brain injury induction, and physiological monitoring of pigs.

o Task 2: Conduct behavioral assessments in pigs.

o Task 3: Participate in the post-injury recovery monitoring and assessment of pigs.

Responsibility 2 (_50%): Quantitative histological, molecular, behavioral, and genetic analysis of pig and human post-mortem tissue

o Task 1: Prepare, process, and analyze pig and human tissue microscopic samples.

o Task 2: Prepare, process, and analyze pig brain for molecular assessments, including western blotting and ELISAs.

o Task 3: Work with the PI and various collaborators to prepare, process, and analyze RNA sequencing data from pigs and humans.

o Task 4: Participate in analyzing and train undergraduates to analyze the recorded behavioral assessments.

Responsibility 3 (_5%): Manuscript and grant preparation

o Task 1: Assist in manuscript and grant preparation, writing, and editing.

Responsibility 4 ( 10_%): Assisting in training students in the laboratory

o Task 1: Mentoring trainees with technical issues involved animal handling, surgery, behavioral tasks, and other quantitative assessments used in the lab.

o Task 2: Properly demonstrating safe lab techniques and best practices.

o Task 3: Engaging with trainees about proper research conduct, grant and/or manuscript writing, and other “soft” skills necessary for successful research.

Responsibility 5 (5_%): Assist with laboratory maintenance and management.

o Task 1: Assist the PI and lab manager with day-to-day maintenance and workflow of the lab

o Task 2: Assist the PI and lab manager with verifying that the laboratory and surgical spaces remain clean and functional.

o Task 3: Help the PI update and implement best practices for data and protocol management.

Required Qualifications:

- PhD or equivalent

-Demonstrated experience working in a basic or translational research laboratory

-Willingness to work with pig models of brain injury.

-Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a staff member at VCU.

Preferred Qualifications:
- Demonstrated experience working in a translational or basic research lab work a focus on traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.

- Demonstrated experience working with microglial assessments in histological samples and brain tissue.

- Demonstrated experience with live animal surgery.

- Demonstrated experience training students in wet lab research.

- Demonstrated bioinformatics experience, specifically in regard to single-cell RNA sequencing data.

- Demonstrated ability to help guide a project independently.

- Demonstrated experience drafting, editing, and publishing manuscripts.

The School of Medicine continuously strives for our workplace and learning environment to reflect the demographic and social milieu of the communities we serve. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

This is a restricted position with no set end date and continued employment is dependent upon project need, availability of funding, and performance.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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