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Postdoctoral Associate / Research Specialist – O’Shea Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Ashburn, Virginia
$70,000.00 - $91,000.00
Closing date
14 Apr 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time

Job Details

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus is a pioneering research center in Ashburn, Virginia, where scientists pursue fundamental questions in the life sciences. Our integrated teams of biologists, computational scientists, and tool-builders innovate research practices and technologies to solve biology’s deepest mysteries. HHMI launched Janelia in 2006, establishing an intellectually enriching environment for scientists to do creative, collaborative, hands-on work. We share our methods, results, and tools with the scientific community.

About The Role:

We are broadly interested in how interactions between glia and neurons alter neuronal function in normal and diseased conditions. To learn more about our current research please see here.

We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow or research specialist to join our group to work on an independent research project related to glia-neuron interactions or focused on the mechanisms of activity dependent-synapse elimination in the mammalian central nervous system. There are many possible projects in this area such as studying the role of astrocytes in synapse elimination, glia-immune signaling, cell death signaling at the synapse, the connection between neuronal activity and synapse elimination, or more generally - how glia support and protect neuronal function. You will work collaboratively with other lab members and will use molecular biology and primary cell culture methods, microscopy, and rodent in vivo models to investigate and make progress in one of these research directions. Importantly, passion and dedication to high standards of groundbreaking science is paramount.

Please do not email Dr. O’Shea or members of her lab about this job posting. Instead, please submit your application on this site by clicking the Apply button above. Email inquiries sent directly to Dr. O'Shea or members of her lab will not be considered.

What We Provide:

  • An environment where you can grow and further develop your scientific skills by way of training you in specific experimental procedures, one-on-one mentorship with a senior lab member, and (if warranted) research autonomy.

  • Flexibility of selecting a research project that best suits your training, skills and aspirations.

  • Abundant research resources and access to excellent Core Facilities and Services (Mouse Husbandry, Animal Surgery, Advanced Instrumentation, etc.)

What You’ll Do:

  • Read, Experiment, and Write: you will keep abreast with scientific literature on the lab research topic, ranging from general trends to specific procedures; you will do the actual experiments (i.e. pipetting, cloning, tissue sectioning, imaging, analysis, etc.); and you will keep detailed and day-to-day notes of your results and consolidated ideas.

  • Regularly attend research seminars offered on-site at Janelia, present on occasion your research progress and ideas to a wider audience, and eventually, assemble your results and interpretations in a proposed manuscript for publication.

  • Actively participate and contribute to the upkeep of lab environment: order supplies, keep the areas of work tidy, follow BSL-2 lab standards.

What You Bring:

  • Strong scientific background in any area of experimental biology or related field (preferably in neurobiology)

  • PhD from an US institution or evidence of independent and self-directed research in a form of a first-authored peer-reviewed publication

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills

  • Initiative, self-motivation, and excellent work ethic

  • Exquisite attention to details

  • Willingness to work with animals (perfusions, tissue collections, etc.)

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet).

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however.  Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation Range

An Associate 00 is compensated at a rate of $74,200.00 annually at HHMI's Janelia Research Campus.

Research Specialist I: $67,540.00 (minimum) - $84,400.00 (midpoint) - $109,780.00 (maximum)

Pay Type:


HHMI’s salary structure is developed based on relevant job market data. HHMI considers a candidate's education, previous experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity when making job offers. Typically, a new hire for this position in this location is compensated between the minimum and the midpoint of the salary range.


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