Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Research Technician – Visual Learning Behavior

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Ashburn, United States


The Jayaraman Lab is seeking a research technician to perform visual learning assays with tethered flying Drosophila. In these assays, animals will be trained to associate a visual scene with positive or negative reinforcement. In addition, select groups of neurons will be silenced or activated, either constitutively or transiently with optogenetics, to investigate their roles in the visual learning process. Follow-up experiments may include two-photon imaging of select neurons during visual learning, closed-loop optogenetic manipulation of neural activity during imaging, and integrating robotic handling of animals into the work flow. The technician will work closely with and be under the supervision of the Lab Head and a research scientist. The position is available immediately and expected to last 12 to 18 months.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Execute day-to-day experiments for visual learning assays
  • Perform preliminary analysis and quality control on collected data
  • Maintain accurate lab notes and databases of experimental results
  • Optimize experimental logistics and workflows
  • Perform preparatory work for behavioral experiments, such as fly crosses and fly sorting
  • Communicate effectively with supervisors and other lab members


Preferred Qualifications:

  • M.S., or B.S. with equivalent education and experience, in a relevant scientific or engineering field
  • Minimum of a year of experience in programming with MATLAB/Python
  • Minimum of a year of experience in at least one of the following additional areas:
    • Drosophila genetics
    • Systems neuroscience
    • Animal behavior research
  • Exceptionally motivated and strongly interested in systems or cognitive neuroscience
  • Work experience in a team-oriented environment


Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to organize and conduct hands-on experiments with behaving animals
  • Aptitude to run repetitive protocols while constantly monitoring important details
  • Ability to monitor and troubleshoot technical issues with custom electronic instruments
  • Strong computer skills and a solid enough foundation in programming (familiarity with MATLAB/Python/similar) to adapt custom software for data collection and analysis
  • Precision and speed performing complex motor tasks (often while looking through a microscope)
  • Ability to concentrate in a fast paced and dynamic environment
  • Ability to review scientific literature and contribute actively to scientific discussions
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with colleagues
  • Attitude and capacity to be a good team player


HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 987