Opportunities

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Positions Available

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Postdoctoral Associate - Optimizing coordinated reset DBS for PD #338355

Required Qualifications:

*PhD in biomedical engineering, neuroscience or related engineering/science field
*Experience conducting neurophysiology experiments in the human and/or animal models
*Signal processing and data analysis
*Programming in MATLAB
*Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively with others
*Strong record of presenting research results through publications and conference abstracts

About the Job:

Coordinated reset deep brain stimulation (CR DBS) is a novel DBS approach that has the potential to treat parkinsonian motor symptoms with significantly less stimulation compared to traditional DBS. This project is to optimize critical CR parameters, compare CR DBS in different targets, and understand the mechanism underlying its therapeutic effects.

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Postdoctoral Associate - Basal Ganglia Cortical Coupling and Connectivity Changes in PD and DBS #338754

Required Qualifications: 

• Strong quantitative background and signal processing expertise appropriate for the analysis of neural activity
• PhD in biomedical engineering, neuroscience or related engineering/science field
• Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively with others.
• Strong record of presenting research results through publications and conference abstracts
• Programming in MATLAB

Preferred Qualifications:


• Experience in animal handling and training
• Expertise in the collection and analysis of single unit and local field potential neural signals

About the Job:

This position is focused on the analysis of large-scale neuronal populations, characterization of circuit connectivity in Parkinson’s disease (PD), optimization of directional DBS, and development of closed-loop deep brain stimulation (DBS) approaches by using the MPTP non-human primate model of PD. The required qualifications are:

Job Duties/Responsibilities:

85% Research duties: Data collection, analysis, method development, publication of results in manuscripts, proceedings, and conference abstracts
5% Career Development: Professional skills, leadership training, technical skills development
5% Outreach: Patient/community outreach, Industry Partnerships
5% Travel: Attending/presenting at local/national/international conferences

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Data Scientist - Researcher IV #344397

The Neuromodulation Research Center, directed by Jerrold Vitek MD, PhD is hiring a Data Scientist to be involved in multiple ongoing projects funded by the National Institutes of Health. These projects focus on: understanding pathophysiological underpinnings of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, identifying mechanisms of action of therapeutic interventions (e.g. deep brain stimulation, medications), and developing novel neuromodulation approaches to treat movement disorders. To accomplish these goals, we utilize large-scale neural population recordings during behavior in both preclinical and clinical settings. This person will be leading the development of new analytical approaches for experimental data, developing software tools to aid in the data analysis, and helping with data infrastructure and management. We seek someone with expertise in signal processing and analysis and the capability to develop novel analytical tools for neural population data analysis.

All required qualifications must be documented on application materials

Required Qualifications:
- MS degree and two years of experience; or BA/BS degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Bioinformatics, Neuroscience or related technical field and four years’ experience
- Programming experience in MATLAB

Preferred Qualifications:
- PhD and/or Masters in relevant field
- Background in systems neuroscience and extensive experience in the analysis of neural signals at the levels of single neuron and local field potentials

Job Duties/Responsibilities:
65% Data processing - use of existing methods and the development of new analytical approaches and tools. Assisting others with data processing queries, code troubleshooting and analysis of results.
25% Data management - development, management and maintenance of data and database infrastructure. Entry of data, responding to requests of data users, immediate troubleshooting of database bugs and crashes and implementing database modifications as approved by a data management committee. Assisting users with database functionality.
5% Supervising - Training and supervising data entry personnel, running spot checks on data entered, resolving difficult judgement calls and other questions that arise during data entry (consulting users and data management committee as necessary).
5% Dissemination of Results - Reporting and discussion of analysis methods and results to individual users and the broader research group.

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Intern Funding Opportunities

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Overview

The Neuromodulation Research Center relies on the help of volunteers and interns to conduct its numerous ongoing studies in both clinical and pre-clinical labs. We are grateful to those who have dedicated their time and expertise to advancing research of movement disorders: in our labs, at outreach events, and by raising awareness. 

We hope to design programs that are academically rigorous and engage students of all disciplines in meaningful research. To that end, we have partnered with a number of organizations, both intra and extramural, to provide opportunities to better support our volunteer's experience. Below are just a few of the options that can enrich and enable research with the NMRC. We encourage students of all backgrounds to reach out with questions so that we can continuously improve our programs and provide best possible outcomes for those looking toward careers in fields related to biomedical research. If you have questions, comments, or with to discuss volunteering, please feel free to reach out to:

Wyatt Doepke
Lab Operations Scientist
[email protected]
612-626-6158

Directed Research

Directed research is conducted by UMN undergraduate students with sponsoring faculty in numerous labs on campus. This work can exist in tandem with existing projects or be completely novel research based on the paradigm, permission, and resources of the sponsoring faculty member. These projects are self-designed and proposed to the director of undergraduate studies of the student’s major and Directed Study staff. Students undertaking this research are awarded credit at the successful completion of their projects on a S/N scale.

The College of Biological Sciences has put together a great resource for those interested in directed research. Generally, at the NMRC, we require a semester’s experience in our labs before designing and applying for a directed research program.

UMN Undegraduate Funding

Of the mostly commonly awarded internal undergraduate funding mechanisms, the NMRC most often receives awards through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the North Star Alliance programs, and MnDRIVE Brain Conditions initiative. Generally, the NMRC requires a semester’s lab experience before applying for any of these programs except the MnDRIVE award which places undergraduates with our labs on a predetermined project. Students receive direct funding to defray their tuition and research expenses. Incoming interns should begin to identify application timelines with their mentors immediately when starting at the NMRC to ensure deadlines align with their intended volunteer period.

External Undergraduate Funding

Multiple organizations offer grants in aide to undergraduate researchers either writ large or by the field of research. Some of most frequently awarded stipends include Parkinson's Foundation Summer Fellowship, a ten week mentored experience, and the North Star STEM alliance award(s) to encourage traditionally underrepresented demographics in research.

There are numerous options for recognition and funding to better support your research experience. When applying for an undergraduate research position, anywhere, consider your long-term goals. Securing independent funding is a vital skill for every principle investigator

Macalester Co-Op

The NMRC fosters a close and reciprocal relationship with Macalester College and provides for-credit internships through the Macalester Internship Office during the summer term. In the past, the NMRC has also been host to independent research undertaken as capstone projects, sponsoring students who have received Macalester specific institutional scholarships, and taken Macalester students to present their research at national conferences.

We encourage students of diverse academic backgrounds to inquire or apply!

The Neuromodulation Research Center (NMRC) offers a collaborative and translationally focused training environment, and brings together the University of Minnesota’s experts from engineering, neuroscience, neurology, neurosurgery, and radiology to advance the understanding of brain disorders and neuromodulation therapies for these disorders. The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Potential roles and levels in the NMRC range from student volunteers, junior scientists, post-doctoral fellows to research associate and faculty levels when available. Posted positions and their descriptions are available in the left hand column. All formal applications for paid positions must be made through the UMN job portal.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Training Opportunities

Under the direction of Dr. Jerrold Vitek, NMRC brings together an interdisciplinary team of experts from neurology, neurosurgery, neuroscience, radiology, and engineering to advance neuromodulation therapies for movement disorders. Our group is part of the Udall Center for Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research awarded to the University of Minnesota in 2016. In the heart of Minnesota’s ‘Medical Alley’ our NIH-funded team fosters inventive, translational research aimed at training the next generation of researchers and clinicians and providing Minnesotans with world-class care.

We seek outstanding scientists interested in working in an NIH funded research program studying motor systems neurophysiology, the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD), mechanisms of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in preclinical animal models of PD, and new DBS approaches. These postdoc positions, described in the left hand column, offer opportunities for multidisciplinary research, training in neuroengineering and neurophysiology, and career development. 

Undergraduate Opportunities

The NMRC offers numerous opportunities for both funded and unfunded volunteer and intern positions. The interdisciplinary approach of our research means that students with backgrounds in many fields including, neuroscience, electrical and mechanical engineering, computer science, animal science, biology chemistry have the opportunity to conduct research in the Academic Health Center at the University. We are especially interested in hearing from you if you have engineering, programming, or experience working with the statistical analysis of large data sets.

Typical interns usually work around ten hours a week in our clinical or pre-clinical labs working with and shadowing a researcher on the one of our NIH funded projects. Volunteers gain a holistic experience of their project, working on aspects from data collection to analysis and then to presentation with our cohort at the Society for Neuroscience conference or similar.   

Numerous opportunities for funding of for-credit research exist for both UMN students and extramural applicants. Check out just a few of the opportunities below to enrich your experience with the NMRC in the left column.