Research Technician

    Massachusetts General Hospital
    Boston, MA 02108

    Job Description

    The mission of the Laboratory for Neuroimaging of Coma and Consciousness (NICC) is to improve the lives of individuals who have sustained a severe traumatic brain injury leading to impaired consciousness.

    For this position, the Research Technician (RT) will learn how to run MRI experiments on several different MRI scanners (small bore 9.4T, whole body 3T, and/or whole body 7T), for living subjects and for post mortem human specimens. Responsibilities of the RT will also include preparing the brain samples to be scanned, processing the data, presenting the data at internal meetings, troubleshooting problems that arise, and analyzing data. Our methods are unique and so all new staff will be trained in them. Candidates with skills & competencies that support their ability to learn these methods quickly will be stronger candidates. We are looking to fill 1 position to replace an RT going on to graduate school.

    Position involves working in a fast-paced clinical neuroimaging lab. The lab is comprised of faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and research assistants from different backgrounds including Medicine, Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, Computer Science, Physics, and Biology. Using these different backgrounds, the lab seeks to improve diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and ultimately the outcome of patients with severe TBI.

    Other projects/tasks the RT may be involved in:
    • Analyzing in vivo and ex vivo structural MRI data
    • Developing methods to achieve optimal neuroimaging data analysis
    • Performing quality assessments of data run with FreeSurfer
    • Troubleshooting software issues for FreeSurfer users
    • Beta-testing new versions of FreeSurfer or other software developed in-house
    • Developing or improving scripts and/or code (via C shell scripting, C++, or Python)
    • Digitizing and managing a database of histopathology slides
    Position offers great opportunities to work with prominent scientists, physicians and people from a variety of fields, a great and fun team, opportunities to publish, as well as guidance and support for future career choices. Please see our website to learn more about the different ongoing projects:

    Principal Duties & Responsibilities:
    • Maintains laboratory notebook
    • Understands and applies basic scientific techniques
    • Conducts analysis of results and may begin interpretation of results
    • Sets up and prepares routine experiments as directed
    • Prepares lab chemicals, instruments and equipment
    • May perform independent literature searches
    • Assists with organizing materials for publication or presentation
    • Maintains and orders supplies
    A Research Technician II performs the duties of a Research Technician I (above) and may also:
    • Execute protocols of non-routine experiments
    • Assist the PI(s) with determining the most suitable methodology
    • Perform basic design and modification of protocols
    • Calculate, transcribe and analyze data
    • Prepare and present reports
    • Organize and summarize acquired data, using scientific and statistical techniques.
    • Organize and/or draft material for the preparation of research papers, manuscripts and other documents for publication and/or presentation.
    • Participate in the design of experiments or field work.

    Qualifications :

    Skills/Abilities/Competencies Required:
    • Candidate must be able to learn many complicated, technical details over a short period of time and carry out procedures meticulously, taking action to prevent mistakes
    • Candidate should be prepared to work evenings and on weekends to perform some experiments, including being on call during weekends to respond to technical problems
    • Candidate should be able to show initiative & confidence in making decisions
    • Candidate should not easily be discouraged by failed experiments but enjoy the challenge
    • Elements of project management will be required to stay on top of the many projects the lab has running in parallel
    • Ability to work independently and improve the quality and efficiency of their own work
    • Good interpersonal and communication skills
    • A sound degree of computer literacy & willingness to advance computational skills independently (for working in our UNIX environment, scanning, and data processing)
    • Ability to perform multiple tasks independently, manage their time well and adapt to changing priorities
    • Ability to work well on a team and enlist others' support in achieving objectives
    • Candidate *must* be comfortable touching brain tissue and willing to work with formaldehyde
    The following skills and competencies are not required but are a plus:
    • Knowledge of UNIX. All our computers use the UNIX operating system.
    • Programming and/or shell scripting knowledge
    • Experience with imaging, MRI scanning and/or analysis
    • Knowledge of neuroanatomy
    The Research Technician II should also possess:
    • Analytical skills and the ability to resolve technical problems
    • Ability to interpret acceptability of data results
    • Demonstrated competence in research techniques and methodologies
    Education: Bachelor's degree required. Relevant backgrounds would be Neuroscience, Psychology, Engineering, Computer Science, and/or Biology.

    Experience: New graduates with some lab experience (via course work, internships, etc.) or those without any prior research experience will be considered for the Research Technician I position outlined above. Those with a minimum of 1 year of directly related work experience will be considered for a Research Technician II position. Individuals with even more experience or advanced degrees should still apply as there is the potential to offer a more advanced position depending on the individual's experience.

    Posting ID: 559420328Posted: 2020-06-03