The Research Assistant in the Kulkarni laboratory will study the biology and function of pancreatic islets including insulin secreting beta cells and glucagon-secreting alpha cells. The lab has recently started to work on adult tissue-specific stem cells, particularly those stem cells that form the pancreatic islet cells. Current topics under investigation include generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from mouse models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and humans with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The studies are focused on using peripheral tissues (e.g. skin fibroblasts, blood cells and adult skeletal or adipose tissues) to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Future studies will be focused on generating differentiated cells from these iPS cells, including pancreatic islet cells, mature skeletal muscle and adipocytes.
A research assistant is wanted to assist with ongoing experiments that include cell culture, molecular biology techniques, flow cytometry, histology, mammalian cell culture and animal studies, and banking of human and mouse iPS cells.
The assistant’s responsibilities also will include maintenance of mouse colonies and genotyping of mouse strains. Some studies will involve collaboration with other investigators, and may require some assistance and work in these collaborators’ labs.
- Willingness to work with animals and human tissues; knowledge of cell culture and molecular biology and the ability to apply this knowledge. Strong organizational skills and ability to prioritize responsibilities and follow tasks through to completion. Ability to work with others as a team in a productive manner.
- Participate in flow cytometry and stem cell research involving the operation of high-speed, multi-parameter cell sorters and analyzers (complex, expensive optical/electronic instruments).
- Assist other lab members (Fellows) with culturing human tissues (e.g. skin and blood cells) including culturing, maintenance, and banking of cell lines.
- Assist lab members with mouse tissue cultures, maintenance and banking of cell lines.
- Screen offspring of several mouse strains by preparation of genomic DNA and PCR or by isolation of blood cells and flow cytometry.
- Assist in placement of orders for reagents and supplies as needed, log delivery of supplies and store supplies appropriately upon delivery.
- Assist with the maintenance of lab plasmid, antibody, and animal databases.
- Assist in the isolation of cells and tissues from experimental animals, including preparation of these cells for subsequent analysis by flow cytometry or immunohistochemistry.
- Assist in the isolation of cells from human tissue samples, including preparation of these cells for subsequent analysis by flow cytometry or immunohistochemistry.
- Assist with experimental procedures involving mice, including cell transplantation and injection of soluble factors, as well as routine monitoring for health.
- Work directly with a number of researchers, assisting in design, execution, and interpretation of experiments and also will assist in training and advising other lab members in use of equipment.
- Operating and maintaining equipment, scheduling procedures, working with multiple investigators, interfacing with vendors, and preparing reagents.
- B.A. or B.S. in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry, or related discipline. Applicants holding an M.A. or M.S. in these areas also will be considered.
- Previous undergraduate or post-graduate lab experience, particularly with mammalian cell culture and handling/screening of small animals will be preferred. Previous experience with human or mouse stem cell or iPS cell work is an advantage.
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