The Term Research Assistant will support laboratory research in executing a small molecule inhibitor screen for an immunologically relevant signaling pathway. This term project requires a solid theoretical and practical knowledge in eukaryotic cell culturing, cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and basic immunology assays. There will be opportunities for publication(s) as well as in-depth laboratory experience to further solidify background in preparation for advanced degree programs.
The laboratory is broadly interested in two areas of cellular stress in innate immunity:
The cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway involving the sensor cGAS, its second messenger product cGAMP, and the endoplasmic reticulum-bound receptor STING.
The roles and coordination of RNA-binding proteins in regulating gene expression during innate immune responses.
Our lab integrates novel biochemical, molecular, virological, and cell biological tools with high-throughput transcriptomic and proteomic technologies in an effort to elucidate the gene regulatory networks at play during cellular stress - and how such mechanisms might be manipulated for therapeutic intervention. The lab is affiliated with the Department of Biochemistry at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and is also part of the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis Programs within the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at VUMC.
Duties and Responsibilities
Assists in Research and Development:
Use aseptic technique for establishing and maintaining mammalian cell lines, and performing basic cell culture experiments
Perform reporter-based assays in medium to high-throughput-base multi-well platforms (luciferase- and cytotoxicity-based assays).
Proficient with electrophoretic approaches (agarose and polyacrylamide gels) to analyze DNA/RNA/protein samples (EtBr, Western Blotting, etc.)
Design, mutate, and sub-clone DNA inserts into various plasmid backbones
Work with expression and purification of recombinant proteins (bacteria and insect cells)
After being trained, independently perform assays, accurately report results, and intellectually contribute to the troubleshooting and progress of the project
Use analysis and desktop publishing software such as GraphPad Prism, Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.), and Microsoft Excel
Lab and administrative duties:
Prepare buffers and reagents
Contribute to and maintain a proper and safe working environment
Receive and organize packages supplies; contribute to the general order of laboratory
Other tasks as directed by supervisor
Familiar with programs such as GraphPad prism, Adobe CC, and Excel
Produce viable results in a timely fashion
Grow and thrive in a fast-paced, highly competitive laboratory
Internal Number: 2000999
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.