Rockefeller University Research Assistant in New York, New York
Job Title Research Assistant
Employment Status Full Time
Laboratory / Department Neurogenetics and Behavior
The Lab seeks to understand how an animal's behavior is guided by integrating sensory input with information about its internal physiological state. The group studies this problem in the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a vector for Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya, and Yellow Fever. For a female mosquito to complete egg development, the insect requires a blood meal. Acquiring that blood from a human is an innate behavior that potentially spreads dangerous infectious diseases carried by the insect. The Lab has developed CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing tools , which allows the team to apply a genetic approach to understanding how female mosquitoes integrate sensory cues such as body odor, heat, and exhaled carbon dioxide to hunt their human hosts. The group is currently pursuing a number of questions: Why are some people more attractive to mosquitoes than others? How do insect repellents work? How are multiple sensory cues integrated in the mosquito brain to elicit innate behaviors? How do female mosquitoes select a body of water suitable for egg laying? This work provides insights into potential methods to control mosquitoes' biting behavior.
The Research Assistant will be responsible for testing mosquito behavioral phenotypes including feeding and host-seeking, as well as developing novel methods of compound delivery to mosquitos. Responsibilities include maintenance of mosquito lines, molecular biology, and tissue culture. The Research Assistant will work closely with lab staff and trainees, provide scientific input to the project, and participate in lab meeting and journal clubs.
Bachelor's degree in any of the natural sciences required; educational emphasis in neuroscience, chemistry, molecular biology, or biochemistry preferred. Previous bench experience required. Must be detail-oriented, focused, and highly motivated to work in both a team atmosphere for general lab duties and a mentored atmosphere for the research project. Excellent organizational, record-keeping, and communication skills required. Computer literacy and a willingness to learn is essential. Must be comfortable working with mosquitoes.