DESCRIPTION - Broadly, the Translational Cognitive and Affective (TCAN) Laboratory studies the neural mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in psychotic illness. This position is to serve a multifaceted role as a junior specialist for several newly funded and ongoing grants awarded to Dr. Cameron Carter. These funded projects include: 1) a grant with the goal to increase our understanding of potential adverse, as well as possible therapeutic outcomes associated with cannabis use by a high-risk group of young people seeking care for psychotic symptoms. We will use state of the art psychological, metabolic, cognitive and brain imaging approaches to understand the complex effects of cannabis use in these individuals. 2) a Conte Center project which uses computational model based analyses of frontal-stiatal circuitry during fMRI to provide a more mechanistic understanding of motivation and cognitive control deficits in schizophrenia. Diffusion MRI measures of extracellular free water and midbrain neuromelanin scans will offer additional insight into the role of neuroinflammation and dopamine disruption in the disorder. Additionally, these imaging sequences will be run in a parallel cohort of maternal immune activated nonhuman primates during the early stages of development. 3) a grant focused on using neuroimaging (fMRI, DTI, neuromelanin) biomarkers to predict treatment response in patients recently diagnosed with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder.
The incumbent will have multiple roles in one or more of these studies requiring use of technical and study coordination skills. The incumbent will use knowledge of mental health conditions to recruit research participants, and will conduct phone evaluations to determine study eligibility of potential participants. The incumbent will also consent study participants, schedule all of their research appointments, and monitor progress through the study procedures. The incumbent will conduct clinical interviews for research purposes under the supervision of a faculty member and will conduct behavioral testing sessions and MRI scan sessions. Additionally, the incumbent will use their programming skills and receive training on analysis pipelines for collected data and will use a variety of in-house and commercially available software to process imaging data. The incumbent will manage study IRB protocols, adhering strictly to privacy and confidentiality laws. The incumbent will also manage data collection and organization, including mentoring undergraduate volunteers in the input of data to multiple databases. Furthermore, the incumbent will be expected to actively participate in weekly lab meetings, journal club presentations, presentations from outside speakers, and weekly workshops to help RAs develop their career goals. Depending on their contribution and role in the lab the incumbent may have the opportunity to contribute to writing and review of relevant manuscripts. Furthermore, the incumbent may have the opportunity to creatively contribute to the research project by proposing alternative analysis strategies, generate novel projects with existing data, review literature for manuscript preparation, and the ability to submit data for presentation at relevant conferences, such as Society of Biological Psychiatry or Society for Neuroscience (if funding is available). The incumbent will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities, including reviewing journal articles and engaging in discussions on research and the interpretation of research results with the PI and others in the lab. The incumbent will also participate in one or more of the following activities: appropriate professional/technical societies or groups, such as our weekly career development group and other educational and research organizations; and review research proposals, journal manuscripts, and publications related to area of expertise.
DEGREE REQUIREMENT - Bachelor's Degree in psychology, psychobiology, neuroscience, computer science or a related field
Clinical Interviewing and Recruitment
Use prior knowledge of mental health conditions and previous training in diagnostic assessments to complete phone evaluations with potential research participants and family members. Phone evaluations will examine mental health concerns and other psychosocial factors in order to determine if individual may be eligible for research.
Conduct in-person ratings of symptomatology for research purposes using structured interviews and under the supervision of faculty member.
Use knowledge of mental health conditions and available treatment options to provide referrals to consumers who are not eligible for research study.
Consent individuals to research study
Coordinate the scheduling of research appointments with other junior specialists on the project and track completion of all research appointments for the study.
Assign appropriate tasks and provide mentorship to research assistants and volunteers
Attend weekly meetings with clinic staff, track consensus diagnosis and reconcile research data with ongoing clinical developments
Coordinate advertising and recruitment of study participants using multiple methods (e.g., paper flyering, electronic postings).
Ensure an adequate supply of study materials (e.g., blood tubes, latex gloves, etc.)
Data Collection and Organization
Conduct behavioral assessments with research participants including computerized and paper-and-pencil tests of multiple aspects of cognitive functioning.
Conduct MRI scan sessions with all participants
Maintain databases of all study data, including demographic, symptom, and cognitive data.
Maintain organized records for all participants in locked filing cabinets
Use knowledge of computer programming to perform data analysis of collected MRI and behavioral data
IRB Protocol Maintenance
Maintain HIPAA and Consent documents for IRB, including adhering to required privacy laws Maintain accurate enrollment counts
Calculate quarterly enrollment counts for submission to funding sources
PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE 5%- This position requires strong interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills, as well as the ability to work independently, and as part of a team. The incumbent may have the opportunity to submit data for presentation at relevant conferences, such as Society for Neuroscience (if funding is available).
Actively participate in weekly lab meetings, journal club presentations, presentations from outside speakers, and weekly workshops to help incumbents develop their career goals.
Participate in appropriate professional/technical societies or groups and/or review research proposals, journal manuscripts, and publications related to area of expertise.
UNIVERSITY SERVICE 5%- The incumbent will mentor undergraduate student assistants in the lab.
Provide mentorship to undergraduate research assistants
Incumbent will participate in and help organize a variety of community outreach activities at the Imaging Research Center
Ensure lab volunteers are trained on appropriate lab procedures
Assist with daily lab maintenance
Bachelor's degree in psychology, psychobiology, neuroscience, computer science or a related field
Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to work independently and execute primary support responsibilities
Commitment to scientific research responsibilities and objectives
Experience collecting and organizing data
Scheduling and/or calendaring experience
Demonstrated ability to manage multiple work demands simultaneously
Effective interpersonal communication skills to maintain an effective, positive and cooperative relationship with staff, students, faculty, co-workers, public and outside contractors
Previous experience working with adolescents and young adults with psychiatric disorders
Fluency in Spanish (oral & written)
Previous experience collecting and/or analyzing MRI data
TERM OF APPOINTMENT - One year, with an additional year available based on performance and needs of the research project. Appointments may be made up to 100%.
SALARY RANGE - $44,500 - $47,400 [100% annual], commensurate with qualifications and experience.
STEP - Step 1 or Step 2, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
LOCATION UC Davis Imaging Research Center, 4701 X Street, Sacramento, CA 95817
Applicants can apply at: Qualified applicants should upload a Cover Letter, Curriculum Vitae or Resume, Diversity Statement, and contact information for 2 to 3 references via this URL: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/apply/JPF03982
The University of California, Davis commits to inclusion excellence by advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UC Davis positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify. UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (http://breathefree.ucdavis.edu/). If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.
UC Davis is the home of the Aggies — go-getters, change makers and problem solvers who make their mark at one of the top public universities in the United States. Since we first opened in 1908, we’ve been known for standout academics, sustainability and Aggie Pride as well as valuing the Northern California lifestyle. These themes are woven into our 100-plus-year history and our reputation for solving problems related to food, health, the environment and society.Our 5,300-acre campus is in the city of Davis, a vibrant college town of about 68,000 located in Yolo County. The state capital is 20 minutes away, and world-class destinations such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley are within a two-hour drive.