Research Associate (NeuroTrauma)

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Updated: May 10, 2019
Job ID: 214489
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Location: Silver Spring, MD, United States

Join the HJF Team!

HJF is seeking a Research Associate to support the NeuroTrauma Department at the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) in Silver Spring, MD. HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to NeuroTrauma Department.

The NeuroTrauma Department at NMRC is seeking a Research Associate to study basic mechanisms of cell and tissue damage as observed in militarily relevant animal models of traumatic brain injury with and without hemorrhagic shock.  This is a challenging opportunity with an exciting research program focused on the physiology, histopathology and molecular biology aspects of brain and other related damage and definition of possible biomarkers of injury as well as targets for potential protection or pharmaceutical therapy after injury. Recent military conflicts have shown that the incidence of thrombotic and embolic complications in combat casualties is disproportionally higher than in civilian casualties, thus leading to the practice among trauma surgeons to use Venous Thrombosis Chemoprophylaxis (VTC), i.e. heparin. This however meets reluctance among neurosurgeons whose concern is that this could potentially increase cerebral hemorrhage. The incumbent would lead a pre-clinical study addressing multiple issues for which there are no definitive answers or guidance.   The results of this study, either for or against the use heparinoids in brain injury, will be immediately translatable to both civilian and military severe TBI populations. Data from this study has the potential to modify guidelines for the use of VTC in brain injured patients. 

The candidate will be responsible for initiating and carrying out research projects in collaboration with a research team and other scientific staff.  The incumbent will be a lead in designing, developing, executing, and implementing scientific research and/or development, and investigates the feasibility of applying a wide variety of scientific principles and theories to potential inventions and products. (S)he will interpret experiments and publish data in reports and peer-reviewed manuscripts.


  1. Works in a collaborative research team formulating experimental hypotheses and design, developing, executing, and implementing scientific research and/or development.  Assignments require the performance of complex laboratory test, determinations, and analyses involving multiple procedures and a variety of technical approaches.
  2. Investigates the feasibility of applying a wide variety of scientific principles and theories to potential inventions and products.  
  3. Develops necessary new technologies and protocols.
  4. Performs specialized laboratory research utilizing experimental protocols which will involve specialized procedures such as proteomic (Western blot) analysis and genomic (quantitative RT-PCR or Northern) analysis of tissues, immunohistochemistry.
  5. Performs small animal surgery, basic animal handling skills (i.e., injections and monitoring), and ability to perform standard gross necropsy for tissue sample collection.  
  6. Collects and handles biological samples, keeps detailed records of experiments, supervises data entry and performs quality assurance of databases, and is involved in statistical analysis of results. 
  7. Processes and interprets experimental data. 
  8. Prepares data for presentations at scientific meetings, writing of abstracts, manuscripts and Final Study Reports, as required by the project.
  9. Engages in team discussions about new projects and writes new grant applications to secure funding.
  10. Shows ability for independent thinking and planning. 
  11. Assists with training and supervision of laboratory staff as needed. 
  12. Maintains a safe work environment and cleanliness of laboratory areas. 
  13. Coordinates with other technical and professional staff.
  14. Completes other projects as needed.
  15. Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Knowledge of appropriate scientific area; ability to analyze, interpret and communicate data. Previous experience with whole animal physiology experiments, small animal stereotactic surgeries, molecular biology, inflammation and immunohistopathology is preferred

Minimum Education: Master's required; MD or PhD preferred

Minimum Experience:  0-2 years

Physical Capabilities: Long periods of standing and sitting; intricate work with hands; carrying of light and moderately heavy laboratory equipment.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls: May provide guidance to laboratory staff.

Work Environment: Laboratory environment; may involve working with biohazardous materials; may require working early morning, evenings and weekends.

Background: Eligibility to obtain a Common Access Card (CAC); eligibility to obtain and hold a Public Trust background.

HJF is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Any qualifications to be considered as equivalents, in lieu of stated minimums, require the prior approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.