TCAN Neuroimaging Psychosis Technical Coordinator
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:
- 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.
- a Conte Center project which uses computational model-based analyses of frontal-striatal 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.
- 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.
Please apply by May 28, 2021 for consideration at: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/JPF03982