University of Chicago
The position is in the Department of Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, specifically, Dr. Martina Damo’s laboratory.
About the Department
The Section of Rheumatology is a dynamic and growing enterprise of approximately forty faculty, staff, and fellows who are committed to providing outstanding state-of-the-art patient care, understanding the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, and training the next generation of physicians and scientists. We have well-developed basic science research programs where our primary focus is on understanding the development and regulation of lymphocytes which is fundamental to the pathogenesis of most autoimmune diseases.
These are exciting times in Rheumatology. Remarkable advances in our knowledge of basic immunology are beginning to translate into new and better treatments for those suffering from autoimmune and metabolic diseases. The Section is well poised to both take advantage and contribute to these revolutions in the understanding and treatment of rheumatic diseases.
The Section of Rheumatology is looking for a full-time Research Technician to support the day-to-day operational and research needs within the Damo Lab in the Department of Medicine.
Immune checkpoint receptors like PD-1 are molecules that negatively regulate the activity of T cells and as such play a fundamental role in the modulation of adaptive immunity, both under physiologic conditions and under pathologic conditions. Under physiologic conditions, checkpoint receptors are involved in the maintenance of immune homeostasis or tolerance, and overall help avoiding unwanted and potentially harming immune responses such us autoimmunity. Under pathologic conditions such as cancer or chronic infections, checkpoint receptors are involved in the progressive shut down of T cells during persistent antigen stimulation, a process known as exhaustion. The role of checkpoint receptors in exhaustion has become better understood in recent years, however it remains less clear how and how much checkpoint receptors contribute to immune tolerance. We have recently discovered that PD-1 has a crucial role in protecting skin from immune attack by T cells specific to skin-expressed antigens, however other less known checkpoint receptors (including Tim-3, Lag-3 and Tigit) are also expressed by skin-specific T cells. Our goal for this project is to further investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which PD-1 and other checkpoint receptors maintain tolerance in skin and other organs. We will do so through in vivo studies in engineered mouse models that include analysis of immune cells (T cells, B cells and macrophages) by flow cytometry and single-cell sequencing techniques (RNA sequencing, ATAC sequencing and TCR sequencing) and analysis of whole tissues by spatial transcriptomics and microscopy-based imaging. These studies will uncover fundamental aspects of tolerance in peripheral tissues and will help the future design of better and safer immunotherapies for the treatment of autoimmunities, cancer and infectious diseases.
Assists with planning, development, and execution of research in the laboratory.
Maintains experimental records.
Assists with organizing and managing the laboratory inventory.
Assists with maintaining mouse colonies, genotyping, and PCR.
Assists with purification and analysis of primary murine immune cells by flow cytometry and single-cell sequencing.
Assist with preparation of murine tissues for imaging.
Maintains technical and administrative support for a research project.
Analyzes and maintains data and/or specimens. Conducts literature reviews. Assists with preparation of reports, manuscripts and other documents.
Performs other related work as needed.
Education:Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
Bachelor's degree in biological sciences or related field.
Relevant research experience in immunology, molecular biology and/or biochemistry.
Conducting wet lab work in a research laboratory environment.
Technical Skills or Knowledge:
Knowledge of Microsoft Office.
Demonstrated problem-solving, organization, analytical, and coordination skills including attention to details.
Motivated to learn new skills and techniques.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
Ability to multi-task as needed.
Mature, reliable, and professional.
Familiarity with primary murine immune cell purification techniques strongly preferred.
Basic molecular biology skills strongly preferred.
Experience with mice handling strongly preferred but not required.
Experience with flow cytometry strongly preferred but not required.
Experience with microscopy-based imaging strongly preferred but not required.
Familiarity with common software programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Web-based applications.
Cover Letter (required)
When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.
Scheduled Weekly Hours
Drug Test Required
Health Screen Required
Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required
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