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Research Fellow: Neuroscience of Pain, Analgesics, AAV Gene Therapy Job

Location: Rochester, MN, US

Company: Mayo Clinic

Department: Translational Science Track, Anesthesiol., Oncol.
Specialty: Research

A Life-Changing Career

Position Summary: Translational Science in Neurobiology of Pain, Analgesic Drug Development, and AAV Gene Therapy

A new position in the field of translational pain research is available for a highly enthusiastic postdoctoral fellow or research associate. The host laboratory (PI Beutler) has been NIH funded for >10 years (2003-2019) for the development of analgesic AAV vectors and for studies on the basic biology and genetics of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Two anticipated new grants from the Minnesota Partnership (2017-2018) and NINDS/NIH (2017-2022) will support additional team members to work on novel analgesics.

The successful candidate should have a Ph.D. or equivalent. A published track record in neuroscience research is required. A prior training focus on the neurobiology of the peripheral nervous system, spinal cord, sensory systems, or pain would be ideal. Experience in microscopic analysis of neural tissues is expected (immunohistochemistry, laser scanning microscopy, etc.); knowledge of advanced microscopy techniques is desired (stereology, 3D reconstruction, concurrent detection of multiple markers). In addition, comprehensive laboratory-based experience and a very solid background in molecular biology techniques is required (DNA, RNA, protein, tissue, tissue culture; analytical and preparatory techniques). Experience in the biology of AAV vectors would be viewed extremely favorably but is not a requirement for candidates with a strong molecular biology background and the ability to learn new techniques related to AAV, because we have a strong collaborative partner in the AAV field.

Responsibilities: We have recently transitioned from basic studies in rodents to testing of clinically applicable pain treatment strategies in large animal models with a strong emphasis on modeling clinical neurosurgical procedures and on the use of sophisticated image-guided gene vector delivery to the spinal compartment in swine (using computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging). Studies will aim at the generation of IND-approved analgesic drug candidates for future testing in clinical trials. Research- and development activities will initially be based in the academic laboratory with the anticipated close collaboration with a biotechnology company to serve as private partner. The postdoctoral/research associate position will be in the academic environment and will provide training options in basic- and/or translational research directions. The PI will work with candidates on individual career development plans that may include the training in advanced career skills such as grant writing for NIH and regulatory work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Future career goals for the applicant (towards the end of a multi-year training period in the Beutler lab) may include a transition to independence as a new PI or the potential of partaking in scientifically related entrepreneurial activities (contingent upon successful achievement of academic milestones).

The Beutler laboratory team brings specialists from different backgrounds together to focus on the research challenge of chronic pain. Our analgesic drug development philosophy focuses on combining, first, molecular specificity such as encoded by novel therapeutic genes, and, second, anatomical specificity such as achieved by targeted delivery to individual spinal nerves (see also Pleticha, Maus, Beutler, 2016, PMID 27046525). Lab team members include a full-time statistician, a Ph.D. chemist (recently recruited from MIT), a board certified anesthesiologist training as a postdoc, a full time veterinary technician, and a future neurosurgeon. The lab is co-directed by a Mayo interventional pain specialist who also serves as President of an international medical society. The PI (Beutler) holds an appointment in the Translational Science Tract at Mayo Graduate School and is an Associate Professor and Consultant (with a part time clinical commitment) in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Oncology at Mayo Clinic.

116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at a cost of $560 billion/year. Opioid medications have been used as a mainstay to treat patients with chronic pain. However, opioids are often ineffective and, most concerning, their widespread use has contributed to a drug abuse epidemic. 18,893 Americans died from prescription opioids in 2014 and 1.9M were addicted. Chronic pain is therefore an area of high demand for the most ambitious research talents to invent novel analgesics.

A Research Fellow at Mayo Clinic is a temporary position intended to provide training and education in research. Individuals will train in the research program of a Mayo Clinic principal investigator. Qualified individuals will demonstrate the potential for research as evidenced by their training and peer-reviewed publications and should become competitive for national research grants. Proof of English proficiency is required for J-1 Short-Term Scholars, Research Scholars, Professors, Specialists, and Student Interns sponsored by Mayo Clinic. 800146; J2WRTP

Qualifications: Must have a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a field deemed relevant by the program. Please attach the following required documents at the time of application:
1. Current curriculum vitae and bibliography
2. Cover letter addressing how the applicant's training background, personal interests, and future career ambitions fit with the program.
Please, also email these documents directly to

Recruiter: Kara Schott

Why Mayo Clinic? Learn and grow among the best in your field at the nation’s top hospital (U.S. News & World Report, 2016-2017), ranked No. 1 in more specialties than any other care provider. Mayo Clinic is committed to sustaining and growing research, believes in research-driven care and establishes a well-defined integration between research and clinical practice. At Mayo Clinic, you’ll use the power of collaboration to achieve the highest standards for research, medical care and health improvement, working in the largest integrated, not-for-profit medical group practice in the world with over 60,000 employees. You’re invited to contribute to a unique environment that brings together the best in patient care, groundbreaking research and innovative medical education. We offer exceptional benefits, and have been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of the top 100 “Best Companies to Work For”.

Site Description: Mayo Clinic is located in the heart of downtown Rochester, Minnesota, a vibrant, friendly city that provides a highly livable environment for more than 34,000 Mayo staff and students. The city is consistently ranked among the best places to live in the United States because of its affordable cost of living, healthy lifestyle, excellent school systems and exceptionally high quality of life.

Mayo Clinic is an equal opportunity educator and employer (including veterans and persons with disabilities).

Job Posting Number: 85319BR

Date: Sep 1, 2017

Nearest Major Market: Rochester MN

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