Author Archives: Noel Ermer

Online Research Training

Reminder: While your faculty mentor is your best resource for training, Middlebury also has some great online subscriptions.

CITI Program: It is highly recommended that all summer researchers complete the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) module. You will need to create an account and login to save your progress. All students can take any of the research training modules Middlebury has available. You will receive a certificate at the end of each module.

LinkedIn Learning: Middlebury has an institutional subscription to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) providing free access to thousands of courses on technology, software and web development, business, and design or tutorials on skills in software like Excel and the Adobe suite, or writing a resume or cover letter. It is a great resource to check out.

Walk Me Through Your Resume: How to think like an employer and share your transferable skills

Tuesday, July 28 from 2-3 pm ET

In this session presented by advisors in CCI, you’ll learn how to identify, describe, highlight, and communicate the skills and knowledge you’re gaining through your summer research experience. Please have a copy of your resume and a sample position you might consider applying to on-hand for this workshop.

Click below to go to Handshake and register, and get the Zoom link to participate.

Thinking About Graduate Study?

Tuesday, July 7 from 2-3 pm ET

Hear from faculty about their graduate experiences and advice they have for students considering that path. Your questions are welcome!

Featured Faculty: Prof. Erin Eggleston (Biology); Prof. Andrew Fieldhouse (Economics); Prof. Jason Grant (Computer Science); Prof. Daniel Suarez (Environmental Studies) and Sarah Wall ’16 (MD/PhD).

Sign up by 7/6. You will receive the zoom link in your registration confirmation.

Expiring Health Professions Jobs

Research Assistant I / 40 Hours / Day / BWH Surgical Oncology, Brigham and Women’s HospitalBoston, MA

Opportunity Expires June 30, 2020

  1. Provides assistance on clinical research studies as per study guidelines and protocols.
  2. Recruits and evaluates potential study subjects.  Per protocol instruction, conducts telephone interviews or schedules patient for study visit and screening.  May be required to perform clinical tests such as phlebotomy, EKGs, etc.
  3. Interacts with subjects with regard to study, including subject education, procedural instruction, follow-up. May serve as a liaison between subject and project manager.
  4. Responsible for collecting data and maintaining patient information database for study.  May be required to input data, do minimum analysis and run various reports.  Maintains subjects records as part of record keeping function.
  5. Responsible for mailing various study information or packets to study subjects.
  6. Answers any phone calls and inquiries regarding study protocol.  Refers participants when appropriate to project manager or clinical staff.
  7. Assists with regulatory documentation as directed by project manager.
  8. Monitors and sets up any needed equipment.
  9. Maintains inventory and orders supplies when necessary.
  10. All other duties, as assigned.

Genetic Counselor – Child Neurology Clinic, Neurogenomics (1.0 FTE, Days), Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Palo Alto, CA

Opportunity Expires June 30, 2020

Genetic Counselors provide professional genetic counseling, education, and emotional support to patients and/or families, particularly those who have a familial history of birth defects or genetic disorders, or who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions to help them understand and adapt to the medical, psychosocial, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. Genetic Counselors are responsible for analyzing and interpreting family medical histories and genetic test results to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence; facilitating the understanding of a genetic diagnosis; providing education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources, and research; making referrals for social services for families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders, or who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions; and counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition. Genetic Counselors also provide teaching and consultative services to other professionals and health care students.

Research Assistant II / BWH Cardiac Surgery, Brigham Health, Boston, MA

Opportunity Expires June 30, 2020

 Working very independently and under very general supervision from a manager or Principal Investigator, provides support to clinical research studies. May be responsible for the following activities: making independent judgment of suitability of potential participants for clinical trials, developing and implementing patient recruitment strategies, recommending changes to protocols, and overseeing the work of more entry level staff.

Research Assistant Position, New York Blood Center, New York City, NY

Opportunity Expires July 31, 2020

We are currently seeking candidates to investigate mechanisms of iron-altered hematopoiesis within the Iron Research Program of the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, the research branch of the New York Blood Center. In particular, candidates will study the impact of iron overload and deficiency on the pathogenesis of human hematological diseases. The candidate will perform cutting-edge research that integrates human biology and hematology with novel therapies using innovative technologies and approaches including classic molecular, cellular, and biochemical techniques, as well as modern imaging techniques, sequencing and single cell analysis techniques, bioinformatics, and preclinical in vitro and in vivo models.

Research Assistant in Neuroscience Lab, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

Opportunity Expires July 31, 2020

Our lab focuses on understanding how neural circuits in the brain mediate behavior (https://www.utsouthwestern.edu/labs/hattori/). We are particularly interested in answering questions such as how learning occurs and how motivation influences behavior. We employ a multidisciplinary approach that includes neural recordings, optogenetic manipulations, molecular genetics, and computational modeling, and use Drosophila as a model. Your responsibilities include assisting with experiments and maintaining common lab functions.

Article: A ‘Cure for Heart Disease’? A Single Shot Succeeds in Monkeys

By Gina Kolata June 27, 2020

What if a single injection could lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides — for a lifetime?

In the first gene-editing experiment of its kind, scientists have disabled two genes in monkeys that raise the risk for heart disease. Humans carry the genes as well, and the experiment has raised hopes that a leading killer may one day be tamed.

“This could be the cure for heart disease,” said Dr. Michael Davidson, director of the Lipid Clinic at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research.

But it will be years before human trials can begin, and gene-editing technology so far has a mixed tracked record. It is much too early to know whether the strategy will be safe and effective in humans; even the monkeys must be monitored for side effects or other treatment failures for some time to come.

The results were presented on Saturday at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, this year held virtually with about 3,700 attendees around the world. The scientists are writing up their findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed or published.

What if a single injection could lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides — for a lifetime?

In the first gene-editing experiment of its kind, scientists have disabled two genes in monkeys that raise the risk for heart disease. Humans carry the genes as well, and the experiment has raised hopes that a leading killer may one day be tamed.

“This could be the cure for heart disease,” said Dr. Michael Davidson, director of the Lipid Clinic at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research.

But it will be years before human trials can begin, and gene-editing technology so far has a mixed tracked record. It is much too early to know whether the strategy will be safe and effective in humans; even the monkeys must be monitored for side effects or other treatment failures for some time to come.

The results were presented on Saturday at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, this year held virtually with about 3,700 attendees around the world. The scientists are writing up their findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed or published.

The researchers set out to block two genes: PCSK9, which helps regulate levels of LDL cholesterol; and ANGPTL3, part of the system regulating triglyceride, a type of blood fat. Both genes are active in the liver, which is where cholesterol and triglycerides are produced. People who inherit mutations that destroyed the genes’ function do not get heart disease.

People with increased blood levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol have dramatically greater risks of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, the leading causes of death in most of the developed world. Drug companies already have developed and are marketing two so-called PCSK9 inhibitors that markedly lower LDL cholesterol, but they are expensive and must be injected every few weeks.

Researchers at Verve Therapeutics, led by Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, the chief executive, decided to edit the genes instead. The medicine they developed consists of two pieces of RNA — a gene editor and a tiny guide that directs the editor to a single sequence of 23 letters of human DNA among the genome’s 32.5 billion letters.

Remote Tech Foundation 2020 Summer Data Science/Medical Research Fellowship Application Due on 6/30!

APPLICATION DUE JUNE 30, 2020

Beyond the tragedies of lives lost, health compromised, and economies shattered, the COVID-19 crisis deeply disrupted the traditional academic summer internship model wherein bright, aspiring students have the opportunity to experience life science research and apply data analytical skills learned in classes to real-world medical research. This “just-in-time” fellowship/internship program has been designed to provide participants with a 4-6 week experience working remotely with top tier researchers on real medical research projects. Each participant will be partnered with a Principal Investigator (based at Harvard Medical School and/or the Brigham and Women’s Hospital). Projects will include data validation, analysis, and project management and will directly relate to research for publication in peer-reviewed medical journals. Participants will receive IRB training and certification at the start of the program.

In addition to a stipend of $1,000, participants will be provided online training in data science analytics and professional support (limited) from data scientists/programmers to advance their knowledge of data analysis and related programming. Experience with Python (or R) is a plus. 

The program is open to exceptionally strong rising seniors and graduate students in STEM or medical programs, broadly. Because of the “just-in-time” design of this program, we have an extremely truncated application process: Applications will become live on June 20 and will be processed on a rolling basis until June 30; no applications will be accepted after June 30. Applicants will be notified of acceptance within 2 weeks of applying, and the internship/fellowship will run mid-July to early September, depending on the individual schedules of those involved. In addition to the online training and professional support, each participant will receive at least one mentoring session with their Principal Investigator dedicated to reviewing his/her/their professional interests and professional plans. We expect this program to be highly competitive.