Title: Brain Trauma Research Scientist
Job Location: Silver Spring, MD
Odyssey Systems Consulting Group, Ltd. is an innovative small business committed to providing world-class technical, management, and training support services to government and public sector clients. We focus on people, processes, and performance to deliver superior results. Since our inception in 1997, our commitment to mission success and customer satisfaction has been recognized with exponential growth and exceptional past performance ratings. We accept challenging assignments and drive projects from the planning stages, through implementation, and into operations and support.
Participates in research and development activities. Utilizes established mathematical and scientific techniques to compile and analyze data. Writes technical reports detailing procedures, outcomes, and observations. Demonstrates expertise in a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Ability to lead. Will also work in an office setting.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES:
Specific Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Work with a multidisciplinary team of research scientists and technicians to determine what pathological characteristics are measurable in the acute, subacute, and chronic periods following Penetrating or Ballistic brain injury. The results of these studies should refine our animal models of military relevant brain injury by better understanding the co- morbidities during the sub-acute and chronic timeframe after injury. In addition, these studies will determine if it is possible to modulate outcomes based on affecting metabolic regulation and neuroplasticity in the injured brain.
Determine what pathological characteristics are measurable in the acute, subacute, and chronic periods following Projectile Concussive Impact (PCI) TBII. The expected result of this research effort is to deliver a fully characterized, validated animal model of close head concussive mild TBI. The model is expected to provide a research tool to study treatment strategies ranging from simple rest (i.e. sleep enhancement), rehab (physical and social enrichment), and therapeutics.
Determine what pathological characteristics are measurable in the acute, subacute, and chronic periods following polytrauma to refine our animal models of TBI. In addition, these studies will determine if it is possible to modulate outcomes based on affecting metabolic regulation and neuroplasticity in the injured brain. Develop novel treatment strategies aimed at examining the technical feasibility of modulating neuroplasticity through the understanding of cerebral metabolic regulation and the use of environmental enrichment to modulate the effects of brain injury to better understand neurorehabilitation strategies of clinical recovery.
Evaluate resuscitation strategies in polytrauma associated with TBI. Patients are faced with worse outcomes and increased morbidity when TBI occurs in conjunction with hemorrhage. Local
tissue damage and systemic inflammatory responses induced by hemorrhagic shock resulting in hypoperfusion, decreased oxygen delivery, excitotoxicity and perturbed autoregulation of cerebral blood flow, all of which account for the vulnerability of the injured brain to hypotensive insults. The results of these studies should refine our animal models of military relevant brain injury by better understanding the co-morbidities during the sub-acute and chronic timeframe after injury. In addition, these studies will determine if it is possible to modulate outcomes based on affecting metabolic regulation and neuroplasticity in the injured brain.
Determine whether an individual therapy or a combination of therapies, such as, but not limited to, pharmacologic (novel drugs and drug combinations) and cellular (stem and stromal cells) therapies, as well as the manipulation of physical conditions (brain cooling and intracranial pressure) have measurable efficacy on established injury deficits in the acute, subacute, and chronic periods following TBI (PBBI, PCI, or polytrauma). It is expected that these studies will identify novel drugs or treatment strategies that can be used alone or in combination to prevent or attenuate the incidence of acute and delayed clinical sequel associated with experimental TBI thereby enhancing neuroprotection and improving patient morbidity after a TBI.
Learn if early mitochondrial therapeutic intervention that improves mitochondrial mechanisms may enhance neuronal survival and behavioral recovery following TBI and if acute mitochondrial transplantation into post-traumatic brain will provide neuroprotection by improving metabolic status and by limiting endogenous cell death mechanisms.
Determine whether neuroprotective and cognition- enhancing therapeutic drugs (NPCED), have multiple neuroprotective benefits that include the inhibition of neuroinflammatory and apoptotic pathways and the enhancement of neurotrophic factors. Additionally, improve outcomes after injury, including a reduction in molecular pathology signatures and amelioration of neurofunctional deficits. The expected result of this research effort is to determine if NPCED treatment following a military-relevant severe penetrating brain injury in rats will (1) have neuroprotective benefits and (2) improve motor and cognitive dysfunction.
Determine the degree to which PBBI-induced non-convulsive seizures (NCS) may be related to alterations in TBI-specific biomarkers and neurofunctional abnormalities. Non-convulsive seizures resulting from brain injury will be associated with injury-specific biomarkers and will result in worsened behavioral outcomes, both of which will be mitigated by prophylactic treatment.
Identify characteristic neuropathological features and neurobiological underpinnings which include acute and chronic neuroinflammation of blast-induced neurotrauma. If successful, use the information garnered to target pathophysiological mechanisms to see if anti-neuroinflammatory drugs can provide significant neuroprotection.
Conduct studies aimed at understanding the dynamic interplay between genetic, proteomic, vascular and cellular mechanisms of cell death, repair and regeneration. It is expected that these basic research studies will greatly advance our understanding of the neurobiological events underlying a penetrating or concussive type of brain trauma during the subacute and chronic time periods after injury.
Requires a graduate PhD degree in Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Molecular Biology, Psychology or other related scientific field.
At least 3 years of post Doctorate preclinical (animal) research experience in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Ability to operate research equipment requiring manual dexterity.
Ability to handle research animals, wear appropriate personal protective equipment, and work in a Biosafety Level (BSL) 2 laboratory.
Ability to utilize office automation equipment, including computers, photocopiers, telephones, and telefax machines.
Desired experience 5-10 years.
Extensive hands-on experience with rodent surgery and physiological monitoring techniques, to conduct experiments with laboratory rats that are designed to gain insights into injury mitigation and the medical care of combat casualties with TBI.
WORKING LOCATIONS & ADDITIONAL INFO:
WRAIR facility, Bldg 503, Silver Spring MD.
Occasional travel for conference and symposia attendance and/or presentations.
The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant.
Odyssey Systems Consulting Group, LTD. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, protected veteran status, or other factors protected by federal, state, and/or local law. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment
Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities
The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.