View job on Handshake

We are currently seeking a dynamic, interested, and curious Research Technician within the lab of Dr. Kafui Dzirasa at Duke University. The Dzirasa Lab is exploring the relationship between psychiatric disorders and disruptions in organized electrical activity in large cortical and subcortical networks in the brain.  The team base their research on the theory that emotions have distinct signatures reflected by such activity.  The team uses mouse models and approaches from psychiatry, neurophysiology, and biomedical engineering to demonstrate that disruptions in these activity patterns are a convergence of biological factors for psychiatric disorders and to study whether normalizing electrical activity patterns in disease states could restore “normal” behavior.  More information on the lab can be found on their website.

The role will work closely with senior researchers investigating the brain networks that underlie sociability, reward, and depression. The candidate will assist with electrode fabrication, stereotactic surgeries, behavior in freely moving mice, and histology. The best candidates will be comfortable working both in a team setting and independently and have an organized, methodical approach to their work.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with Postdocs, Graduate Students, and other lab members on the design, preparation, and execution of experiments
  • Handle and train mice for behavioral experiments (including but not limited to compulsivity, sociability, reward processing, anxiety and depression)
  • Perform histology
  • Dissection of neural tissue in mice
  • Immunohistochemistry, histology, and microscopy on fixed brain tissue
  • Perform survival stereotactic surgeries for intracranial infusions and implantations
  • Build electrodes
  • Assist in the maintenance of a complex mouse breeding colony that involves many genetic backgrounds
  • Interact effectively with lab members and veterinary staff to ensure a high standard of care and organization
  • Participate in laboratory meetings and read literature applicable to the research area
  • Analyze data using standard and machine learning algorithms
  • Maintain a lab notebook of raw data and organize data for analysis by senior lab members
  • Keep detailed records


  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology, Biology, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry or related discipline
  • 1-2 years of experience working a related research lab
  • Prior experience with animal behavior a plus
  • Prior experience animal husbandry
  • Survival stereotactic surgery experience a plus
  • Flexibility to work as needed around the timeline of the animal experiments
  • Outstanding fine motor control
  • Self-motivated and able to perform complex tasks effectively and independently with general instruction
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Exemplary organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to follow instruction with an eagerness to learn, grow professionally, and be mentored

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet). Work may involve possible exposure to malodorous vapors, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of carcinogenic substances. 

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however.  Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.