ORISE Internship/Research Participation US EPA - Health Effects of Thyroid Disrupting Chemicals

Health Effects of Thyroid Disrupting Chemicals During Perinatal Periods of Development

Office of Research and Development
National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


Project Description: A postgraduate research project training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD)/National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL). The appointment will be served with the Toxicity Assessment Division (TAD) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. 

The participant will conduct research that addresses high priority research needs of the U.S. EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program with regard to the risk assessment and risk management of environmental chemicals that can adversely affect circulating levels of thyroid hormone. This research project will contribute to adverse outcome pathway (AOP) discovery and development (AOPDD) and support the agency’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability (CSS) research plan. 

The research participant will evaluate longitudinally the adverse health outcomes in developing animals after exposure to chemical and non-chemical stressors during prenatal and/or postnatal periods. The research participant’s research and training may include: handling and treating small laboratory animals (rats), physiological determinations, necropsy and preparation of tissues for biochemical analyses (such as enzyme assays, molecular evaluations and hormone measurements), analytical chemistry techniques, in vivo dosing, histological analyses, sectioning, immunostaining, imaging, tissue extraction for chemical analysis, mRNA extraction for rtPCR, cell culture, record keeping, data processing, and graphical presentation of statistical analyses. 

The research participant will also be involved in the development of research hypotheses, study design, and the implementation of in vitro and in vivo studies to support their research objectives. In addition, s/he will conduct data collection/processing, basic statistical analyses, computational toxicology, as well as be involved in the management and analyses of large data files, application of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic models, and reporting of results in peer reviewed journals. Through this opportunity, the research participant will learn about problem formulation, solution identification and options, and interpretation of results by observation. At the laboratory bench, s/he will gain experience in various experimental approaches and techniques in toxicological research. 

Under the mentorship of experienced, senior-level EPA researchers, the participant will have latitude in exercising independent initiative and judgment in the research. S/he may also participate in collaborative studies with other senior scientists (internal and/or external to EPA) as an avenue for acquiring expertise directly relevant to his/her ongoing research studies at EPA. The research participant may also have opportunities to attend seminars and lectures held at local sites.

Qualifications: Applicants must have received a bachelor’s degree in biology, neurochemistry, neuroscience, endocrinology or related discipline within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date. Laboratory research experience and experience in in vitro toxicology study design, data collection, statistical analyses, and a general knowledge of good laboratory practices are desired.

The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but a candidate also may hold an appropriate visa status; an H1B visa is not appropriate). Guidelines for non-U.S. citizens may be found at http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/immigration.htm. 

The appointment is full time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. Funding may be made available to reimburse the participant's travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or a participant's health insurance. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.

Location: Research Triangle Park, NC

Technical Questions: The mentor for this project is Dr. Mary Gilbert (gilbert.mary@epa.gov).

How to Apply: http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/current-research-opportunities.aspx

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