ORISE Internship/Research Participation US EPA -- Thyroid InVitro Development

Thyroid InVitro Development 

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


Project Description: A postdoctoral 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. 

This research project involves the development of a suite of in vitro approaches to evaluate the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the thyroid hormone axis. An initial focus will be on developing medium and high-throughput in vitro assays that can be used to more rapidly detect chemicals that can alter important molecular initiating events that can disrupt thyroid hormone signaling in humans and wildlife species. The utility of these in vitro approaches will be assessed by testing controls, reference chemicals and subsets of chemicals currently under the EPA’s regulatory purview (e.g., Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program). This research will be closely coordinated with ongoing studies to develop a formal adverse outcome pathway (AOP) for the thyroid axis that characterizes the linkages between molecular/biochemical data to adverse apical outcomes of regulatory concern. 

The research participant will also be involved with 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 being involved in the management and analyses of large high through-put (HTP) data files and the reporting of results for their studies. 

Through this project, the research participant will develop a broad understanding of: the endocrine regulation of the HPT-axis; key molecular targets where environmental chemicals can alter the homeostasis of thyroid hormones; physiological impacts of altered thyroid hormone regulation in humans and wildlife species; development and evaluation of in vitro approaches for screening for thyroid toxicants; computation toxicology; and the EPA’s Endocrine Disrupting Screening Program.

Under the mentorship of experienced, senior-level EPA researchers, and 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 the U.S. EPA) as an avenue for acquiring expertise directly relevant to the incumbent’s ongoing research studies within the EPA.

Qualifications: Applicants must have received a doctoral degree in endocrinology, toxicology, or biochemistry 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 knowledge of in vitro toxicology study design, data collection, statistical analyses, endocrinology, and reproduction and development using the rodent animal model is 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 mentors for this project are Dr. Susan Laws (laws.susan@epa.gov) and Dr. Tammy Stoker (stoker.tammy@epa.gov)   

How to Apply: An application can be found at http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/application.htm. Please reference Project # EPA-ORD/NHEERL-TAD-2014-06 when calling or writing for information.

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