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Research Associate-Fixed Term

Back to search results Apply now Job no: 817948
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Natural Science
Department: Physiology Natural Science 10032668
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Research/Scientific, Fixed Term Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Position Summary

Nature of Work

A Postdoctoral Research Associate position is available immediately in the lab of Dr. AJ Robison as part of several NIH grants to investigate transcriptional mechanisms underlying the function of mast cells and their inflammatory and behavioral sequelae. Mast cells are innate immune cells, and the Robison lab works in collaboration with Dr. Adam Moeser’s lab to understand how mast cell activity is regulated by the transcription factor DeltaFosB. We seek to understand the effects of activity-driven changes in gene expression on long-term function of mast cells, and how this may drive altered allergy, inflammation, brain function, sickness, and behaviors related to psychiatric disorders. Specific objectives of this project are to use cultured cells and mouse models to determine how DeltaFosB expression in mast cells is controlled, what its gene targets are, how it regulates mast cell calcium dynamics and degranulation, how mast cells affect neuroinflammation and brain function through the meninges, and how manipulation of mast cell DeltaFosB affects mouse physiology and behavior. This position will provide training and guidance in the many areas of neuroscience and immunology involved and will prepare an ambitious candidate for eventual transition to independence in academia or elsewhere. This position is supported by funds stable through 2027.

Supervision Received

The Research Associate will be supervised by Dr. AJ Robison with co-mentorship by Dr. Adam Moeser. Additional guidance and training will come from senior members of the labs and collaborators.

Examples of Work Performed

  1. Conduct Research with the Robison and Moeser Labs and faculty from the Dept. of Physiology, Neuroscience Program, and College of Veterinary Medicine.
  2. Culture bone marrow derived mast cells from mice and measure their activation and secretion of various mediators.
  3. Measure calcium dynamics of mast cells in culture and using both ex vivo and in vivo mouse models.
  4. Use Western blotting, qPCR, and immunohistochemistry to uncover changes in mast cell gene expression, activity, and morphology.
  5. Use next generation RNA sequencing, CUT&RUN, and TRAPseq to generate transcriptomic data from mast cells in culture and in tissue.
  6. Completes data entry, data management and data analyses.
  7. Participates in data dissemination, assist in development and writing of manuscripts for publication.
  8. Assist in writing grants and develop individual projects to seek independent extramural funding.
  9. Train and supervise junior research associates, students, and post-doctoral researchers.


  • Decision Making
  • Communication
  • Results Orientation
  • Problem Solving

Salary and Benefits:

The salary range (or hiring range) has been established by NIH guidelines. You can review them at

The salary of the finalist(s) selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, internal equity, experience, education, specialty and training.

The above salary range (or hiring range) represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

Your total compensation goes beyond the number on your paycheck. Michigan State University and the Robison Lab provide generous leave, health plans, and retirement contributions that add to your bottom line.

Diversity and Equity:

The University will provide reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities throughout the employment application process. To request an accommodation pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, please email

Michigan State University is committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse student body, faculty, and administrative staff. The university strives to promote a culture of inclusiveness, respect, communication and understanding. We encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, persons within the LGBTQ+ community, and all veterans. MSU is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.

MSU is dedicated to ensuring a safe and secure environment for our faculty, staff, students and visitors. To assist in achieving that goal, we conduct background investigations for all prospective employees.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Neuroscience, Physiology, Biochemistry,

Minimum Requirements

Applicants must meet minimum qualifications at the time of hire.

  • Ph.D., MD, DVM, DO, or equivalent degree in Neuroscience, Physiology, Biochemistry, Immunology, or a related field

Minimum requirements must be identifiable from the CV/Resume

Desired Qualifications

Identifiable from the CV/Resume

  • PhD-level research experience in Neuroscience, Immunology, or related area
  • Previous experience with a demonstrated record of productivity (e.g., research publications)
  • Skills in either rodent research models or in biochemistry/molecular biology
  • Experience with research design, development of research hypotheses, and methods to test them

Required Application Materials

Cover Letter, Resume/CV, List of References. Application Materials Instructions: To apply, please attach: 1. A letter of application which specifically addresses the job requirements and outlines qualifications; 2. A current CV/resume; 3. List of three or more professional references

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Special Instructions

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Review of Applications Begins On


Summary of Health Risks

The position may work with or in close proximity to live animals, human/animal tissue and/or blood, viruses/bacteria/pathogens, biohazardous chemicals and materials, radioactive materials, medical sharps/waste, and sharp implements.


Department Statement

The discipline of physiology is uniquely positioned among the biomedical sciences to span the gulf between exploring the most fundamental aspects of biology and the most practical and applied problems of human and animal health. Faculty in the Physiology Department at Michigan State University work to understand how the vast array of molecular and cellular events successfully integrate to define the phenomenon of human existence.

The Physiology Department Mission:
- Identify factors and molecules that promote health and disease.
- Understand mechanisms of disease progression.
- Improve overall human and animal health through identification of novel therapeutic targets and treatments.
- Train future scientists in state of the art physiology concepts & approaches.

The Department of Physiology at Michigan State University embraces diversity in its faculty, students and staff. We are committed to providing an environment that nurtures and values inclusion of different backgrounds, ideas, perspectives and skills. Engaging the unique and diverse contributions of our department members results in innovation and excellence in our research, teaching, service and outreach. We take pride in the strength of our diversity and our ability to work together with respect and equality.


MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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