Assistant Professor - Animal Models of Neurological Disease

Assistant Professor - Animal Models of Neurological Disease

The Department of Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor. The successful candidate will be a part of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS), which has a primary goal of developing translational research programs and fostering interactions with industry.

We seek highly innovative candidates who are exploring neurological/psychiatric diseases or disorders using clinically relevant animal models, spanning invertebrates to non-human primates. We are particularly interested in candidates whose research focus complements existing departmental and campus strengths, including neuroendocrinology, cytoskeletal dynamics, protein homeostasis, immunology and neurodevelopment. Possible areas of research could include neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, traumatic brain injury, autism or neuropsychiatric disorders. Successful recruits will be expected to establish and maintain a research program with direct relevance to issues of human health and that yield important mechanistic insight into diseases affecting the nervous system.

The new faculty member will collaborate with IALS faculty to translate research results into therapeutic candidates, interact with industry scientists, and provide essential training for the next generation of biomedical scientists. IALS and UMass Amherst are undertaking an aggressive program of faculty recruitment in the next two years. New faculty members will have access to the substantial IALS investments in campus infrastructure and core equipment facilities (see for more details).

Qualified candidates must have a Ph.D. in neuroscience or closely related field, postdoctoral experience, and outstanding potential to establish a translational neuroscience research program. Life sciences faculty members at UMass can recruit students from several interdepartmental graduate programs on campus, and the successful candidate will be expected to participate in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Review of applications will begin on November 27, 2017 and will continue until the position is filled. Online applications must include a cover letter, CV, research plan, teaching statement, and the contact information for three references.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts system. It is a nationally ranked public research university and home to over 22,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students. UMass Amherst, along with Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, is a member of the Five College Consortium and the Academic Career network. The 1,430 acre UMass Amherst campus is located in the scenic Pioneer valley of western Massachusetts, nestled in a rural setting between the Berkshire Mountains, Holyoke Range and Pelham Hills that offers easy access to Boston, Hartford, and New York City, and provides many recreational opportunities.

The University is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty and student body. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. Because broad diversity is essential to an inclusive climate and critical to the University's goals of achieving excellence in all areas, we will holistically assess the many qualifications of each applicant and favorably consider an individual's record working with students and colleagues with broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities. We will also favorably consider experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriers to an academic degree and career.

We are seeking talented applicants qualified for an assistant professor position. Under exceptional circumstances, highly qualified candidates at other ranks may receive consideration.

Brewer Honored as Western Michigan Alumnus

Steven D. Brewer, senior lecturer II in biology and director of the Biology Computer Resource Center, received the 2017 Alumni Achievement Award from the Mallinson Center for Science Education at Western Michigan University (WMU).

Brewer, who received a master’s in geology and a Ph.D. in science education in 1996, was one of 20 alumni recognized by the WMU College of Arts and Sciences.

In a seminar for current students and faculty, Brewer spoke about the path that led him to select science education as a course of study, how he has translated what he learned into practical experience in his role at UMass Amherst, and some of the current key challenges facing science education and public higher education.

Riley's Research Shows the 'Post-Antibiotic Apocalypse' Can Be Prevented. Here's How

The era of antibiotics that began almost a century ago is coming to an end. Diseases that were once easily treatable have become resistant to even the most potent antibiotics. Around the globe, drug-resistant infections claim hundreds of thousands of lives a year; according to one report, the toll of infectious disease deaths could rise to 10 million a year by 2050. England’s chief medical officer warns of an impending “post-antibiotic apocalypse.”

Pharmaceutical companies keep rolling out new antibiotics, often to great fanfare. But experts say such innovations won’t stop the potential disaster barreling our way.
An illustration of bacteriophages infecting bacteria.
Kateryna Kon / Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Read more NBC article

Normark speaks on Studies of Evolution of Unusual Genetic Systems

When it comes to sex, the roundworm Diploscapter pachys is a loner. Abstinence may have found its most impressive poster child yet: Diploscapter pachys. The tiny worm is transparent, smaller than a poppy seed and hasn't had sex in 18 million years.
It has basically just been cloning itself this whole time. Usually, that is a solid strategy for going extinct, fast. What is its secret?
"Scientists have been trying to understand how some animals can survive for millions of years without sex, because such strict, long-term abstinence is very rare in the animal world," says David Fitch, a biologist at New York University. Most plants and animals use sex to reproduce.
Photo courtesy of Karin Kiontke and David Fitch/NYU

Read more New England Public Radio article

Baskin Receives DOE Grant to Study Plant Growth

Tobias Baskin, biology, recently received a $238,000 grant from the Department of Energy to study cellulose and plant control of anisotropic growth, that is, growth rates that are not equal in all directions.

As he explains, “Anisotropy is a hallmark of plant growth. Almost without exception, cells grow faster in one direction than in another.” He will study such questions as how a plant makes organs with specific and heritable shapes, for example, how it builds flat leaves appropriate for catching the sun’s rays and cylindrical roots for foraging soil nutrients.

“In plants, the shapes of organs are controlled by growth. When growth is the same in all directions, it is isotropic, and this kind of growth gives rise to spherical structures, such as a blueberry,” he points out. However, “most plant organs are far from spherical and require growth to differ in different directions, that is to be anisotropic. Growth in plant cells is powered by hydrostatic pressure, which in typical plant cells exceeds that of the typical automobile tire, and is controlled by the mechanical anisotropy of the cell wall.”

Read more in the UMass News article