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Research Associate WPIC (Huang Lab)


The Huang Lab is part of the Translational Neuroscience Program at the Dept of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh. We are focused on the neural mechanisms underlying substance use disorder, with an emphasis on sleep-mediated regulation of reward-elicited behaviors. By studying neural plasticity in rodent models, our team is working to understand whether, why, and how sleep impacts the emotional and motivational state, to characterize pathway-specific changes in the brain reward circuitry following sleep disturbances, and to identify molecular targets for new interventions for drug addiction, depression, and other related psychiatric disorders. We employ a multidisciplinary approach including brain slice electrophysiology, sleep EEG and EMG recordings and analysis, in vitro and in vivo optogenetics, chemogenetics, fiber photometry, and behavioral assays in rodents. We have been actively collaborating with molecular biologists, geneticists, biostatisticians, and software engineers.

This position is grant funded.


  • Conduct rodent surgical procedures, including rodent anesthesia, pre-surgery set-up, operation area cleaning and prep, suture closure of incision, post-operation care,  post-surgery cleaning.
  • Conduct rodent self-administration training, including rodent handling, routine flushing of catheter, equipment (line/swirl) maintenance, behavioral testing, test chamber cleaning, and data acquisition/analysis.
  • Conduct in vivo fiber photometry experiments. Related training will be provided.
  • Supervise and train students for rodent self-administration procedures.
  • Carry out basic laboratory maintenance procedures, including surgical and electrophysiological tools preparation, bench area organization, inventory of lab supplies, and making solutions for various procedures.
  • Assist in rodent colony maintenance, including genotyping specimen collection, weaning/separating pups, treating wounded rodents, and rodent euthanasia.
  • Assist with recruitment, scheduling appointments, obtaining written consent forms, collecting data by conducting phone or face to face interviews for research project(s).
  • Maintain accurate documentation.


  • Bachelors degree required preferably in Neuroscience, Psychology, or related field.
  • Familiarity with computers and common software packages required.
  • Prior related work experience in a research setting preferred.
  • Working knowledge of research methodology strongly preferred.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Act 34

UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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   Current UPMC employees must apply in HR Direct