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Neuroscience research in Baltimore

Joshua Vogelstein sends along these ads for students, research associates, and postdocs in his lab at Johns Hopkins University:

Our goal is to work together with neuroexperimentalists to discover fundamental principles governing the relationship between mind and brain, via building and deploying open source petascale tools that run at scale on open access data. This includes analytics, databases, cloud computing, and Web-services applied to both big neuroimages and big neurographs.

We believe in the upward spiral of science, that is, that the scientific community is in a continual process of learning from past, building models on previous experiments, which lead to new experiments, etc. Therefore, we practice reproducible research and open science. Our interests span the spatiotemporal scales of analysis, ranging from nanoscale (serial electron microscopy) to microscale (e.g., array tomography, CLARITY, and calcium imaging) to macroscale (e.g., SPECT and multimodal magnetic resonance imaging). For more information, please visit our website, http://neurodata.io.

For all potential applicants
NeuroData is always hiring exceptional individuals at all levels. There are only a few requirements: (1) you are excited to work closely with a team of diverse thinkers, including computer scientists, biomedical engineers, and neuroscientists, (2) you are will to commit at least 2-3 years to the project, and (3) you understand that we do open science – this means that all code that we write is open sourced and therefore run by other people (one implication of this is that our code is always tested and documented). Assuming you fit those conditions, please read the below specialized instructions, and send us an email with your CV, your github handle, and other relevant information (such as recommendations and your first author publications that you are most proud of).

Research Associate
If you have an undergraduate degree in a related field, eg, biomedical engineering, neuroscience, or computer science, and want to work with our group, please send your cv, transcript, and recommendations if you have them. Also, please explain why you want to be a research associate, and in particular, work with us :)

Undergrad Research
There is always more work for undergrad research in our group! To make a useful contribution, you’ll need to commit a minimum of 10 hrs per week, and must be open to working together for years. The research will be for 3 credits per semester, so you will need to make sure you can take 3 additional credits. It is very likely that your research will include writing code, in either R or Python, processing data, paralllel/distributed computing, possibly proving some theorems, all in the service of answering some neuroscience questions using big data. If this sounds awesome, please send me an email, including your CV/resume, as well as your complete official JHU transcript. If you have any letters of recommendation, please send them as well.

Potential Graduate Students
My group will always take exceptional PhD students, and potentially master’s students as well. If you would like to do graduate research with me, the best option is to apply to the BME Department at JHU, and indicate on the application that you want to work with me. I can also officially advise students in Neuroscience, Computer Science, Biostatistics, and Applied Mathematics & Statistics. There is no need to email me, you can simply apply, I will find your application, I promise :)

Current JHU Graduate Students
My group will always take exceptional PhD students, and potentially master’s students as well. If you would like to do graduate research with me, and you are already in a graduate program at JHU, please send me your application materials (ie, transcript, essays, recommendations, etc.). If it seems that we are a good fit, we’ll schedule a time to meet up on campus.

Post-Doc Positions
We are currently looking for 3 post-docs. In all cases, there will be a significant programming requirement, in either R or Python. Details for each position are below.

For the graph statistics postdoc, we will be (i) writing reference implementations in R for a number of graph statistical methods for which we do not currently have said implementations, (ii) developing new graph statistical theory and methods, and (iii) applying said methods to neurographs. All reference implementations will be incorporated into FlashR. We will write papers on graph statistics aimed at statistics and machine learning audiences, as well as some aimed at neuroscientists.

For the computational anatomy postdoc, we will be (i) writing code using the NeuroData infrastructure to extract neuroanatomical objects of interest (e.g., cells, synapses, regions), and (ii) developing and deploying methods for scalable statistical analyses for these objects, such as 3D point processes for 100 million points. Some of this work is explained in more detail here.

The human MRI postdoc will also be writing code using the NeuroData infrastructure, processing lots of open source brains, and making discoveries and writing papers using graph statistics, spatial statistics, and more. One example of this work is the MRI-to-Graphs pipeline, lovingly refered to as m2g.

I copied the ad as written, except that at one point he wrote “Note that,” and I hate “Note that” so I took it out. I don’t want to go around editing other people’s job postings but this time I just couldn’t stop myself.

2 Comments

  1. Alex Gamma says:

    “Our goal is to work together with neuroexperimentalists to discover fundamental principles governing the relationship between mind and brain, via building and deploying open source petascale tools that run at scale on open access data.”

    I doubt that throwing Big Data at the mind-brain problem will help. But then, I don’t know of anything that will really help with the mind-brain problem.

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