Neuroimaging Data Analyst

Neuroimaging Data Analyst

Date Posted August 15, 2017
Job Type Regular
Hours Per Week 16
PAVIR Job ID TAY1702.17
Salary Range DOE

Description

The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a Neuroimaging Data Analyst to support human clinical neuroscience research under the supervision of Principal Investigator – Joy Taylor, Ph.D.

The Neuroimaging Data Analyst will analyze multi-modality brain MR images acquired in the context of a five-year NIH-funded research study of a promising non-pharmacological intervention that involves noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS). The Taylor lab is using repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS, a form of NIBS) to learn if precisely targeted brain stimulation can improve memory and cognition, and if so, for how long, in older adults at risk of having Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Because posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) metabolism and functional connectivity is profoundly affected in early AD, we hope that targeted brain stimulation can help restore connectivity of the PCC with other regions of the brain. Secondly, we will examine differences related to prefrontal vs. parietal cortical stimulation.

The Neuroimaging Data Analyst will pre-process and QA simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) resting-state fMRI scan data, and perform seed-based functional connectivity analyses. This position is vital for ensuring timely, precise positioning of the TMS coil, which will ultimately lead to successful achievement the project’s scientific objectives.

Additionally, the Neuroimaging Data Analyst will be invited to contribute to posters, manuscripts, and new NIH or VA proposals. Time permitting, the Neuroimaging Data Analyst will be given the opportunity to learn how to safely deliver TMS using state-of-the art practices.

This is a regular, part-time (16 hours/week), non-exempt position.

PAVIR is a nonprofit foundation affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check before they can commence work.

Duties:

  • Create and implement automated data preprocessing steps, including DICOM-to-NIFTI conversion, reconstruction of SMS fMRI data, and generation of quality assurance reports
  • Perform seed-based functional connectivity analyses
  • Neuronavigation: assist study team in positioning the TMS figure-of-eight coil on the basis of the individual subject’s morphological and fMRI data
  • Analyze other multimodality brain MR images (3D SPGR anatomical, DTI, FLAIR, and ASL scan data)
  • Validate and refine the lab’s image processing pipeline and quality assurance reports
  • Train study staff in the preprocessing of image data and the interpretation of quality assurance reports
  • Contribute to posters and papers for publication; provide summary descriptive data for twice-yearly DSMB meetings

Requirements:

Education:

  • Required: Bachelor Degree (or equivalent combination of education and experience) in Cognitive Neuroscience, Electrical or Biomedical Engineering, Radiological Sciences, Medical Imaging, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, or a related field
  • Desired: Master’s degree or Ph.D. in a related field

Experience:

Required:

  • 1-2 years of hands-on experience processing fMRI data: experience with resting-state (aka task-free) fMRI data analyses, including preprocessing and functional connectivity (especially seed-based) analyses
  • Experience using major MRI data analysis software, such as FSL, FreeSurfer, and SPM
  • Programming experience (MatLab, Python, C++, shell scripting)

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:

Required:

  • Sufficient computer knowledge to interface image processing scripts and tools with Linux and with database/ statistical applications including Redcap, required
  • Familiarity with operations on different platforms, including Linux (Centos or Debian/Ubuntu), Windows, and Linux virtual machine guest OS, required
  • Willingness to work flexible hours because of protocol timing requirements
  • Knowledge of statistics and neuroanatomy
  • Strong mathematical and computational skills
  • High dependability with demonstrated organizational ability
  • Attention to detail and systematic logging of work performed
  • Effective communication skills, both orally and in writing, and a collaborative spirit
  • Knowledge of standard research concepts, privacy practices, and data integrity procedures
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel Outlook, and PowerPoint
  • Ability to understand and follow VA regulations and procedures regarding research

Desired:

  • Inter-disciplinary experience and knowledge of cognitive constructs, neurodegenerative diseases and/or medical terms
  • Familiarity with Endnote Bibliographic File Management application
  • Experience with arterial spin labeling data and/or diffusion-weighted MR image data analyses highly desired
  • Understanding of fundamental brain MRI data analysis problems, including registration, tissue segmentation, noise removal, etc., highly desired
  • Exposure to development and implementation of pulse sequences (SMS fMRI, DTI, ASL, etc.)

Environmental Conditions / Physical Demands:

  • Physical: Sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, repetitive movement, etc.
  • Environmental: Exposure to office and hospital/clinical environment. Possible exposure to MR imaging and TMS equipment.

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information: www.pavir.org

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer for Minorities, Females, Protected Veterans, and Qualified Individuals with a Disability. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact jobs@pavir.org – Human Resources department.

Benefits

  • Sick leave pay
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match and Profit Share
  • Employee Assistance Program
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