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Cedars-Sinai Research Associate I - Per Diem - Sharif Lab in Los Angeles, California

When the work you do every single day has a crucial impact on the lives of others, every effort, every detail, and every second matters. This shared culture of happiness, passion, and dedication pulses through Cedars-Sinai, and it’s just one of the many reasons we rank as one of the top hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Are you a hardworking and dedicated research professional?

We are currently seeking a highly motivated and skillful Research Associate I to join Dr. Sharif's Lab! The research of Dr. Sharif involves developing MRI-based biomarkers that accurately characterize myocardial blood flow abnormalities and applying them in diagnostic/mechanistic studies of ischemic heart disease with a focus on coronary microvascular/endothelial dysfunction. Broadly, Dr. Sharif's work uses a multi-disciplinary approach for development of innovative MRI data acquisition and reconstruction techniques involving imaging physics, signal processing, and computational sciences to devise methods that achieve optimal precision for visualization/quantification of underlying dynamics in the cardiovascular system, all geared towards addressing ongoing challenges in cardiology.

Working under direct supervision, the RAI performs a variety of routine experimental protocols and procedures to support the objectives of one or more laboratory research projects in a specific area of research. Assists in general laboratory activities, including maintenance of reagents and stocking of supplies. Files and monitors documents. Keeps accurate and detailed records of experiments and results, assists in the operation of specialized equipment and machinery and observes safety standards and procedures. The RAI will be able to perform routine cellular, micro- and molecular biology procedures including, but not limited to Western, Northern blot, DNA/RNA, PCR, protein extraction, cell culture, Immunohistochemistry, and staining. This position does not have supervisory responsibilities.

Primary Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Performs a variety of routine laboratory tasks and procedures.

  • May assist with animal husbandry.

  • Maintains lab equipment and related records.

  • Transports, processes and logs samples.

  • Maintains computer database with relevant clinical information.

  • Performs lab maintenance duties, including glassware cleaning and sterilization.

  • Maintains stocks of general lab materials, and places orders for lab equipment and supplies.

  • Assists new students and fellows at the laboratory.

Department Specific Responsibilities:

  • Contributes to developing new computational image-analysis software for analysis of MRI data as part of externally funded research projects focused on objective analysis of blood flow in the heart.

  • Analyzes, interprets, summarizes and compiles large imaging datasets.

  • Assists with acquisition and processing of preclinical and clinical imaging data.

  • Performs routine and complex laboratory procedures including day-to-day laboratory activities, and assists with general management of laboratory resources.

  • Assists in preparation of publications and presentations but is not responsible for generating grant funds.

  • Demonstrates current knowledge of new research techniques and protocols through scientific literature review and scientific meeting attendance.

  • Perform technical development of medical image analysis and processing tools using convolutional neural networks and general knowledge of specialized image-analysis platforms.

  • Develop and implement new artificial intelligence (machine learning) methods for improvement of image quality in cardiovascular MRI studies using deep convolutional neural networks.

  • Design and implement MRI data processing tools using novel approaches involving artificial intelligence, machine learning and other image analysis platforms.

  • Compile and process large sets of cardiovascular imaging data obtained in the PI’s lab or his collaborator’s labs in human and/or animal subjects using the developed techniques.

Educational Requirements:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering or a directly related field of research specialization, required. Master of Science, preferred.

Experience and Skillset:

  • General knowledge of PI’s area of research specialization specifically background in MRI physics through didactic graduate-level courses in MRI.

  • Prior research training/experience in medical image analysis using Python or Matlab and/or ITK SNAP demonstrate ability to rapidly import and analyze large datasets is desired.

  • Demonstrated experience in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine-learning approaches for medical image analysis, specifically experience in overcoming challenges in projects with limited available “training data” for machine learning applications. Examples include Python or Matlab programming experience in a GPU-accelerated environment (e.g., using TensorFlow Keras or PyTorch)

  • Basic background in image science and MRI physics, as evidenced by prior course work or didactic training is highly desirable.

  • Prior demonstration of creative contributions to research projects involving technical computer programming is a plus.

  • High level of proficiency in scientific computing using Matlab, Python or C++, preferred

  • Demonstrated ability to simultaneously manage multiple project objectives with strong organization skills and attention to details.

Cedars-Sinai is an EEO employer. Cedars-Sinai does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of the race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, physical or mental disability, legally protected medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics or any genetic information), marital status, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, age (40 or older), military and/or veteran status or any other basis protected by federal or state law.

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