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Washington University of St. Louis Research Assistant - Program in Physical Therapy - 47643 in St. Louis, Missouri

Job Type/Schedule

This position is full-time and works approximately 40 hours per week. Hours are generally normal business hours but may vary due to the timing for experiments and other research activity deadlines.

Department Name/Job Location

This position is with the Program in Physical Therapy at the Medical School Campus.

Essential Functions


This position assists with research studies, experiments, preparation of material and documentation.

The Plasticity, Monoamines, and Recovery of Function Lab (PMRF Lab), under the direction of Prof. Jacob McPherson (https://sites.wustl.edu/pmrflab/, https://pt.wustl.edu/people/jacob-g-mcpherson-phd/), has an immediate opening for a research assistant.

The PMRF Lab conducts both animal and human-subjects neurophysiology and neurological rehabilitation research. This position is primarily for work in the animal lab.

We explore interrelationships between the neural control of movement and pain processing after stroke and spinal cord injury. This work is predicated on the notion that optimal therapies for restoring function after neurological injury must be grounded in a neuromechanistic understanding of the causes of impairment, which requires an integrative view of nervous system function and an interdisciplinary approach to research. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop therapeutic strategies that leverage the interconnectivity of spinal sensory and motor networks to drive multi-modal rehabilitation. We are particularly interested in strategies that facilitate and direct the intrinsic ability of the central nervous system to reorganize and repair, including strategies designed to enhance the therapeutic benefits of physical rehabilitation. The lab takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding these phenomena, using neural engineering techniques (e.g., recording/stimulation in the nervous system, neural-computer interfaces, signal processing), quantitative motor and sensory testing, neuropharmacology, and physical therapy.

The research assistant will join a dynamic and growing laboratory, and will work directly with Prof. McPherson to gain additional relevant technical and scientific expertise, as well as professional development mentorship. The PMRF Lab is housed within the vibrant Washington University School of Medicine, where individuals will be able to interact directly with other faculty, scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and students engaged in neural engineering, neurophysiology, and rehabilitation research. The PMRF Lab also maintains close ties with researchers in Washington University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.


  1. Conducts research experiments and assays.
  2. Evaluates research results, reporting findings and discussing project outcomes with staff involved.
  3. Performs data entry and maintains data files on research.
  4. Complies with established safety procedures and maintains required documentation on laboratory and specimen conditions.
  5. Coordinates research projects with other investigators as necessary.
  6. Participates in developing hypotheses to be tested and ways of testing it.
  7. Assists with general supply/equipment orders, lab maintenance, and cleaning.
  8. Performs literature research on specific topic.
  9. Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

Equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with two to three years of experience in laboratory operations.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working in rodent laboratory, including animal handling.
  • Demonstrated ability to implement general laboratory procedures, conduct research, and record findings.
  • Experience with small or large animal neurophysiology, electrophysiology, and/or behavior experiments.
  • Experience with Matlab software.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Salary Range

The hiring range for this position is $15.46 - $20.88 per hour.

Pre-Employment Screening

All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. Current employees applying for a new position within the university may be subject to this requirement. The screenings will include a criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.


This position is eligible for full-time benefits. Please click the following link to view a summary of benefits: https://wustl.box.com/s/8wkhs25yssf0775x9d6nd6vqa7obpth7.

Applicant Special Instructions


This position works in a laboratory environment with potential exposure to biological and chemical hazards. The individual must be physically able to wear protective equipment and to provide standard care to research animals.

EOE Statement

Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

Job Title: Research Assistant - Program in Physical Therapy - 47643

Job ID: 47643

Location: Medical School

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular