Twin, family, adoption and other types of genetic investigations have determined that certain genetic, but also environmental factors increase risk for developing alcohol and drug use problems. The mentors' labs include mice in their research to study specific genes and genetic mechanisms for their impact on the development of alcohol and drug use problems. They develop animal models of drug use and drug effects, because they can control the drug exposure history of the animals and can alter gene sequence or gene expression to examine the consequences. A selective breeding procedure is used to create mice that have very high or very low levels of a particular alcohol or drug-related trait. As a result, similar to human populations, offspring resemble their high- or low-scoring parents for these traits. However, some individuals exhibit unexpected behaviors that may be associated with effects of the external environment, and the lab is interested in this as well.
Ultimately, the goal is to identify better treatments for alcohol and drug use disorders that could help those who become addicted to reduce their drug use and avoid relapsing. The mentors believe that the identification of important genes and gene networks (interacting webs of genes) will help in the development of new and more effective therapies. Activities that the intern might perform using mice include measuring alcohol or methamphetamine preference, measuring locomotor responses to drugs, measuring other behavioral responses to drugs such as the induction of or changes in anxiety-like or depression-like behavior, coordination, sedation, aversion, reward and body temperature change.
Some weekend work may need to be performed, so flexibility in working schedule is a must. Per VA federal regulations, applicants must be U.S. citizens and must be at least 16 years of age. Students must be minimum age specified by May 15. These age requirements are strictly enforced by the mentoring organization, and there are no exceptions. Applicants should be aware that on-site parking may be limited and/or unavailable throughout the summer; interns may be required to rely on public transit or alternative transportation.
We strongly encourage students to apply who are from one or more systemically and historically excluded group, including but not limited to, non-cis-gendered students, girls, BIPOC, first-generation college bound students, low-income/low-resourced students, students with disabilities, who are neurodivergent, and those who speak a primary language other than English.
This internship will be taking place in-person, as permitted by Federal/State/Local/VA Healthcare Systems guidelines. To reduce the risks of coronavirus exposure, mentors and interns will act in accordance with applicable COVID guidelines and procedures. Selected applicants will be required to review and sign a waiver agreement.
If you have any questions about the application, website technical issues and/or this position description, please contact Saturday Academy at email@example.com. Do not contact the mentor directly. Contacting the mentor directly is grounds for disqualification of your ASE application.