Undergrad assistant for THC study

Opportunity Description:

Our laboratory studies effects of single doses of drugs in healthy adults, under controlled conditions. The studies examine the mood-altering, behavioral and physiological effects of a range of drugs that are used for nonmedicall purposes. One goal of the research is to identify risk factors for either excessive use or for adverse responses to drugs. Another goal is to determine how the drugs act in the brain to produce their effects.
This research opportunity will allow the student to examine cardiovascular responses to single doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient of cannabis, in healthy women. The student will work with a senior graduate student in neurobiology, and with the faculty member, to examine the effects of two doses of THC, compared to placebo, in women at two phases of the menstrual cycle. The primary outcome measures of interest will be sympathetic and parasympathetic activity as measured by heart rate variability.

Primary Responsibilities: 

The student will assist in collecting the data from laboratory sessions with the research participants. He will help with placing EKG electrodes, and manage and analyze data collected from the subjects. He will learn to quantify sympathetic and parasympathetic activity, and conduct the appropriate analyses using analysis of variance with SPSS. He will also examine the behavioral effects of the drug using two standardized behavioral tasks.

Minimum Qualifications and/or Eligibility Requirements: 

The student must have excellent interpersonal skills, be able to follow detailed study protocols, have some familiarity with research with humans, attend to detail in conducting data analysis and have some basic familiarity with statistics, Excel and SPSS. Human subjects training is required.

Preferred Skills: 

A student with some experience in the human psychopharmacology laboratory is preferred.

Required Courses (Optional): 


Knowledge or skills gained from the experience: 

The student will acquire skills in human psychopharmacology, statistics, cardiovascular measures, administration and interpretation of behavioral tasks, writing skills.

Application Process: 

Luke Johnson is an undergraduate who is interested in this position.

Application Deadline: 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Application Requirements: 

  • Submit CV
  • 350 Word Statement of Interest
  • For more information on this opportunity, please contact:

    Harriet de Wit
    Faculty Title: 
    Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience