"…a modern scholar who is in a position to acquire more than superficial knowledge about many different interests"
In more than four years at Janelia Farm Research Campus, Jason Osborne has always taken on any challenge that comes his way. As an innovator with the Instrument Design & Fabrication group, his primary focus is the development of cutting edge steriotactic lab equipment, electrophysiology instrumentation for in vivo and in vitro, optogenetics applications and behavior assay systems for neural research. Twenty-one years of experience in the medical, aerospace, and connector manufacturing industries have uniquely positioned Jason to create advanced neuroscience tooling unavailable in industry but custom made for Janelia Farm researchers and visiting scientists alike. Collaboration with JFRC researchers has resulted in multiple licensing opportunities, co-authorship on a Nature Methods article ( non-contact, 7KHz, real-time motion tracking of a tethered, walking animal powered by optical computer mouse technology), and distribution of the new technologies to the broader science community.
One of Jason’s current projects is a steriotactic RIVETS (Rodent In Vitro Electrophysiology Targeting System) system that allows researchers to practice in vivo, in vitro and imaging on one complete compact system. The original concept design was in collaboration with Dr. Josh Dudman, which the primary experimental role was in vitro experiments. After much success Dr. Gabe Murphy began to consult with Jason and Dr.Dudman on integrating In Vitro and imaging into the steriotactic rig. The system is now in fine tune phase and is being use in a yet third lab, Dr. Adam Hantman, which will practice both in vitro and imaging. Jason is part of the research efforts of a number of Janelia labs, including those of Scott Sternson.
Pictured: Jason, Deniz Atasoy and Yeka Aponte
Jason initiated, and led, a team building project, the Kinetic Sculpture race team at Janelia Farm. Members of the team range from 20-60 years of age and include representative samples of every discipline present on the Janelia Farm Campus. The race was held in Baltimore MD, May 2011.
The Fossil Hunter
In addition to his day job as an instrument designer, Jason is also co-founder and President of Paleo Quest, a non-profit organization devoted to advancing paleontology and earth sciences through material contributions to museum collections, field exploration, publication and the advancement of science education in primary and secondary schools. Along with co-founder and Vice President of Paleo Quest he has led the organization to partnerships with the JASON Project, National Geographic, Sea Research Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. Under this agreement, Paleo Quest and its researchers will expand their educational outreach to include hundreds of thousands of students worldwide as well as work within the partnership to further develop innovative research methodologies. Jason also co-designed an innovative classroom-sourcing model that will bring real scientific endeavors to high school and middle school classrooms throughout the United States. This classroom-sourcing model was demoed at Google SciFoo camp in Mountainview CA, August 2012.
Jason has discovered new species and earliest occurrences of many new species, including the earliest documented Protocetids (the ancestors of modern whales) in Virginia. He is a specialist in low visibility and swift current scuba diving methods including underwater formation exploration and identification, sampling and extraction. Jason is a member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and The Paleontological Society and was recently published in the Journal of Paleontology.
Janelia Farm recently sponsored a display focused on some of Jason’s fossil finds. Dr. Robert Weems, a retired paleontologist with the USGS (United States Geological Survey) and colleague of Jason’s at Paleo Quest, introduced the collection with a colloquium on the diversity of fossil species in Virginia. The display is currently housed in the HHMI headquarters. Both Jason and the display were featured in HHMI media in 2010.