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Research Associate I–AAV packaging and organotypic brain slice culture

Department: 2520- Human Cell Types
Location: Seattle

Research Associate I – AAV packaging and organotypic brain slice culture

We are seeking a BA/MA level Research Associate (RA) to join a new program at the Allen Institute for Brain Science to develop and test cell type-specific Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors with the goal of developing novel therapeutic strategies to treat severe brain disorders. The RA will support the packaging of custom AAV vectors and be responsible for optimization, scaling, titer determination, and quality control.

The RA will also be responsible for coordinating large-scale production of viral vectors conducted through a contract manufacturing organization, to be used for in vivo experimentation in animal models. The RA will also be responsible for establishing and maintaining non-human primate organotypic brain slice cultures as a platform to test the functionality of viral vectors.

This work will be crucial in establishing initial feasibility of targeting transgene delivery to specific primate brain cell types, prior to testing of viral vectors in vivo in animal models. The ideal candidate will be excited about joining a team science environment at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and about helping to develop new gene therapies for brain diseases.

Job Responsibilities 

  • Carry out AAV packaging at different production scales to support screening of candidate cell type-specific gene therapy AAV vectors.
  • Evaluate viral titers and provide quality assurance for all packaged AAV viral vectors.
  • Assist in determining functionality and specificity of candidate AAV vectors.
  • Organotypic brain slice culture of non-human primate brain tissue.
  • Routine maintenance of brain slice cultures.
  • Rapid and transparent communication of all successes and failures.
  • Regular presentation of results to the broader group.
  • Must follow good laboratory practices and maintain detailed records.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills.

Required Qualifications

  • BA in a life science or similar field with a background in virology, imaging and/or cell
  • 0-2 years of experience in a laboratory or research environment.
  • Proficiency in MS Office programs.

Preferred Qualifications

  • 1 + years’ experience in a laboratory or research environment is preferred
  • MA with a background in virology, imagine and/or cell and molecular biology
  • Highly motivated and capable of operating independently.
  • Experience working in a milestone-driven, team science environment is preferred.
  • Experience with virus production, viral titer determination and functional testing.
  • Experience with mammalian cell culture (preferably neuron culture) and aseptic techniques.

It is the policy of the Allen Institute to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Allen Institute will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.


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