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Research Associate I/II– Brain Science, Imaging

Department: 3480 - Imaging
Location: Seattle

Research Associate I/II– Brain Science, Imaging  

The mission of the Allen Institute is to unlock the complexities of bioscience and advance our knowledge to improve human health. Our Brain Science team is dedicated to accelerating the understanding of how the human brain works in health and disease. Using a big science approach, we generate useful public resources, drive technological and analytical advances, and discover fundamental brain properties through integration of experiments, modeling and theory.

This position is on the multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization (mFISH) pipeline team in the Imaging Department, which develops and executes several microscopy pipelines at the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

The successful applicant will work closely with other members of the mFISH team including bench scientists, microscopists, computational specialists and downstream data analysts.  This position serves a critical role in the mFISH pipeline by providing a link between intra-institute data collection groups and the imaging department, performing sample preparation, data collection, and basic post-acquisition data processing for the mFISH-lightsheet pipeline.

This role requires proficiency in modern bench techniques for tissue processing and the operation of fluorescence microscopy acquisition hardware.

Essential Functions

  • Perform clearing and staining of fixed tissue using established in situ hybridization of RNA protocols
  • Prepare buffers and solutions for various tissue processing procedures
  • Prepare and mount tissue samples for fluorescence imaging
  • Operate a custom light sheet fluorescence microscope via MicroManager control and acquisition software
  • Evaluate, calibrate, and troubleshoot experiment quality and equipment functionality.
  • Perform post-acquisition data alignment tasks via point matching software
  • Maintain accurate and detailed laboratory documentation including lab notebooks, data acquisition and quality control records
  • Summarize, present and discuss results with members of the mFISH team
  • Follow good laboratory practices
  • Assist other staff as necessary

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, or related field
    • RA I: 0-2 years’ experience
    • RA II: 2-4 years’ experience
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively within interdisciplinary teams
  • Demonstrated ability to follow standard operating procedures and safety guidelines
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Proficiency in MS Office
  • Prior experience working in a high throughput environment.
    • Applicants are encouraged to include all prior experience working in this type of environment which may or may not be from a clinical or scientific industry setting

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Willingness to cross-train and perform other duties as assigned
  • Experience with tissue staining techniques such as in situ hybridization or immunolabeling.
  • Demonstrated experience in maintain RNase-free conditions and/or experience with aseptic techniques
  • Attention to detail and quantitative problem solving
  • Demonstrated ability to juggle and complete multiple tasks in a timely manner
  • Familiarity with Python
  • Experience working with automated liquid handling platforms
  • Experience operating within a high-throughput pipeline which may generate large quantities of data on many individual samples
  • Experience with microscope operation/data collection, especially using automated or non-standard acquisition methods

Work Environment

  • Open office seating
  • Some exposure to laboratory environment, including potential exposure to lasers and biohazards

Physical Demands

  • Stooping, bending, crouching
  • Reaching, or climbing ladders
  • Occasional exposure to safety hazards, noises, change in temperature, climbing and/or lifting (30+lbs), chemicals, and other hazardous materials and machinery
  • Exposure to Class IV lasers
  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and other office equipment; lab equipment

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • This is an onsite, M-F, regular business hours position
  • May be required to work alternate hours (ie, Saturday or Sunday shift)

**Please note, this opportunity does not sponsor work visas and has no relocation assistance**

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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