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Research Associate III – Genetic Tool Development

Department: 2390 - Molecular Genetics
Location: Seattle

Research Associate III – Genetic Tool Development

The mission of the Allen Institute is to unlock the complexities of bioscience and advance our knowledge to improve human health. Using an open science, multi-scale, team-oriented approach, the Allen Institute focuses on accelerating foundational research, developing standards and models, and cultivating new ideas to make a broad, transformational impact on science.

The Allen Institute believes that team science significantly benefits from the participation of diverse voices, experiences and backgrounds. High-quality science can only be produced when it includes different perspectives. We are committed to increasing diversity across every team and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for this role.

The Transgenic Technology team within the Molecular Genetics department at the Allen Institute for Brain Science generates high-precision genetic tools to effectively identify, monitor, and manipulate distinct cell types within the mouse brain. These genetic tools enable the analysis of the structure and function of neural circuits and represent foundational resources for the neuroscience community.

We seek an experienced Research Associate who will generate and characterize new genetic tools for the adult mouse brain and beyond to support internal efforts and two awarded BRAIN grants from the NIH.  The candidate will be a B.S. or M.S. level graduate in neuroscience, molecular genetics or cell biology, will possess strong experimental skills, and should enjoy working as a part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Essential Functions

  • Generate adeno-associated vectors (AAVs) to screen newly identified cis regulatory elements from mouse single cell ATAC-seq data
  • Generate complex targeting vectors to support the production of transgenic mouse lines
  • Perform diverse histological techniques to validate genetic tools
  • Perform retro-orbital injections on mice to deliver rAAVs to the brain
  • Culture mouse embryonic stem cells and other heterologous cells
  • Develop and validate new molecular assays
  • Help to manage mouse transgenic colonies
  • Assist and train junior staff as necessary
  • Help maintain internal tools database and electronic tracking documents
  • Generate figures and present in team and department meetings

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience, Genetics, Biochemistry, or related discipline
  • At least 4 years’ experience post Bachelor’s
  • Deep experience performing molecular cloning techniques and with DNA construction software (Geneious or Vector NTI) and genomics analysis tools (BLAST, ENSEMBL)
  • Demonstrated experience with the design, execution, and troubleshooting of molecular biology tasks
  • Experience with sterile cell culture techniques
  • Experience with histological methods (immunohistochemistry, epifluorescence and confocal imaging, multiplex FISH)
  • Experience handing mice and performing injections (retro-orbital or stereotaxic) of viruses into the mouse brain
  • Ability to work at the bench >80% of the time
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Adobe Software (Photoshop and Illustrator)
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and within a collaborative, multi-disciplinary environment to meet aggressive timelines

Preferred Education and Experience

  • M.S. degree in Neuroscience
  • Experience working on a timeline and executing milestone-driven projects
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Experience developing genetic tools (viral or transgenic)
  • Basic familiarity with neuroanatomy and mouse genetics
  • Experience with R or python
  • Positive attitude, self-motivated, nimble, and ability to trouble-shoot

Work Environment

  • Frequently required to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel or reach
  • Exposure and handling of laboratory animals
  • Laboratory atmosphere - possible exposure to chemical, biological or other hazardous substances

Physical Demands

  • Occasional lifting to 30 pounds
  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and other office equipment; lab equipment

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • This role is currently working onsite and remotely due to COVID-19 and our focus on employee safety. We continue to evaluate the safest options for our employees.

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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