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Research Associate I - AAV Gene Therapy - Biodistribution

Department: Human Cell Types

Research Associate I – AAV Gene Therapy – Biodistribution


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 mission of the Allen Institute for Brain Science is to accelerate 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.

We are seeking a Research Associate I to join the gene therapy program at the Allen Institute for Brain Science.  This program aims to develop and test new therapeutic AAVs to treat brain disorders including severe forms of epilepsy and other neurodevelopmental diseases using a novel AAV-based cell type-specific expression system. You will use state-of-the-art technologies to perform high-quality sample testing for key pharmaceutical client. We are seeking a Research Associate with experience in neuroscience, fluorescence imaging, antibody staining or RNAscope ISH, and quantitative-PCR to support biodistribution testing of therapeutic AAVs. Your sample preparation and analysis serve as an integral piece in a growing team focused on gene therapies. You will be working directly with other team members to execute critical time-sensitive experiments. Candidates must have exceptional organizational and communication skills and must be able to work with rodents.

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.

Essential Functions

  • Conduct experiments to measure AAV DNA, RNA and protein expression in mouse brain using IHC, mFISH, and fluorescence microscopy
  • Conduct image analysis and quantification Process and summarize data using scientific or statistical techniques
  • Conduct quantitative-PCR experiments to measure AAV RNA and DNA across the body
  • Assist in designing, developing, and modifying research experiments, procedures, or survey instruments
  • Assist in data interpretation and analyses
  • Proactive problem-solving including initiating and maintaining dialog with outside vendors
  • Ensures laboratory is clean and equipment is being properly maintained
  • Maintain detailed and precise records of all experiments
  • Rapid and transparent communication of all results
  • Manage time effectively to complete assignments in expected time frame
  • Synthesize data into displays and presentations to be reviewed by the team
  • Work under supervision and exercise good judgment
  • Display fine manual dexterity
  • Follow detailed written and verbal instructions as required

Note: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This description reflects management’s assignment of essential functions; it does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

Required Education and Experience

  • BS or BA in neurobiology, cell biology, biology, biochemistry, or related fields
  • Proficient in MS Office programs

Preferred Experience

  • BA/BS with 1-2 years research experience in neurobiology, virology, or related fields
  • Experience with phenotypic testing animal models of epilepsy or other neurodevelopmental diseases
  • One-year relevant experience in a histology laboratory
  • Advanced knowledge of microtomy and embedding techniques
  • Certification as a Histology Technician or Histotechnologist
  • Experience imaging tissues with fluorescence microscopy
  • Experience with DNA & RNA extraction, PCR and qPCR
  • Experience with mouse brain samples; be able to embed and section them on a cryostat and a microtome
  • Experience performing immunohistochemical staining
  • Experience performing Western Blotting
  • Experience maintaining laboratory equipment and preparing reagents

Work Environment

  • Laboratory atmosphere - possible exposure to chemical, biological, or other hazardous substances
  • Exposure and handling of laboratory animals required
  • Possible exposure to BioSafety Level 2 organisms, such as recombinant viruses

Physical Demands

  • Occasional lifting to 30 pounds
  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and other office equipment, lab equipment
  • Stooping, bending, crouching, reaching

Position Type/Excepted Hours of Work

  • This position is funded through a sponsored research collaboration
  • This role is currently working onsite and remotely when possible, due to COVID-19 and our focus on employee safety. We continue to evaluate the safest options for our employees

Additional Comments

  • **Please note, this opportunity does not  sponsor visa sponsorship or offer 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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