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Research Associate II - Viral and Transgenic Tools

Department: Molecular Genetics

Research Associate II – Viral and Transgenic Tools


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.

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

We are seeking an experienced research associate to help with the establishment and functioning of a new Institute pipeline and the creation of new transgenic mouse lines. The new research associate will build, screen, and validate AAV-based genetic tools in mouse and generate targeting vectors for mouse line production. This individual should be a great molecular biologist, a strong communicator, should be highly organized with great attention to detail, thrive in a fast-paced, diverse team environment, and be excited about developing tools for brain cell types.

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

  • Generate adeno-associated vectors (AAVs) using standard molecular cloning techniques
  • Generate complex targeting vectors to support the production of transgenic mouse lines
  • Evaluate viral labeling patterns in the brain using fluorescence microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Perform retro-orbital and intracerebroventricular injections on mice to deliver rAAVs to the brain
  • Assist with managing mouse transgenic colonies and plan large-scale experimental work
  • Assist with maintaining internal tools database and electronic tracking documents
  • Generate figures and present results regularly in team, department, and stakeholder meetings
  • Contribute to scientific publications and grant applications

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

  • Bachelors degree in Neuroscience, Genetics, Biochemistry, or related discipline
  • Minimum of two years work experience in a directly related field
  • Experience with molecular cloning techniques and with DNA construction software (Geneious or Vector NTI)
  • Demonstrated experience with the design, execution, and trouble-shooting of molecular biology tasks
  • Experience with histological techniques (immunohistochemistry, epifluorescence and confocal imaging, multiplex FISH)
  • Ability to work at the bench at least 80% of the time
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Adobe Software (Photoshop and Illustrator)

Preferred Education and Experience

  • 2 – 3 years of wet lab experience working in a milestone-driven organization
  • Experience working with AAVs and handling mice
  • Knowledge of mouse neuroanatomy and genetics
  • Experience managing metadata and data in a LIMS
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively within cross-functional teams
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills, and attention to detail
  • Positive attitude, self-motivated, nimble, and ability to troubleshoot

Work Environment

  • Laboratory environment, including potential exposure to lasers, biohazards

Physical Demands

  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and other office equipment; repetitive motion with lab equipment
  • Stooping, bending, crouching

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • 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 work visas 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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