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Scientist I - Cell-type identification in extracellular recordings - Mindscope

Department: Neural Circuits and Behavior

Scientist I – Cell type identification in extracellular recordings


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 MindScope program seeks to understand the transformations, sometimes called computations, in coding and decoding that lead from photons to behavior and conscious experience by observing, perturbing and modeling the physical transformations of signals in the cortical-thalamic visual system within a few perception-action cycles.

We seek a Scientist to carry out a project to identify genetic cell types in extracellular recordings using Neuropixels probes. This project leverages a new “ultra dense” version of Neuropixels (NP Ultra) with smaller and denser electrode sites. The role of this scientist is to collect electrophysiological data with NP Ultra probes from neocortical neurons and to perform computational analysis of these recordings. Recordings will involve 1) optogenetic stimulation of genetically identified cell types, and 2) measurement and characterization of subcellular electrical phenomena including backpropagating action potentials.  

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

  • Perform in vivo neurophysiological and optogenetic experiments
  • Plan complex scientific projects within a team setting
  • Perform basic and advanced computational analysis of large-scale datasets
  • Develop and maintain computational and associated software tools
  • Publish/present findings in peer-reviewed journals and at scientific conferences
  • Maintain clear and accurate communication with supervisor and other team members
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately to the research community inside and outside the organization

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

  • PhD in Neuroscience or related discipline; or equivalent combination of degree and experience
  • Experience with neurophysiological recordings
  • Experience programming in Python or Matlab

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Strong computational/data analysis skills
  • In vivo neurophysiological recordings in behaving mice
  • Experience working on team-based scientific projects
  • Proven track record of scientific excellence and independent thinking
  • Strong publication record

Work Environment

  • Laboratory environment, including potential exposure to lasers, biohazards
  • Handling mice in a laboratory environment

Physical Demands

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

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Occasional evening and weekend hours required  
  • 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 offers relocation assistance**
  • **Please note, this opportunity offers work visa sponsorship**


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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