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Research Associate III - Multimodal Analysis of Primate Brain Cell Types

Department: Human Cell Types

Research Associate III – Multimodal Analysis of Primate Brain Cell Types


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 to join a new 5-year NIH grant-funded project investigating the multimodal properties of primate cell types. The project is a unique collaborative effort with local hospitals, the University of Washington, and the Washington National Primate Research Center. We aim to understand regional differences in the morpho-electric, long-range projection, and transcriptomic properties of deep-layer projection neurons in the primate neocortex. We will also test how regional differences in ion channel and neuromodulator-related gene expression contribute to differences in primate neuron function. To this end, we are combining patch-clamp recordings, morphological reconstructions, transcriptomic profiling of single human and non-human primate neocortical neurons (“Patch-seq”). Retrograde tracing in non-human primates will be used to identify the long-range axon projection of different cell types. The successful applicant will contribute to an effort to collect, analyze, and disseminate this exceptionally rare Patch-seq data in the primate brain.

This individual will join a team to generate high-quality patch-clamp electrophysiology data from macaque and human brain slices. He, she, or they will regularly perform experiments and troubleshoot to maximize the efficiency and quality of data collection. The successful candidate will be a hard worker with attention to detail, data analysis and conceptualization, and lead smaller projects. Furthermore, they will be an avid learner with enthusiasm towards developing new skills.

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 patch-clamp experiments in human and non-human primate acute and cultured brain slice preparations
  • Supervise and troubleshoot metadata tracking and reporting
  • Work both independently and with internal and external stakeholders to develop new or improve existing methodologies and technologies
  • Interface with colleagues in other groups and laboratories
  • Ensure a cohesive and efficient team environment
  • Document work and prepare written and oral reports and/or publications with accuracy and reliability; including detailed record keeping in the form of lab notebooks
  • Perform analysis of patch-seq data
  • Prepare solutions, make brain slice preparations, and occasionally contribute to histological analyses

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, Biology, or other related fields
  • 4 years minimum relevant work experience in a laboratory environment
  • Familiarity with the Python, IGOR, and/or R programming language
  • Experience in analyzing biological data
  • Advanced experience with documentation and preparation of written and oral reports

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in Neuroscience, Biology or other related fields
  • Experience leading independent laboratory projects
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience in an R&D/pharmaceutical industry setting or advanced training in neurobiology
  • Certificate in Python programming
  • 1 – 3 years of patch-clamp experience
  • Proven track record of publications

Work Environment

  • Laboratory environment – including exposure to chemical, biological or other hazardous substances

Physical Demands

  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and other office equipment; lab equipment
  • Occasional lifting up to 30 pounds
  • Push/pull up to 25 lbs (pushing a cart, etc...)
  • Stooping, bending, crouching
  • Reaching, or climbing ladders
  • Repetitive motion work in the laboratory environment

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.


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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