Research Specialist A/B (Autism Spectrum Program of Excellence) at University of Pennsylvania

Posted in Other 8 days ago.

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Job Description:

Research Specialist A/B (Autism Spectrum Program of Excellence)

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination or a University authorized exemption is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title

Research Specialist A/B (Autism Spectrum Program of Excellence)

Job Profile Title

Research Specialist A

Job Description Summary

The Autism Spectrum Program of Excellence (ASPE; at the Perelman School of Medicine was established in 2017 to significantly advance our understanding of the genetic underpinnings of autism for the development of precise, novel diagnostic and treatment approaches that aim to improve the quality of life of individuals with autism. ASPE recruits subjects with autism and their family members, performing extensive quantitative phenotyping and genomic analysis of these families to capture the range of genotypic and phenotypic heterogeneity and to define genotype-phenotype relationships. To understand the cellular, molecular, circuit, and behavioral phenotypes associated with gene perturbations in autism, ASPE utilizes various model systems, including Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, Danio rerio, Mus musculus, and human induced pluripotent stem cell models. These model systems are also used to identify treatments for autism-relevant traits. Since ASPE executes a multidisciplinary research agenda, our team consists of leading experts across multiple fields - genetics, biology, neuroscience, model systems, and psychiatry. We are seeking a Research Specialist to join our team.

Research Specialist A: Under general supervision, perform a variety of genetic, molecular, computational, and microscopic techniques to analyze molecular, cellular, and/or behavioral changes in Danio rerio (zebrafish) using specialized platforms. Also assist with lab organization by maintaining lab stocks, keeping records, and maintaining lab instruments. Other duties as assigned.

The Research Specialist B position will undertake the duties outlined for the Research Specialist A position, with the additional expectation that the candidate will work independently to develop novel methods and techniques, in addition to undertaking established methods and techniques. This position would also have the added expectation of performing some methods/techniques/data analysis independently, and have a background including more experience, specifically with skills necessary to do data analysis and compilation using appropriate software.

Job Description

Job Responsibilities

    Setup and perform behavioral experiments using Danio rerio (zebrafish)

    Maintain stocks, reagents, records, and equipment required for the above experiments

    Analyze behavioral imaging data using software programs (Python, prism, R)

    Maintain stocks of Danio rerio; keep strain records

    Attend lab meetings, ASPE meetings, scientific talks, etc. to learn relevant biology and techniques

    Perform additional duties as assigned


    • Research Specialist A: A Bachelor's Degree and 0 to 1 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience required. Prior experience with basic molecular biology techniques and animal models (particularly zebrafish) preferred

    • Research Specialist B: A Bachelor's degree is required and 2 to 5 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience. The Research Specialist B position will undertake the duties outlined for the Research Specialist A position, with the additional expectation that the candidate will work independently to develop novel methods and techniques, in addition to undertaking preferred.

    Job Location - City, State

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Department / School

    Perelman School of Medicine

    Pay Range

    $36,368.00 - $50,522.66
    Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

    Affirmative Action Statement

    Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

    Special Requirements

    Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

    University Benefits

    • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.

    • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.

    • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.

    • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.

    • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.

    • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.

    • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.

    • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.

    • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.

    • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.

    • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.

    • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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