Research - Laboratory/Non-Laboratory, Staff/Administrative
Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.
This position is full-time and works approximately 37.5 hours per week.
Department Name/Job Location:
This position is in the Department of Psychiatry. This position is for the Medical School Campus.
Currently, one of the main challenges in human molecular genetics is the interpretation of rare genetic variants of unknown clinical significance and the identification of “causal” genes in data from genome-wide association studies. The goal of the functional unit is to demonstrate the link between the variants/genes/pathways to reliable in vitro and in vivo models of neurodegenerative diseases. The functional genomic unit combines genome-wide association data, DNA/RNA sequencing data with gene-editing technologies, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSc), and specific cellular phenotypes of neurodegenerative disease approaches for illuminating the molecular basis of these diseases. We use genome editing approaches to over-express, knock-down or knock-out entire genes, which will allow us to obtain information on the possible involvement of targeted genes in neurodegenerative pathways. We use RNA-Seq from iPSC-derived neurons, microglia and astrocytes obtained from primary fibroblasts with pathogenic mutations in Mendelian genes or risk-associated variants with neurodegenerative diseases to understand the specific disruptions in gene networks in these cellular models. We use CRISPR-corrected isogenic cell lines as controls in which we modify the respective mutation or risk-associated variant. These data are analyzed together with “omics” data from CSF, brain and plasma from patients with neurodegenerative diseases. The knowledge of mechanisms through which gene variations modulate biological functions in normal and pathological conditions might open new avenues toward the design of novel and specific diagnostic, prophylactic or therapeutic interventions. Translating the genetic and genomic findings to cell models is a necessary step to fully understand the role of specific genes in disease as well as to fully disentangle the biological processes that lead to neurodegeneration. Our own studies have and will identify novel variants, genes, networks and proteins implicated in neurodegeneration. Similarly to TREM2 or PLD3, it is expected that for some of those genes, very little will be known about the biology of these genes in healthy brains and in disease. The lab investigates cellular and biochemical effects of Alzheimer's/Parkinson's-associated genes.
The position provides critically complex research and experimentation for department/s allowing the advancement of scientific analysis and discovery. Serves as a subject matter expert offering support, training and guidance relative to the discipline/area. May participate and or present on the research developed, or the established work of those within the department.
Performs complex analyses, experiments and project work under general direction of the PI. Serves as a representative for the PI and ensures procedures and protocols are adhered to consistently and effectively meet department’s standard. Exhibits a high degree of independent problem solving and ability to conduct research on assigned projects. May serve in lead role, as needed.
Plans, develops, organizes and formalizes research results and findings. May develop for presentation and/or present on behalf of department. Conducts literature searches related to research projects. Writes/co-authors publications and/or papers supporting research findings in logical and sometimes multiple formats tailored to audiences. May participate in work related to grants.
Solves practical problems relating to difficulty with equipment or test subjects. Suggests technical/procedural improvements in various methods. May develop and optimize experimental procedures and protocols. Provides high level troubleshooting to advance process or lab procedures.
Serves as department’s research representative and may participate in various related meetings and events. Gathers/delivers data/information and serves as a subject matter expert. Performs statistical data analysis, as needed. Presents research information to internal and/or external audiences.
Organizes and maintains required documentation on lab and/or specimen conditions, and can develop and summarize information into usable formats or presentations on behalf of the department. May communicate findings to various users or external audiences.
Performs all related work in accordance with established protocols and safety/compliance requirements.
May explain methods, lead or train other personnel or observers.
Master’s degree in a related field with seven years of experience in a laboratory setting or an equivalent combination of relevant education and work experience equaling at least ten years.
Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry or a related area.
Experience with tissue culture, specifically maintenance and manipulation of multiple cell lines.
Ability and strong desire to learn new research techniques, including molecular, cellular, and biochemical techniques. These include: DNA/RNA isolation methods, PCR, gel electrophoresis, gene cloning, bacterial culture, cell culture, and biochemical assays (e.g. ELISAs, Western Blots).
Effective verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills with the ability to present on various research topics to internal or external audiences.
Ability to maintain complete and organized records and reports.
Demonstrated ability as a self-starter with strong critical thinking and attention to detail.
Demonstrated ability and knowledge of computer software & lab equipment, including statistical software, spreadsheets, and lab management systems.
Ability to work in a lab research environment.
The hiring range for this position is $38,162 - $51,500 annually.
All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. Current employees applying for a new position within the university may be subject to this requirement. The screenings will include a criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.
Please attach a copy of your most current signed performance evaluation (completed within the last 18 months) to your online account. If you have not received a performance evaluation, you may provide two current signed letters of recommendation (written within the last 18 months), preferably to include one letter from either a current or recent former supervisor. To attach these documents, go to: My Career Tools, Add Attachment, Attachment Type – Performance Reviews or Letters of Recommendation.
Washington University in St. Louis, a medium-sized, independent university, is dedicated to challenging its faculty and students alike to seek new knowledge and greater understanding of an ever-changing, multicultural world. The University offers more than 90 programs and almost 1,500 courses leading to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in a broad spectrum of traditional and interdisciplinary fields, with additional opportunities for minor concentrations and individualized programs. The faculty is composed of scholars, scientists, artists and members of the learned professions. They serve society by teaching; by adding to the store of human art, creativity, understanding, and wisdom; and by providing direct services, such as health care.