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Research Associate I or II

Gladstone Institutes
San Francisco, CA
Start date
Jul 28, 2022

View more

Regulatory, Research/Documentation, Science/R&D, Research
Required Education
Associate Degree
Position Type
Full time
Biotech Bay
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Lab/Area:Finkbeiner Lab


We have an exciting opportunity for a Research Associate I or II to work to develop in vitro assays to study Huntington’s disease in human pluripotent stem cells. The project requires cell culture experience and coding skills. We are looking for candidates with the desire to learn and work in diverse roles, with over half of the time spend on wet lab experiments and a decent amount of the time on microscopy, data analysis and coding. The person in this position will work with hPSC from patients with Huntington’s Disease (HD) with the goal to elucidate molecular mechanisms driving these disorders and to develop platforms for drug discovery.

About our group:

We are an academic lab with over 20 BS-, MS-, and PhD-level neuroscientists and engineers that study neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. We use different cellular model systems, including human stem cells that are derived from patients, to answer basic questions in neuroscience as well as discover new therapies for these neurodegenerative diseases. At the core of our research are novel longitudinal imaging systems we call robotic microscopes, that we have invented to collect images and time-lapse movies of fluorescent labeled neurons in a high throughput format. We use our microscopy system to extract various types of information about how patient stem cell derived neurons grow, function, degenerate, and respond to candidate drugs. We also take advantage of the terabytes of data that we generate every day and use deep learning to invent new methods for analyzing our images. We have collaborations with many industry and academic groups, publish our work in high profile scientific journals, and present our work at national and international conferences. We continue to design and build novel automated microscopy systems and we need your help to do it.

About the project and team:

Huntington’s disease is caused by an unstable genetic ‘CAG’ sequence that is repetitive and exceeds the normal small amount of repetitions observed in healthy individuals. The person in this position will investigate the role of the instability of this disease-causing repetitive sequence in Huntington’s disease using neuronal derivatives from hPSC. This person will subject robotic microscopy to human disease hPSC models and use numerous image analysis-based programs to capture phenotypes in a high throughput format, as well as deep learning to determine repeat instability over time.

The person will be part of a team within the Finkbeiner lab that studies the role of DNA damage, repeat instability and epigenetics in neurodegeneration and other neuronal disease phenotypes with robotic microscopy using human disease models and deep learning. The team is diverse, very collaborative and rigorous in the science we produce.

Education Required:

  • Associates degree and 2+ years relevant experience or

  • BS in biomedical sciences, biology, bio-engineering or related field is required.

Required Skills:

  • Cell culture experience

  • Knowledge of one or more of the following languages: Python, Java, C++, Matlab, R

  • Critical thinking and attention to detail

  • Highly organized with excellent communication skills

  • Able to work effectively in small groups

  • Interest in biology, neuroscience and coding

Education/Skills/Experience Preferred:

  • Human pluripotent stem cell culture experience

  • Experience with microscopy, especially epifluorescence microscopy

  • Experience with MicroManager and image analysis software, such as ImageJ

  • Experience with coding for data analysis problems

  • Experience with deep learning and feature recognition

  • Familiarity and interest in neurodegenerative diseases

Additional Information:
  • Title and salary will be commensurate with education and experience.
  • Gladstone is an equal opportunity employer.
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