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Junior Specialist for Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST) project

Recruitment Period

Open date: October 14th, 2019
Last review date: Monday, Oct 28, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis invites applications for a qualified Junior Specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Biological Sciences, and/or Neuroscience.

The candidate for this position will be involved in a variety of interesting basic science/neuroscience research projects using a rat models of rare genetic disorders of neurodevelopment comorbid with epilepsy. The candidate will participate in the scientific research projects, through a grant funded by the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST).

The candidate will work under the direction of an academic as part of an interdisciplinary team that measures innovative outcome measures including seizures, electroencephalography, histopathology and a wide variety of in vivo behavioral outcomes following delivery of genetic, pharmacological and stem cell-based therapies in subject animals. The individual holding this position will assist in the overall goals of the lab which are to characterize novel models of deletions, duplications or triplications of the E3 ubiqutin ligase, a genetic cause of autism, intellectual disability and seizure disorder.

Successful candidates will also have 1) experience with breeding, rodent husbandry (with an emphasis on rats over mice) and collecting tissue from animal models, 2) a high level of knowledge of DNA extraction and genotyping by PCR, 3) ability to perform behavioral testing of mouse models for learning and memory and motor abilities, 4) ability to score, and observe seizure events for extended period of time, 5) excellent pharmacological injection skills, 6) skills to harvest rodent brain tissue, and 7) confident and comfortable to perform experiments for which death by seizure is an endpoint.

Other essential qualifications include experience with data collection, data processing, and statistical analysis of experimental data. Computer skills are necessary and include using word processing (for writing experimental methods), data graphics and statistical software. The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills; as well as the ability to work well independently and as part of a team.

General responsibilities include:

• Under the direction of an academic, asses optimized doses of antisense oligonucleotides as gene therapy via various routes of administration
• Design experimental groups consisting of dependent variables such as gene (half of the genetic model and half of the control) and treatment conditions
• The candidate will need to think creatively about number of Dams to breed, to yield number of offspring to reach a sufficient sample size in the behavior (N=10/sex/genotype/group).
• Performing rat behavioral assays, specifically learning and memory assays such as novel object recognition, fear conditioning and touchscreen learning and memory
• The candidate must have creative thinking skills on apropos ways of conveying the data when presenting to lab mates familiar with the in-depth research but also to convey data to parents and families of children with the disorder, on the big picture without the nitty gritty. This is a high-level skill that is mastered in academia and will be critical for the candidate to excel at in translational lab
• Collecting and Analyzing data and performing statistical analyses in order to contribute figures for PI for grant applications, presentations and publications

• Participate in weekly meetings to read, discuss and interpret journal articles relevant to the project
• Presenting research at family meetings local and/or national conferences
• Presentation of their data at a national conference and co-author publications by writing methods and results section text with appropriate statistical analysis

• Participate in the University by volunteering at special events for children with autism that participate in research studies at the MIND Institute
• Engage in recruitment and outreach activities in the community
• Promote research being conducted via laboratory social media
• Assist with preparations for IACUC inspections
• Provide mentorship for undergraduate interns

• A Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and/or Neuroscience
• Experience with breeding, rodent handling and rat husbandry
• Ability to work independently
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Ability to set up equipment for experiments and calibrations, according to instructions
• Experience in keeping records of results of experiments
• Experience with data collection, data processing, and statistical analysis of experimental data
• Computer skills including using word processing (for writing experimental methods), data graphics and statistical software

• The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills; as well as the ability to work well independently and as part of a team

• Ability to perform behavioral testing of mice on a broad range of assays, following detailed instructions
• Ability to score videos for behavioral events for an extended period of time
• Excellent pharmacological injection skills

Step 1 - $39,500 annual, or Step 2 - $42,100 annual, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

This is a one-to-two-year appointment at 100% effort.

For full consideration, applications must be received by 10/28/2019; however, the position will remain open until filled through 6/30/2020 or until filled. To apply, please go to the following link:

Applicants should submit cover letter, CV or resume, and contact information for at least 3 references. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files.

Please direct questions to Dr. Jill L Silverman with further questions.

The University of California, Davis commits to inclusion excellence by advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, and individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available

UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (
If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.

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Job location

Davis, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)