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Junior Specialist -Neuroanatomy of the Amygdala in Brains of People with Autism

Recruitment Period

Open date: September 17th, 2018
Last review date: October 1st, 2018
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: June 30th, 2019
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 & Behavioral Sciences is looking for a qualified Junior Specialist to provide assistance with research and publications on multiple projects, including neuroanatomy of the amygdala in brains of people with autism, as well as provide support in for two human brain banking programs, including processing newly donated brain tissue and program management.

The incumbent for this position will be involved in interdisciplinary studies focusing on questions in research on human and nonhuman primate brains at a laboratory at the MIND Institute. The incumbent will also manage donations, process brains, and organize storage for two human brain banking programs: Brain Endowment for Autism Research and Brain Endowment for Mental Health Research.

General responsibilities include:

• Specific research and technical activities: Provide technical support for the new incoming grant that focuses on the development of amygdala in autism. Perform immunochemistry on tissues, collect and analyze results, participate in lab meetings and discussions, analyze slides and collect data. Assist with writing journal articles and assemble background data needed for publications.
• Specific duties: Sectioning, mounting, and staining glass slides of human, monkey and rat tissues using various techniques including, but not limited to, cell-body and immunohistochemical stains. Using microscope systems for data collection and quantitative analyses of tissue using, but not limited to, light, fluorescence, confocal, and electron microscopy. Knowledge of chemical principles and basic laboratory techniques are required for this function. Maintain general use chemicals and cleanliness of the laboratory. Provide assistance to other technicians, students, and postdoctoral researchers.
Brain Bank Duties: Available weekdays, nights, and occasional weekends to process incoming human brain donations on short notice. This includes preparing space for tissue handling, precisely sectioning unfixed human brains, freezing tissues with the use of liquid nitrogen cryoshipper, and taking photos and detailed notes during sectioning and cleanup. Maintain storage and database management of brain samples. Assist in further processing of tissues such as sectioning human brains on a microtome, mounting on slides and staining. Preparing sections for distribution to other researchers, sectioning large pieces, and shipping to collaborators outside of university. Managing paperwork involved with tracking tissue, MTA’s and providing tissue reports to Medical Examiner.
Specific professional activities: Histological processing of formalin fixed human brain tissue, including sectioning and staining, in a research laboratory setting. Data collection using quantitative neuropathological techniques with a microscope and computer-aided software. Demonstrated experience with writing grants and progress reports.

• Assist in preparing data and formatting figures for presentations, manuscripts, and grants.
• Attend lectures and conferences
• Present abstracts at local meetings

• Assist in outreach and education to the public on the importance of brain donation.
• Assist PI with teaching neuroanatomy and laboratory skills to graduate students and postdocs

• Bachelor’s degree in Biology or a related field with a minimum of 2 years experience in conducting research studies in a neuroscience-related discipline (e.g., undergraduate thesis).
• Minimum of 2 years experience in histology laboratory with demonstrated basic histology lab skills. (e.g., pipetting, sectioning and staining tissue).
• Ability to transport self to and from community site locations.
• Ability to work as part of a team.

• Advanced knowledge of spreadsheet software such as Excel to create and edit data, manage data sets in spreadsheet, perform mathematical tasks accurately using formulas, and create documents.
• Advanced knowledge of Microsoft applications including Microsoft Word and Powerpoint, electronic calendaring and e-mail software (Outlook).

• Experience writing/submitting abstracts or grant applications for peer review.
• Hands on experience with human and nonhuman primate brain tissue
• Excellent organization skills, ability to focus and work with multiple interruptions.
• Familiarity with packaging, sorting and mailing biologic materials.
• Ability to maintain excellent and accurate records.

12 month term appointment from start date at 100% time (full time).

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

For full consideration, applications must be received by October 1, 2018; however, the position will remain open through June 30, 2019, 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.

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, 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.

Job location

Sacramento, CA


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

  • Cover Letter

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

How to apply

  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information
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