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Research Scientist | Western Psychiatric Hospital

Description

Our laboratory studies the biochemical and molecular bases of neurodegenerative pathologies in Alzheimer and non-Alzheimer tauopathies, in the human brain and biofluids. Our group applies this knowledge to develop and validate novel biomarkers for clinical and research use, employing highly sensitive mass spectrometric and immunoassay technologies. We focus on developing and evaluating blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers that: (i) become abnormal very early in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), enabling diagnosis at the preclinical and prodromal stages; (ii) associate with neuropathological confirmation and predict longitudinal changes; (iii) reflect different aspects of AD pathophysiology (e.g., amyloid, tau, neurodegeneration, glia activation, inflammation and synaptic dysfunction); and (iv) predict future functional and cognitive changes.  

In recent years, we have discovered novel forms of phosphorylated tau in blood and CSF, and have developed and verified new diagnostic tools (some now commercialized and others patented) to quantify these as AD biomarkers suitable for clinical use. These biomarkers have now been validated in dozens of research cohorts and are now widely used for therapeutic trials, diagnosis, prognosis and research studies. 

The Research Scientist will perform biomarker analyses in biospecimens from research and clinical participants, following clearly laid out standards of practice, overseen by the PI. They will also process these data and prepare reports for the collaborating studies. Furthermore, the candidate will have the opportunity to ask their own research questions, answer these by analyzing the wealth of research data available in our lab and collaborators across the university and beyond and process the ensuing results for publication and grant funding.

This position is grant funded.

Responsibilities:

  • Review Environmental Monitoring for compliance with predefined limits.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Performs in accordance with system-wide competencies/behaviors.
  • Develop and maintain billing process; accurately and efficiently charge for services performed by CPL.
  • Train and assesses competency of personnel.
  • Ensure compliance with FDA regulation for BMP, GTP, IMCPL policies and procedures.
  • Analyze and summarize clinical data, results and assays performed by the CPL. Establish and implement quality management systems and documentation for Materials Management.
  • Review QC data, technical reports, equipment records and other data received by the laboratory or generated by the staff. Assist to establish and implement cGMP systems and documentation in the Quality Control, Validation and Cellular Production. Assist in completing INDs for cell therapy products.
  • Plan, organize, conduct and document testing programs. Investigate corrective action and follow-up. Plan, organize and conduct investigation/deviation reports as required by FDA.

Qualifications

  • Master's degree in Biology/Immunology/Human Genetics or BS in Biology/Molecular Biology.
  • 15 years of laboratory experience in cell culture.
  • Ability to function independently and be able to exercise judgment in making decisions.
  • Ability to monitor and interpret data generated by personnel in the CPL.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty members and outside researchers.
  • Familiar with FDA guidelines and rules for cGMP.
  • Perform work accurately and precisely.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Act 34

UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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