Job Description

Job Title: Research Specialist
Job ID: 698588
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Shift: Day Job
Facility: Western Psychiatric Institute
Department: Prasad
Location: 3811 O'hara Street, Pittsburgh PA 15213



This is a permanent full-time position for research support for Dr. Prasad’s Neuroimaging Laboratory (97234). This position will provide morphometric, functional and spectroscopic analyses for Dr. Konasale Prasad. This lab designs, implements and optimizes a set of instructions used to direct the scanner to acquire brain images in a particular way (pulse sequences) to acquire high resolution magnetic resonance images in different modalities (structural, functional etc) on human subjects while ensuring the safety and comfort of the subjects during the entire process of acquisition of data. The lab conducts quality control and state-of-the-art automated and semi-automated MR data processing. This job requires computational and statistical skills and a good understanding of the physics and computer languages. Since this lab is involved in a collaborative network with other Universities in the US, establishing and maintaining reliability between scanners across the Universities is also a part of the job.


This lab has been working on the Neurobiology of Psychosis, Risk prediction and new treatment development for psychosis using multimodal neuroimaging, genetics and immunological approaches. This project focuses on acquiring, archiving and processing structural functional and DTI data for brain connectivity using data from ultra-high field MRI at 7 Tesla. There are ample oprrotunities to collaborate with Pitt and CMU faculty on brain connectivity focusing on hippocampus as a hub to predict risk for psychosis, cognitive impairments and psychopathology.


This is a grant funded position.



  • Conduct automated, large scale and high throughput image processing on multiple platforms. such as Unix, Linux, Sun Solaris, Windows and Mac OS.
  • Understanding and optimizing cognitive paradigms for fMRI studies, administering these paradigms and analysis of fMRI data
  • Train new employees, students and volunteers in processing of neuroimaging data. This is part of the educational mission of the lab.
  • Perform computer maintenance and ensure networking integrity for optimal data transfer. Computer maintenance requires ensuring the integrity of softwares that run our processing pipeline, adding memory, additional hard drives and upgrade the system to meet the growing needs of the lab for processing data.
  • Entry of biological data into computer programs.
  • Maintenance of accurate databases.
  • Development of data queries for statistical analysis.
  • Organization of the clinical and biological data for computer analysis.
  • Coordinate the distribution of work assignments
  • Other related duties as assigned in connection with this research.




  • Accuracy of image and spectroscopy analyses
  • Accuracy of data entry 
  • Timeliness with which assigned tasks are carried out 
  • Quality of record keeping with regard to research effort 
  • Ability to maintain a harmonious and productive working relationship with all individuals involved in the research


  • Bachelor's degree required, preferably in psychology, neuroscience, sociology or related research field.
  • Minimum of one (1) year of work experience in a research project and/or related clinical setting is required.
  • Familiarity with computers and common software packages required.
  • Working knowledge of Windows/UNIX/Linux/MAC OS X operating system is required. 
  • Proficient in Office packages, including but not limited to Microsoft database and spreadsheet programs is required.

  • Software proficiency to analyze structural MRI, fMRI, MRS and DTI data.

  • Some experience with installation of hardware and software in UNIX workstations, Macintosh, and PCs is required.

  • Working knowledge of research methodology strongly preferred.
  • Background of cognitive neuroscience and paradigm designing is essential. 
  • Organizational skills


Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Act 33 Child Clearance with Renewal
  • Act 34 Criminal Clearance with Renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. Minority/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

Salary Range: $15.13 to $23.82

Union Position: No

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