Job Description

Job Title: Research Specialist (Bioengineering, Computer Science)
Job ID: 779159
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Shift: Day Job
Facility: Western Psychiatric Institute
Department: Prasad
Location: 3811 O'hara Street, Pittsburgh PA 15213


Our lab focuses on conducting advanced multimodal neuroimaging to understand pathophysiology of psychotic disorders with an emphasis on neurocognition, genetics, inflammation and prediction of outcome. We are currently conducting NIMH-funded research on the prediction of risk for psychosis and long term outcome in familial high risk and early onset schizophrenia persons using network neuroscience approach. Overall goal is to elucidate specific and novel targets for developing innovative interventions.

Incumbent of this position will provide analytic support for morphometric, functional, spectroscopic and other imaging modalities for Dr. Konasale Prasad and his collaborators. This lab designs, implements and optimizes a set of instructions used to acquire high resolution brain imaging data (pulse sequences) in different modalities (structural, functional, etc) on human subjects while ensuring the safety and comfort of the subjects during the entire process. 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 position is grant funded.


Independently execute job functions for research protocol(s). Collect and gather research data for research project.

  • Analysis of brain metabolism by means of proton (1H) and phosphorus (31P) spectroscopy
  • Collaborate with senior research personnel regarding recruitment, data collection, outcomes of interviews, reports according to the needs of the study.
  • Conduct automated, large scale and high throughput image processing on multiple platforms. such as Unix, Linux, Sun Solaris, Windows and Mac OS
  • Coordinate the distribution of work assignments
  • Development of data queries for statistical analysis
  • Entry of biological data into computer programs
  • Establish new methodologies for imaging paradigms (e.g., diffusion tensor imaging or DTI)
  • Independently execute job functions for research protocol(s) including recruitment, scheduling appointments, obtaining written consent forms, collecting data by conducting phone or face to face interviews for research project(s).
  • Maintenance of accurate databases
  • Organization of the clinical and biological data for computer analysis
  • Other related duties as assigned in connection with this research.
  • 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.
  • Train new employees, students and volunteers in processing of neuroimaging data. This is part of the educational mission of the lab.
  • Understanding, designing, and optimizing cognitive paradigms for fMRI studies, administering these paradigms and analysis of fMRI data


  • Bachelors degree required, preferably in bioengineering, computer science, physics, or related field.
  • Minimum of one 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 research methodology strongly preferred.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Masters degree in bioengineering, computer science, physics, or neuropsychology
  • Knowledge of Windows and Unix/Linux operating systems
    • Ability to work within c shell and b shell
  • Knowledge of conducting MR imaging data
Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
  • Act 31 Clearance
  • Act 33 Child Clearance with Renewal
  • Act 34 Criminal Clearance with Renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance
  • Comprehensive Crisis Management

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

Salary Range: $15.58 to $24.54 / hour

Union Position: No

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