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   Current UPMC employees must apply in HR Direct

Research Specialist - Translational Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Lab


Under the direction of Dr. Marta Pecina, the Translational Neuroscience and Neuroimaging lab (TNN lab) seeks to understand individual differences in mechanisms of treatment response in patients with depression. In particular, we aim to delineate a model-based theory of antidepressant placebo effects that explains the biological substrates of the interaction between expectancies, learning, and mood. The TNN laboratory uses a number of neuroimaging methodologies, including task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), computational approaches to behavior and mood, and biological markers.

The duties will involve the application of established medical image analysis methods, participation in the development and validation of new analysis methods, and tasks related to data visualization and interpretation. The position requires coordination, execution, and completion of complex tasks that are critical to research outcomes. Some self-learning on computer software specific to the projects will likely be required. Independent problem-solving will be an integral part of this position.

The ideal candidate will have strong quantitative skills, programming experience, some experience in psychology or neuroscience research, and an interest in neuroscience. Experience with programming languages (R, Matlab, Bash) is strongly preferred. Experience with fMRI Processing and Analysis Packages is also preferred! The lab environment is collaborative, and staff has the opportunity to learn reinforcement through learning modeling and functional imagining techniques. 

Spring 2020 graduates are encouraged to apply! 

This position is grant funded. 

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

  • 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).
  • Collaborate with senior research personnel regarding recruitment, data collection, outcomes of interviews, reports according to the needs of the study.


  • Bachelor's degree required, preferably in psychology, neuroscience, sociology or related research field.
  • Minimum of one year of work experience in a research project and/or related clinical setting is required.
  • Familiarity with comptuers and common software packages required.
  • Working knowledge of research methodology strongly preferred.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree required, preferably in biomedical engineer, statistics, psychology, neuroscience or related research field.
  • Strong quantitative skills and programming experience (R, Matlab, Bash).
  • Experience processing fMRI data is strongly preferred.
Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
  • Comprehensive Crisis Management (CCMC)
  • Act 31 Child Abuse Reporting with renewal
  • Act 33 with renewal
  • Act 34 with renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance with renewal

  • UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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       Current UPMC employees must apply in HR Direct

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