Research Specialist, Department of Biology

Job description

Research Specialist, Department of Biology

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Research Specialist, Department of Biology

Job Profile Title
Research Specialist C

Job Description Summary
The Bonini lab specializes in using the genetically tractable model organism, Drosophila, as a tool to understand the molecular basis of disease and disorder of the brain, with a particular focus on degenerative processes including ALS/FTD, TBI and aging. We implement cutting-edge genetic, molecular and cellular approaches to develop and characterize models of these processes to study their molecular basis, with an emphasis on potential translatability to clinical improvement. The lab is looking to hire a new senior Research Specialist C staff member to plan and conduct experiments to meet laboratory research project objectives.

Job Description

The Research Specialist will independently perform laboratory experiments using Drosophila that involved genetics, molecular genetics and genomics; oversee daily management of laboratory experiments, detailed documentation of experiments and processes to ensure regulatory compliance and timely completion of project goals; collaborate with other Senior Scientists and the Principal Investigator (PI) on experimental protocols and research, to meet goals in timely manner; and engaged in tasks to oversee the lab in a lab manager capacity - such as training and overseeing junior lab staff and students.

This position will work on projects investigating the impact of genes on animal brain integrity. Techniques involved include Drosophila husbandry and genetic crosses, molecular genetics for RNA, DNA and chromatin isolation, dissection of animal tissues with immunostaining, histochemistry, molecular genetic techniques, among others. The Research Specialist will be expected to have mastery of a number of techniques, master new techniques and independently perform experiments, analyze data, and prepare data summaries. They will also work collaboratively in the laboratory, to aid in projects of others and train new individuals in the laboratory.


The Research Specialist will drive research in the laboratory by planning and performing independent studies; aides other scientists in the lab in training and performing experiments; engaged in lab management to assure lab runs efficiently and smoothly.

Specific tasks include

1) Conducting complex studies independently in Drosophila genetics, planning and selecting appropriate strains and planning and selecting appropriate progeny of genetic crosses; maintaining Drosophila stock lines and creating new stocks;

2) Tissue acquisition and processing of Drosophila tissue for molecular genetic analysis including RNA isolation, western immunoblots, realtime PCR, immunoprecipitations;

3) Performing histological and immunohistochemical experiments on various tissues including the brain;

4) Analyzing various Drosophila crosses for effects in various tissues, including in lifespan and tissue processing/histology;

5)Keeping detailed laboratory notes, assembling reports and preparing data analysis for development of presentations and reports on research; maintain logs, laboratory reports, detailed protocols and regulatory documents;

6) Keeping laboratory chemical and supply inventory, and ordering supplies as needed;

7) Training new laboratory members in key techniques


  • Bachelor's degree in biology, or related field, required.
  • Master's degree or Ph.D. preferred.
  • Minimum 3-5 years of experience working with drosophila in a biology research laboratory setting, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • The ideal candidate will be a researcher with significant experience with Drosophila genetics and molecular biology techniques.
  • Familiarity with RNA and ChIP sequencing techniques and bioinformatics data analysis is helpful.
  • The successful candidate will have a strong experimental technical skill set plus expertise in writing, presentation and data analysis.

Working Conditions
  • Office/library/computer room setting
  • This individual will require extensive lab safety and chemical training
  • Typically sitting at a desk or table
  • Intermittently sitting/standing/stooping
  • Occasional lifting 25 lbs. or less
  • Using tools requiring high dexterity

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
School of Arts and Sciences

Pay Range
$42,953.00 - $77,315.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit:

To apply, visit

Copyright ©2017 Inc. All rights reserved.

Posted by the FREE value-added recruitment advertising agency





Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No:
Posted: 4/1/2021
Application Due: 4/1/2033
Work Type: Full Time