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Research Specialist C - Cremins Lab

University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Apr 23, 2024

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Research Administration
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Details

Research Specialist C - Cremins Lab

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. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023.

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 C - Cremins Lab

Job Profile Title
Research Specialist C

Job Description Summary
The Cremins lab works at the spatial biology-technology interface to understand chromatin-to-synapse communication during neural circuit activation in the mammalian brain. We aim to understand how chromatin works through long-range physical folding mechanisms to encode neuronal specification and long-term synaptic plasticity in healthy and diseased neural circuits. We pursue a multi-disciplinary approach integrating data across biological scales in the brain, including molecular Chromosome-Conformation-Capture sequencing technologies, single-cell imaging, optogenetics, genome engineering, induced pluripotent stem cell differentiation to neurons/organoids, and in vitro and in vivo electrophysiological measurements.

Our long-term scientific goal is to dissect the fundamental mechanisms by which chromatin architecture causally governs genome function and, ultimately, long-term synaptic plasticity and neural circuit features in healthy mammalian brains as well as during the onset and progression of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disease states.

Our long-term mentorship goal is to develop a diverse cohort of next-generation scientific thinkers and leaders cross-trained in molecular and computational approaches. We seek to create a positive, high-energy environment with open and honest communication to empower individuals to discover and refine their purpose and grow into the best versions of themselves.

Working at Penn Genetics in the Cremins Lab, the researcher will independently design and conduct moderately complex research in the area of cloning a wide range of AAV and lentiviral vectors for CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, as well as tissue culture experiments on human induced pluripotent stem cells, neural progenitor cells, induced neurons, rat primary neurons, and brain organoids. Performs routine laboratory experiments focused on CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, including: lentiviral packaging, AAV packaging, repair template design, drug selection, single-cell clone isolation, and profiling, guide RNA cloning, minipreps, transduction/transfection of mammalian cells, genome editing with Cas9 or Cas9 nickase, or dCas9 protein engineering. Perform literature searches, find published protocols, and troubleshoot CRISPR protocols and get them established across a range of cell types and applications in the lab. This role is ideal for you if you enjoy the excitement of a bleeding-edge scientific laboratory and welcome the challenge of a fast-paced environment and fulfilling the important role of creating beautiful scientific experiments focused on stem cells, organoids, cloning, and virus production. Those who will thrive in the role are collaborative and keen on playing an active role in maintaining excellent protocols, a clean, organized, and safe laboratory, and eager to lead themselves and others toward maintaining a warm, positive, and inclusive lab climate. Organized individuals with a can-do attitude, a passion for building unity and community within a larger laboratory, a knack for independent problem-solving and getting things done, the ability to independently and positively create molecular and cellular data with attention to detail would excel in this role.

Job Description

Job Responsibilities

  • Independently design and conduct moderately complex research in the area of single cell clonal isolation after CRISPR Cas9 genome editing.
  • Perform tissue culture experiments on embryonic stem cells, neural progenitor cells, induced pluripotent stem cells and brain organoids
  • Perform minipreps and maxipreps to prepare vectors for genome engineering.
  • Clone a wide range of sgRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 constructs into standard vector backbones.
  • Conduct and optimize transfection assays and also prepare and characterize lentiviral particles for genome engineering.
  • Routinely package a wide range of vectors into AAV and lentiviral vectors, titer the virus, and test its quality before passing off the preps to other scientists.
  • Assist in the long-term culture of whole brain organoids.
  • Perform clonal selection and screening after transfection.
  • Assist with supply ordering and the fixing and maintenance of technical equipment.
  • Maintain an orderly lab notebook, records, interprets, and analyzes data within prescribed methods.

  • Carefully curate lab notebooks with detailed record-keeping.
  • Maintain a leadership role in keeping liquid N2 cleaned out, the cell, plasmid, and glycerol stock. repositories updated and current, and leading through example to ensure compliance across the lab in tissue culture and cloning standards

Scientific Writing
  • Edit, format, and facilitate stylistic and grammatical edits for lab's annual grant progress reports
  • Collaborate with team members to arrange scientific content to meet grant progress report deadlines.
  • Organize, edit, and catalyze the writeup and creation of lab protocols.
  • Edit and provide feedback on postdoc and student proposal, grant submission, and manuscript drafts.
  • Many new writing opportunities for grants, papers, and scientific marketing materials are available if this is a passion and interest of the selected candidate.

  • Become an expert in running each piece of equipment in the lab.
  • Train new lab members on cell culture, cloning, and virus protocols.
  • Write SOPs and protocols for areas under expertise.
  • Actively involved in establishing and maintaining an orderly, annotated, clean, and organized laboratory with all reagents and boxes in defined location.


Master's degree in molecular and cell biology or related field and 3-5 years of related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Ability to troubleshoot and solve cellular and genome engineering challenges independently and flexibility and independence to take on new/additional technical tasks that may arise during the discovery process will be important. Exceptional commitment to building community, belonging, and a collaborative ethos within the laboratory and with the members of other laboratories in Penn Genetics, Epigenetics, and Neuroscience communities. Must be able to develop excellent wet lab protocols and to train/onboard new students and postdocs to educate others in virus production, iPSC culture, organoids, and cloning. Preference for an MS or PhD to and prior experience with cloning, virus production, human iPSCs, and/or organoids, but this specific experience is not essential to be considered for the role.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
School of Engineering and Applied Science

Pay Range
$43,919.00 - $67,000.00 Annual Rate
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

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.

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