Neurobiology Research Associate, BS/MS



February 10, 2014

About Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

At Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (“NIBR”), the global research organization of Novartis, we are committed to discovering innovative medicines to cure disease and improve human health. By hiring the best academic, biotech, and pharmaceutical trained scientists, we have fostered an atmosphere for drug discovery where innovation is rewarded. It is ultimately the talent of the individual that determines our success, while our state-of-the-art technologies and resources enable these ideas to be realized.

NIBR has sites in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Emeryville, CA; Basel, Switzerland; Horsham, UK; and Shanghai, China. Our Cambridge, MA, location is the global research headquarters and has focuses in areas including Pathway Biology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Metabolism, Muscle, Epigenetics, Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine.  It has a variety of positions in Biology, Chemistry, Biologics, Protein Sciences, and other technologies and additionally in functions such as Patents, Computational Resources, Alliance Management, Operations and other areas that support our scientific resources.

About Neuroscience in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The newly established Neuroscience Department being built in Cambridge, MA will leverage the recent expansion in  human genetics and brain circuitry data to develop therapeutics in neuropsychiatric disease including Autism, Schizophrenia, and Epilepsy, and in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, ALS/FTD, and Parkinson’s.   Advanced technologies such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), next generation sequencing, and computational biology will be used to discover new targets and drive projects to the clinic.

Job Description / Key Responsibilities

In this challenging hands-on role, you will design and implement experiments to explore therapeutic hypotheses for neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases. Your experiments may include the generation of neuronal culture models of disease to test novel targeted agents’ activity on cellular pathways and neuronal physiology; molecular biology to engineer disease mutations into primary neurons and cell lines; and the use of animal models, including electrophysiological measurements and behavioral testing. You will analyze the results of your experiments, identify next steps, and report your findings in written and verbal communication to guide the team’s scientific decision making. Your work will be instrumental in supporting a cross-disciplinary effort at NIBR to advance new CNS medicines.

Minimum Requirements

Candidates will have a B.S. or M.S. and at least three years of post-degree laboratory experience in an academic or industrial setting. Success in this role requires a results-driven attitude, a relentless focus on technical optimization and innovation, and an enthusiastically collaborative spirit. An ability to network within the larger organization and bring to bear cross-functional expertise to tackle problems will also be necessary. Strong organizational skills are a must: you will be required to keep careful records of the experiments you perform and data you generate.

A variety of laboratory techniques will be used to rapidly progress therapeutic ideas from concept to clinic. Deep expertise in some of the techniques listed below is required, with an expectation that the candidate will develop any new technical skill as needed to answer the biological question at hand.

  • Molecular biology, including introduction of reagents into primary cells via viral vectors or transfection
  • Primary neuronal cell culture, including the preparation of dissociated and/or organotypic cultures
  • Conventional cell culture, cell line engineering and high throughput cell-based screening
  • Immunofluorescence techniques, including modern high content imaging and computational image analysis
  • In vivo surgical techniques such as intracerebral delivery of viral vectors or in utero electroporation
  • Stem cell culture and differentiation
  • In vitro electrophysiology, including patch-clamp or field slice recordings
  • Neuronal calcium-sensitive fluorescent dye imaging or optogenetics
  • In vivo electrophysiology
  • Computational approaches to interpret large image- or electrophysiology-based data sets

For more information on the new neuroscience group and to apply, please visit:

The Novartis Group of Companies are Equal Opportunity Employers and take pride in maintaining a diverse environment.  Our policies are not to discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

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  • Company Novartis
  • Contact Name HR
  • Position Location Cambridge, MA
  • Job Reference Code 135356BR
  • Minimum Required Education Bachelor's Degree
  • Minimum Preferred Education Master's Degree
  • Minimum Years Experience 3
  • Career Level Experienced Non-manager
  • Size of Company in MA 2000
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