Scientific Program Manager, Autism BrainNet

Simons Foundation
New York City, New York
Commensurate with experience
Jan 14, 2021
Feb 13, 2021
Job Function
Position Type
Full Time
Mid Level

About Autism BrainNet

Autism BrainNet, funded by SFARI, is a collaborative network for the acquisition and distribution of postmortem brain tissue for research in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Autism BrainNet works in a family- and community- sensitive manner to promote awareness of brain tissue research and to increase both the quality and the number of postmortem brain donations. It is a resource to facilitate research into the causes and treatments of autism spectrum disorder.

Autism BrainNet is composed of three regional collections sites (nodes) associated with academic centers in the United States and two international affiliates. Autism BrainNet is led by the ABN Scientific Director in close collaboration with the Managing Director at SFARI. The nodes are responsible for brain and tissue acquisition, preparation, and distribution to qualified approved researchers. Awareness efforts are coordinated and led by the Autism BrainNet Outreach Manager in collaboration with the nodes and partnering organizations.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is heterogeneous in causation and behavioral and medical characteristics and affects 1 in 54 children in the United States. While vast progress has been made in the understanding of the underlying genetic basis of ASD, less is known about the alterations that affect brain development and function. Currently, the number of high-quality postmortem brain samples is not adequate to enable new discoveries in autism research and to replicate important findings. The goal of Autism BrainNet is to provide qualified researchers with an essential resource to better understand the causes of ASD and develop treatments that can improve the quality of life of individuals with autism and their families.


Reporting to the Autism BrainNet Managing Director and to the ABN Scientific Director, the Autism BrainNet Scientific Program Manager will work closely with the Autism BrainNet nodes' tissue-processing staff, to manage and maintain a constantly updated and annotated inventory of the Autism BrainNet brain and tissue resources. The Autism BrainNet Scientific Program Manager will act as the liaison between the scientists worldwide wishing to use postmortem tissue in their research projects and Autism BrainNet.

•    Coordinate the distribution of tissue from nodes to researchers and ensures accurate tracking of this information in the database
•    Gain a detailed knowledge of the quality and specific features of all Autism BrainNet donations in order to provide the best match of tissue to investigator projects
•    Monitor the Autism BrainNet email address and reply to all inquiries from the scientific community in a time-sensitive manner
•    Understand the scientific review process and assist with operations related to scientific review of applications for brain tissue by providing administrative support to the Scientific Review Panel; relay the review decisions and requests for revisions to the applicants.
•    Work with node tissue-processing personnel to ensure timely inclusion of donor data into the Autism BrainNet database, working closely with the informatics team.
•    Maintain contact with tissue recipients to ensure return of data to the Autism BrainNet database. Works collaboratively with other members of the Autism BrainNet team and of SFARI to implement a system to retrieve data generated by researchers using AutismBrainNet tissue and to make it available through the Autism BrainNet database.
•    Generate slide decks and reporting documents to be used as internal reporting tools, in public presentations, and to facilitate review of the work and decision-making within the Autism BrainNet network.


•    Master's degree in life sciences, Ph.D a plus
•    Previous study in neuroscience and/or developmental biology is preferred. Knowledge of human neuroanatomy is a plus.

•    At least five years in a relevant field
•    Strong background in the life sciences, preferably neuroscience related.
•    Familiarity with neuroanatomy; human neuroanatomy would be advantageous.
•    Familiarity with academic and scientific research institutions

Related Skills and Other Requirements:
•    Excellent oral and written communication skills
•    Fastidious in attention to detail and accuracy
•    Strong understanding of IRB and consent requirements and procedures
•    Ability to maintain confidentiality of all donors and next of kin
•    Ability to juggle and meet multiple deadlines
•    Enjoys being a team player, be willing to pitch in on other projects as needed - flexibility, collegiality, and a sense of humor are particularly important.
•    Possess strong administrative and organizational skills
•    Possess strong computer skills, particularly with Google and Microsoft products
•    Be experienced with data entry, data manipulation and Excel.
•    Experience with requirements gathering, testing and working with developers is a plus.

•    Please submit a rsum and cover letter stating your interest in the position.

The Simons Foundation's Diversity Commitment

Many of the greatest ideas and discoveries come from a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds and experiences, and we are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment. The Simons Foundation actively seeks a diverse applicant pool and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply. We provide equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under federal, state and local law.

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