Research Specialist

Pennsylvania, United States
$50,684.00 - $91,232.00
Tuesday, 9 February 2021
End of advertisement period
Saturday, 10 April 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

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.

Job Description Summary

The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is the oldest and one of the finest medical schools in the United States. Penn is rich in tradition and heritage and at the same time consistently at the forefront of new developments and innovations in medical education and research. Since its founding in 1765 the School has been a strong presence in the community and prides itself on educating the leaders of tomorrow in patient care, biomedical research, and medical education.

Job Description

The primary responsibilities of the Research Specialist D is to develop and validate radiotracers to support the current and future projects. The radiotracers would be radiolabeled with at least three different radionuclides and involve complex and different chemistry. The Research Specialist D would also need to be familiar with several different types of automatic synthesis modules. The Research Specialist D also initiates investigation in problems associated with the chemistry, synthesis modules and related equipment in addition to being responsible for resolving problems independently or in a group setting. The group may involve other cyclotron personnel or an outside contractor.

The secondary responsibilities of this position is to synthesize radiotracers used for preclinical and clinical studies. As the radiotracers used in the early phase of clinical trial, there may be variations in results. Extensive chemistry knowledge and experience is required to make correct judgement.

The production of radiotracer is complicated and required experience and quick thinking on the spot due to the short half-life and high radiolabeled field. The different natures of the radionuclear, (C-11, F-18 and Ga-68), would suggest different chemistry principles involved. In addition, a lot of coordination and planning is required from radionuclide request, production preparation, radiosynthesis and on-time delivery. He or she will also be responsible for initiating investigations associated with production problem. If not possible to resolve the problem internally, the person will be responsible to interface with service contractor for problem solving and routine maintenance.

The additional responsibility of this person is to prepare scientific report to support manuscript preparation, grant application and others.


Master's Degree with 3-5 years of related experience in research, clinical study, project and people management or in chemistry, pharmacology, or similarly related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience required.. Ability to work independently as well as in a team.  A thorough understanding of organic chemistry, analytical chemistry or pharmacology is needed. The understanding of different aspects of cyclotron facility operation as well as GMP principle is preferred. Prior experience in similar setting is strongly desired.

Position contingent upon funding.

Working Conditions

Office, Library, Computer Room; Requires extensive safety

Physical Effort

Typically sitting at a desk or table; Occasional lifting 25 lb. or less

Job Location - City, State

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School

Perelman School of Medicine

Pay Range

$50,684.00 - $91,232.00

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.