Staff Scientist, Decoding Stress Project

  • Pacific Northwest Research Institute
  • Seattle, WA
  • Nov 27, 2023
Full time Scientific Nonprofit-Social Services Research Science

Job Description

PNRI is recruiting a Staff Scientist to play a key leadership role in the Decoding Stress project based in the Stubbs Lab.  This project, initiated as a collaboration that integrated novel computational methods developed by Dr. David Galas and basic science mechanistic studies in the Stubbs group, is focused on uncovering the genetic mechanisms of stress-related health disorders with particular focus on how brain stress responses may contribute to comorbid disorders of metabolic and mental health.  The project aims to identify genetic alleles associated with disease susceptibility or resilience in clinical populations, including the search for genetic modifiers that can alter the effects of the primary alleles. Novel candidate genes and interactions will then be validated in mouse models, with mechanistic and functional insights developed at the genetic, genomic, cellular, and molecular levels. Ultimately, the project will identify novel loci and molecular pathways that can be used as translational targets for improving diagnostic applications or therapeutic outcomes in humans. 



The ideal candidate will have a vision for helping build a new multidisciplinary program leveraging insights from basic science and computational biology for the development of real world clinical/translational impact. We seek a highly motivated, energetic individual who can bring additional expertise in human genetics/clinical genetics, stress biology, and translational research methods into the team. The Staff Scientist will use their knowledge of human genetics and stress biology to help guide the identification of genes and gene networks in collaboration with the other team members.  The Staff Scientist will also lay the foundation for future clinical work by establishing external relationships with potential collaborators that have access to relevant clinical populations.  As a member of the project team, the Staff Scientist will actively contribute to scientific publications and the pursuit of funding opportunities.  For early career candidates, this is an opportunity for mentorship in scientific leadership and project management skills in a supportive, collaborative, and flexible professional environment.


What you will do:


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Design, develop, implement, and execute scientific research for the Decoding Stress study under supervision of the Principal Investigator.
  • In collaboration with the Principal Investigator, lay the foundation for future clinical work by establishing external relationships with potential collaborators with access to relevant clinical populations.
  • Contribute to scientific publications, conferences, and the pursuit of funding opportunities.
  • Maintain substantial knowledge of current scientific principles and theories relevant to the Decoding Stress project.
  • Perform periodical/literature searches in preparation for study design.
  • Participate in the analysis and interpretation of study data.
  • Develop and implement research methodologies, instrumentation, and procedures.
  • May coordinate activities of staff engaged on the Decoding Stress


What you bring:


To perform this job successfully, an individual should be able to demonstrate the requirements listed below which are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Doctoral degree (Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent) with post-graduate work experience relevant to the aims of the Decoding Stress project is required.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in the analysis and interpretation of GWAS data, including the use of relevant computational tools.
  • Verified training and expertise in the biology of stress response, including genetic, endocrinological and neurological systems.
  • Proven knowledge of stress-related metabolic disorders and/or mental health effects in humans.
  • Confirmable experience identifying and developing new collaborations with basic science and clinical contacts to advance research goals.
  • Demonstrated high level of commitment to translating research-generated insights into advances that improve the human condition.
  • Proven ability and interest in working as a member of a collaborative, multidisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrable interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to articulate a broad scientific vision to both scientists and non-scientists.



PNRI is committed to creating a diverse environment and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.



How to apply:


Want to be a part of the team PNRI? 

Please apply today at:


The annual base salary for this position is from $70,000 to $85,000 and the wage offered will be based on experience and qualifications.


PNRI requires vaccination for COVID 19 as a condition of employment.


Please see for more information.


About PNRI:


PNRI is an independent, nonprofit, biomedical research institute with a distinguished history of contributing scientific advances to improve health. We believe genetic research holds untapped potential to improve human health. PNRI pursues an unanswered question in the field of genetics: what keeps people healthy in the face of genetic and environmental risk?  At PNRI, our culture encourages originality, risk-taking, and interdisciplinary collaboration.


PNRI is an equal opportunity employer.  PNRI does not, and will not, discriminate against any applicant or employee on the basis of race, creed, ancestry, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, mental or physical disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital or family status, family or medical care leave, pregnancy or related condition (including childbirth and/or nursing), political affiliation or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.  We believe diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is not only good business, it’s the right thing to do.




Scientific-Technical Production, Biological-Chemical Research, General-Other: R&D-Science



$70,000-$85,000 wage offered will be based on experience and qualifications

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