Senior Scientist (Chen Lab)


Position Summary

Dr. Yao Chen’s Laboratory in the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine is seeking a motivated and curious scientist for a full-time senior scientist position. Our laboratory conducts fundamental research to understand how dynamics of molecular signals contribute to neuromodulator actions and sleep functions. We employ a wide variety of techniques ex vivo and in vivo, including advanced microscopy, electrophysiology, molecular biology, and behavior analysis. The principal investigator is committed to fostering a lab culture that promotes equity, kindness, rigor, and creativity

This position collaborates on designing, conducting and reporting of research projects.

Job Description

For further information, see

Primary Duties & Responsibilities

  • Collaborates with the PI on the design, conduct and reporting of research projects.
  • Assists with grant preparation and reporting. May submit grant proposals in rare circumstances with the approval of the PI, Department Head and Dean.
  • Prepares and submits papers on research.
  • Develops hypotheses to be tested and ways of testing it.
  • Complies with established safety procedures and maintaining required documentation on laboratory and specimen conditions.
  • Manages research project with other institutions and investigators.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Working Conditions

This position works in a laboratory environment with potential exposure to biological, chemical and radioactive hazards. The individual must be physically able to wear protective equipment and to provide standard care to research animals. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Extensive experience with optical imaging – understanding basic principles, able to perform and troubleshoot optical imaging experiments.
  • Programming experience and engineering aptitude.
  • Analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills. 
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of standard laboratory policies, procedures and equipment. 
  • Ability to communicate in oral and written form with all levels of personnel and technical publications. 
  • Ability to work well independently or as a team member.

Required Qualifications

Ph.D., M.D. or an equivalent terminal degree and at least three years of postdoctoral experience.



Salary Range

$51,400.00 – $93,400.00 / Annually

The salary range reflects base salaries paid for positions in a given job grade across the University. Individual rates within the range will be determined by factors including one’s qualifications and performance, equity with others in the department, market rates for positions within the same grade and department budget.

To apply, go to and search job ID JR63394.

Pre-Employment Screening

All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. The screenings will include criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, an employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.

Benefits Statement

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to providing a comprehensive and competitive benefits package to our employees. Benefits eligibility is subject to employment status, full-time equivalent (FTE) workload, and weekly standard hours. Please visit our website at to view a summary of benefits.

EEO/AA Statement

Washington University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability status, protected veteran status, national or ethnic origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation. Women, minorities, protected veterans and the disabled are strongly encouraged to apply.

Diversity Statement

Washington University is dedicated to building a diverse community of individuals who are committed to contributing to an inclusive environment – fostering respect for all and welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Individuals with a commitment to these values are encouraged to apply.