The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a Research Assistant to support human clinical research studies on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) prevention under the direction of the Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Jerome Yesavage. The aims of these studies include: (1) to test whether an investigational drug can slow possible AD- related damage in the brain and delay progression of AD-related memory loss, and (2) to ultimately arrive at optimal biomarkers for more targeted intervention of AD, and determine methods that will provide maximum power to evaluate efficacy in AD treatment and prevention trials.
These ongoing clinical studies are part of an international network of sites involving older adult participants who have volunteered to undergo repeated MRI, PET, blood and CSF biomarkers, and neuropsychological measures. Participants have normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, or Alzheimer’s dementia.
This is a full-time (40 hours/week), non-exempt (hourly-paid) position. Location: Palo Alto, CA.
- Medical Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Sick Pay
- 13 paid Holidays
- Life Insurance – paid by PAVIR
- Long-term and Short-Term Disability Insurance – paid by PAVIR
- Flexible Spending Account
- 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match and Profit Share
- Wellness Program
- Commuter Benefits
PAVIR is affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check.
Assist in Study Coordination:
- Schedule study procedures, which may include MRI brain scan, PET scans, physician assessment, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood draw, occasional lumbar puncture, and infusion of study medication as needed;
- Coordinate schedules with members of research team;
- Handle study correspondence;
- Maintain participants study binders, progress notes, and study logs.
Test research participants: Administer neuropsychological tests, questionnaires, and collect medical information according to the study protocols.
Enter data in databases and upload data:
- Accurately score neuropsychological (NP) tests. Enter NP and other study data into EDC;
- Upload brain imaging files and source documents to the data coordinating site.
Assist with brain scans:
- Accompany study volunteers to PET and MRI centers;
- Coordinate and assist in pre-scan safety screening for participant’s safety and comfort and for research integrity;
- Occasional travel to Stanford for MRI scans.
Collect vital signs (blood pressure, pulse) via an electronic vital sign monitor and compute Body Mass Index.
Facilitate collection of blood and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers:
- Accompany study volunteers to clinical research unit for yearly blood draws and for biennial lumbar punctures performed by the study physician;
- Handle human specimens including tubes of blood, CSF, and screening urine sample;
- Package and ship samples for processing per the research protocol.
Manage and maintain scientific and regulatory files:
- Maintain IRB approval;
- Keep the Study Regulatory Binder up-to-date;
- Perform online literature searches (Endnote and PDFs);
- Assist in preparing grant proposals and articles for publication, including tables and graphs.
Provide occasional backup to other research staff:
- Provide backup to other research staff;
- Provide general clerical assistance when needed, e.g. answer phones, greet subjects, photocopy study forms;
- Other research-related duties as needed.
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) in Human Biology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology, or a related field is required.
Required: At least 3 months of related research experience in clinical care setting; Previous experience with subject recruitment in a research environment;
Desired: 6 months or more of related experience.
Valid Driver’s License is required.
Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:
- Highly reliable with demonstrated organizational ability;
- Accurate record keeping and attention to detail;
- Effective communication skills, both orally and in writing;
- Experience with elderly, cognitively impaired, anxious, and/or difficult subjects highly desired;
- Research experience in psychological test administration highly desired;
- Knowledge of standard concepts, practices, and procedures within the research field gained through education or experience;
- Ability to understand and follow VA regulations and procedures regarding research;
- Knowledge of medical terms and abbreviations relevant to obtaining and coding medical history desired;
- Exposure to brain imaging modalities desired;
- Basic math/statistical skills;
- Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel;
- Experience in database management or experience using statistical programs desired;
- Familiarity with PowerPoint, FileMaker Pro and Endnote desired.
Physical Demands: Frequently stand, walk, and sit to perform desk-based computer tasks; meet with study subjects. Must be able to sit and stand for long periods of time. Occasionally lift, carry, push, pull objects that weigh up to 10 lbs. Will encounter occasional patients who are anxious and/or difficult.
Environmental Conditions: Exposure to office and hospital/clinical environment. Exposure to office and imaging (i.e. MRI and PET centers) equipment. Some exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Occasional travel to Stanford University for MRI scans.
PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information: www.pavir.org
PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities, Women, Veterans, and Individuals with a Disability are encouraged to apply. We welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org – Human Resources department.
For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the external application. Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through the external application.