Research Associate (Clinician)


A little about us:

The Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD) was established in 2010 to plot a new course in biomedical research that would change the lives of individuals affected with developmental brain disorders. We are one of the only research institutions in the world focused specifically on understanding how genes and the environment influence the way our brains develop that lead to conditions such as schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder and related developmental brain disorders. Through our cutting-edge research, answers are emerging and being translated into a robust pipeline of new drugs in development. And, by focusing on genes and their dynamic interplay with the environment, we are getting even closer to the “holy grail” in medical research, the discovery of strategies for primary prevention.

We are a group of dedicated, multidisciplinary and optimistic researchers, working at the cutting edge of science, utilizing state-of-the-art tools to unlock the mystery of the brain and transform the way we approach the development of new treatments, and ultimately cures. LIBD is an independent 501(c)(3) medical research institute located in the Bioscience Park on the campus of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Hospital in Baltimore, MD.

Job Summary: 

The Neuropathology department is seeking a highly motivated, and conscientious Research Associate who can conduct retrospective clinical case reviews of postmortem human brain donors for a multi-site, high volume, brain donation program. This person will assist with data collection, entry, cleaning, and management of complex demographic/clinical data in LIMS database system. This person will also conduct basic clinical queries to support Clinical Assessment team and LIBD research projects.

Overview of Duties:

Diagnosis of postmortem human brain donors.

  • Supports Chief, Clinical Assessment in conducting assigned retrospective psychiatric clinical assessments for postmortem human brain donors from multi-site tissue collection, including next-of-kin family informant interviews via telephone (following extensive training), as well as psychiatric, substance, and medical records chart reviews, and review of all forensic data (i.e., autopsy reports, toxicology testing, scene investigations, neuropath reports), in order to prepare a psychiatric narrative summary on brain donors.
  • Initiates telephone or mail contacts with next-of-kin when additional signed releases or information is needed to make diagnoses.
  • Assists Clinical Assessment team with tracking medical records requests specific to Veteran’s Administration Medical Centers to ensure that appropriate documentation is received and processed.
  • Assists Clinical Assessment team with preparation of quarterly supplemental toxicology testing orders from National Medical Services to support grants/contracts.

Collection, entry, management of assigned demographic and clinical postmortem human brain data entry domains.

  • Assists Clinical Assessment team with select demographic and clinical data entry of telephone screens, autopsy and toxicology reports, medical and social history, and/or final psychiatric, substance, and medical diagnoses for brain donors.
  • Performs data checking tasks of LIMS field entry completed by other Clinical Assessment team members. 
  • Assists with data entry for newly designed LIMS fields that may require retroactive data pulling from hard copy or e-charts.

Clinical Querying

  • Performs basic clinical queries for research studies in earliest phases of inquiry, under the direction of Chief, Clinical Assessment.
  • Utilizes LIMS database to review and track undiagnosed or pending donations that require clinical diagnostic review.


Minimum Qualifications:

· Bachelor’s degree in social sciences, psychology, counseling, or related program required. Advanced degree preferred. 

· 3 years of related experience is required

· Expertise in clinical diagnosis using DSM-5.

Special Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

***Some occasional evening and weekend hours may be necessary in order to reach family informants by telephone, but can be scheduled flexibly.

· Knowledge of medical terminology and psychotropic medications is advantageous for this position. 

· Must be able to work diplomatically and sensitively with challenging, at times psychiatrically ill, donating next-of-kin family members who may be distraught due to their loved one’s recent death.

· Excellent writing skills are absolutely critical to the position as the employee will be writing case reports on a daily/weekly basis

· Clinical research skills including empathy, patience, excellent listening skills are necessary.

· Must be able to read about death and the detailed circumstances leading up to death as part of daily work. 

Physical Requirements:

· Incumbent is required to work in an office environment. 

· Must be able to move about the office and campus as well as remain stationary for extended periods of time.

· Ability to continuously operate a personal computer for extended periods of time.

· Visual acuity as well as mental acuity sufficient to collect and interpret data, evaluate, reason, define problems, establish facts, draw valid conclusions, make valid judgments and decisions are required

· Ability to speak and hear well enough to communicate clearly and understandably with sufficient volume to ensure an accurate exchange of information in normal conversational distance, over the telephone, and in a group setting

· Physical dexterity sufficient to use hands, arms, and shoulders repetitively to operate a keyboard and other office equipment, use a telephone, access file cabinets and other items stored at various levels, including overhead

· Ability to lift or move objects up to 25 lbs.


** If accommodations are needed due to pregnancy or a disability, please contact 

EEOC Statement: At the Lieber Institute, we are committed to a work environment of mutual respect where employment decisions are based on merit. As an equal opportunity employer, the Lieber Institute does not discriminate in employment opportunities on the basis of race, color, religion, color, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, disability (physical or mental), genetic information, military service, or other non-merit based factors protected by state or federal law or local ordinance, with regard to any position or employment for which the applicant or employee is qualified.