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Genomics Associate, SPARK

New York, NY, USA


SPARK is a national research study supported by the Simons Foundation that aims to recruit, engage and retain a community of 50,000 individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their family members. Participation in SPARK involves contribution of medical and behavioral information, saliva samples for genetic analysis, the option to have genetic findings related to autism returned and consenting to be invited to participate in future research studies.

Reporting to the Scientific Director, the Genomics Associate will be responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of biospecimen collection and processing and support the return of genetic results to participants in the SPARK cohort. This includes managing relationships with external vendors, such as the saliva kit fulfillment, DNA extraction and sequencing vendors. The Genomics Associate will also maintain a working understanding of the SPARK databases and collaborate with the clinical, development and data analytics teams to build and enhance tools for returning genetic results, updating sample tracking systems, preparing sample shipments and ordering clinical validations of genetic findings. The Genomics Associate will also support work of the Genomics Specialist and Scientific Director as needed.


Areas of Responsibility: 


  • Support the large-scale return of genetic results to participants by collaborating with SPARK's genomic analysis, software development and clinical teams.
  • Monitor and improve upon a quality-control process for genetic results disclosure sessions between SPARK genetic counselors and SPARK participants
  • Correspond with SPARK participants and SPARK clinical sites to assist SPARK participants in obtaining their genetic results
  • Track available genetic results and complete participant referrals to genetic counselors or participants' own providers
  • Manage and monitor progress of thousands of DNA samples through the SPARK Genomics pipeline
  • Work with SPARK's software development team to enhance sample tracking
  • Provide administrative support to the SPARK Genomics Consortium and SPARK Medical Genetics Committee, such as preparing presentations, taking and distributing minutes, and contributing to manuscript preparation.
  • Support work between SPARK and its DNA extraction and sequencing vendors
  • Support the tracking of genomics-related study metrics to inform study progress and generate ideas for improvement
  • Manage aspects of the SPARK study protocol related to IRB submissions, participant withdrawal and DNA sample destruction



  • Bachelor's degree in the life sciences
  • Successful completion of at least one undergraduate course in genetics strongly preferred


  • One to three years of experience in a clinical and/or research setting
  • Previous experience with human genetic research projects, either in an administrative, or clinical role strongly preferred.

Related Skills & Other Requirements

  • Ability to problem-solve and troubleshoot when participants are in the process of receiving genetic results
  • Sound judgment and discretion
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with all levels of the organization and external stakeholders
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Comfort working independently, but also work well in a collaborative team environment
  • Strong administrative and organizational skills with attention to detail and ability to balance and prioritize workload under deadlines and multiple commitments
  • Strong computer skills, particularly with Google and Microsoft products
  • Experience working with IRBs


  • Please submit a resume and cover letter stating your interest in the position.

Many of the greatest ideas and discoveries come from a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds and experiences, and we are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment. The Simons Foundation provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under federal, state and local law.

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Organization Info

Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Mar 17 2020
Active Until: 
Apr 17 2020
Hiring Organization: 
Simons Foundation