Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Research Technician (Temp-to-Hire), Connectome Annotator (Multiple Openings)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Ashburn, VA, United States

Job Description


The Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Janelia) is using high-throughput electron microscopy (EM) to completely image multiple brains and nervous systems of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Janelia scientists will utilize these massive data sets to reconstruct neuronal circuits, ultimately culminating in the complete connectome—or wiring diagram—of the fly brain. The connectome will provide the most complete anatomical description of a complex nervous system to date in an organism uniquely suited to combine this anatomical information with functional imaging, electrophysiology, quantitative behavioral assays, precise genetic manipulation of identified cell types and computational modeling. Thus we expect these circuit-level reconstructions to inform specific biological experiments, enabling dramatic leaps in our understanding of brain function.


We seek outstanding individuals to become full-time research technicians to contribute to our adult fly brain project. The research technician will be responsible for identifying, annotating, and analyzing neurons in a large digitized volume of serial electron microscopic images captured from an adult fly brain. Candidates will receive training in neurobiological concepts spanning neural ultrastructure to information processing while using custom software to annotate, generate 3-dimensional reconstructions of, and analyze functional neural networks.



  • Ability to dedicate 40 hours a week
  • College degree (or strong interest in pursuing a degree) preferred
  • Strong desire to understand the neural bases of higher order function
  • Interest in biology, imaging, neuroscience
  • Ability to work independently yet assimilate well into a team
  • Proactive, resourceful, and able to generate results according to defined deadlines
  • Ability to mentally visualize complex, three dimensional structures
  • Ability to think at multiple levels of abstraction
  • Ability to work at a computer workstation, performing detailed, repetitive tasks
  • Good color vision required
  • Experience interpreting light and/or electron microscopic images a plus
  • Previous experience with Matlab, Python, or other programming languages a plus
  • Previous experience working with databases and/or interacting with software developers is a plus


Please note that we have multiple openings for this position.


HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Required Skills

Required Experience

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-hhmi-976-908