Join our Team: Students and Scholars


Developmental Molecular Biologist


The Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) Research Program is seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher to pursue Molecular Developmental Biology. ACE is part of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, located 2 miles off the main campus and close to the Salk Institute and the Scripps Research Institute. The immediate laboratory, co-directed by Dr. Eric Courchesne and Dr. Karen Pierce, contains 20 scientists ranging from the B.A. to Ph.D. level. Collaborators of the ACE extend locally (including scientists at the Salk and The Scripps Research Institute) as well as nationally; thus there is rich interdisciplinary climate at the ACE. 

Candidate must possess a Ph.D., and prior experience in molecular and/or cellular neurobiology with expertise in developmental research either with animal models or human disorders.  Knowledge of in situ hybridization, RT-PCR, brain tissue sectioning, staining, morphometric analyses, gene expression, and/or stereology is required.

Salary/Stipend Information
On NIH Postdoctoral Scholar Salary Scale

Application Procedure
Applicants are welcome to include in their cover letters a personal statement summarizing their contributions to diversity. UCSD is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity. All applicants will be required to submit a CV, Self-Statement of Research Activities, and a minimum of 3 letters of reference.

Skills and Knowledge Required
Candidates must have PhD in neuroscience molecular biology, neuroscience or other, related fields. Prior experience in molecular biology wet lab is required. The successful candidate must be willing to work with a team of scientists to develop novel experiments. Salary will be commensurate with experience and based on UCSD salary Scales depending upon qualifications and experience. Prior autism experience not required.

Interested applicants may address questions to Dr. Eric Courchesne, and Dr. Karen Pierce,

Graduate Students

You can learn more about autism research by doing a rotation at our lab. We have had students from the Psychology and Neurosciences departments at UCSD, as well as the joint doctoral program between UCSD and SDSU (San Diego State University).

We are always looking for students who are interested in working on their degree at our laboratory. For more information about getting involved as a graduate student at our lab, please contact co-director, Dr. Karen Pierce, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Volunteers

We are always looking for motivated students who want a wonderful research opportunity! At our lab, you will be involved in most or all of the following:
  • Learning more about autism
  • Learning how to do data entry and analysis
  • Working with children and their parents
  • Helping set up experiments
  • Working with a great group of dedicated people
  • Doing hands-on research
  • Helping edit papers for publication
  • ...and more!
If you are enthusiastic about doing research and would like to be considered for a volunteer position at our lab, please send your current transcripts along with a brief introduction about yourself to