Associate Director, Clinical Research

Reports to: Associate Vice President, Research Programs
Position Status: Full-Time, Exempt
Location: Miami, New York City, Remote


The Parkinson's Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience, and passion of our global Parkinson's community.

It is essential that the Associate Director of Clinical Research demonstrates and upholds the Foundation values of collaboration, dedication, excellence, integrity, positivity, responsiveness, and teamwork.

Principal Functions

The Associate Director of Clinical Research will be responsible for leading and coordinating the Parkinson’s disease Gene Curation Expert Panel (Parkinson’s GCEP) and Variant Curation Expert Panel (VCEP) under the direction of the Associate Vice President of Research Programs. Taking advantage of the real-time genomic data derived from the landmark Parkinson’s genetic study PD GENEration, The successful candidate will work directly with an interdisciplinary group of genomic experts in Parkinson’s disease including Movement Disorder neurologists, geneticists, genetic counselors, molecular biologists, biochemists and biopharmaceutical industry representatives to facilitate gene and variant curation activities for submission to the Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) and Clinical Variant Resource (ClinVar) system. The goal of the ClinGen/ClinVar Expert Panel is to develop fieldwide consensus on the clinical relevance of genes and variants in Parkinson’s disease for use in precision medicine trials and research studies.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Coordination and leadership of meetings/conference calls with internal leadership, PIs, national and international experts.
  • Agenda setting, meeting minutes and follow-up of action items for the Parkinson’s Gene and Variant Curation Expert Panel work.
  • Facilitate the development of specification documents for gene and variant curation for Parkinson’s disease, development of internal SOPs, and submission of curation summaries for publication.
  • Serve as a liaison for all ClinGen, ClinVar and Clinical Domain Working Group meetings on behalf of the Parkinson’s Gene/Variant Curation Expert Panels.
  • Lead project management of each gene and variant curation group by working closely with biocurators by assisting with literature curation, data collection, and analysis to assess the relationships among genes, variants, and clinical diagnoses associated with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Successful job performance will require learning and implementing the curation framework and protocols developed by ClinGen.
  • Proactively assess and communicate outcomes and impact to internal and external stakeholders and collaborators.
  • Lead interdisciplinary research efforts that may involve functional studies, literature reviews, bioinformatics and interaction with researchers, clinicians and biopharmaceutical industry experts to guide field-wide recommendations for genetic variants that have immediate clinical actionability.
  • Additional areas of focus will include grant and manuscript writing, presentation skills, and budgeting.
  • Work on special projects as directed.

Experience/Skills Required

  • PhD in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, or Certified Genetic Counselor with expertise in neurology (preferred).
  • Ideal candidate will be well-versed in Parkinson’s disease, neurological disorders, genetics and genomic medicine (Parkinson’s disease expertise preferred).
  • The candidate must be able to: 1) comprehend and lead discussions about curation processes for PD, 2) read and critically evaluate the scientific literature to assess the state of knowledge about gene/disease relationship and 3) evaluate the strength of evidence presented.
  • Administrative experience required, sufficient to coordinate activities of an international research team.
  • Experience working with multidisciplinary teams.
  • Knowledge of the ClinGen and ClinVar protocols and infrastructure.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Parkinson’s genetics and key stakeholders in the field.
  • Knowledge of online genetic databases such as ClinVar, OMIM, LOVD and familiarity with database usage is expected.
  • Demonstrated understanding of PHI and HIPAA regulations.
  • Self-starter, independent, strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrates the organizational values of excellence, teamwork, collaboration, integrity, positivity, dedication and responsiveness.


Compensation for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.

How to Apply

Please email resume and cover letter to Applicant review will continue until the position is filled. Please indicate the job title in the subject line. Resumes without cover letters will not be considered. No phone calls please.

The Parkinson’s Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our culture and in our work on behalf of people with Parkinson's disease.

All new hires are required to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, subject to any legally required accommodations.

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