Professional Research Assistant

Aurora, CO
Feb 21, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

University of Colorado - School of Medicine

Professional Research Assistant

The Lab of Katharine Smith in the Department of Pharmacology is seeking a Professional Research Assistant.

Maintaining the correct balance between excitation and inhibition (E/I balance) in the frontal cortex is essential for information processing. Disruption of this critical balance is thought to contribute to the pathology of neuropsychiatric diseases such as autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, in addition to epilepsy and ischemia. Our laboratory is interested in understanding the coordination of excitatory and inhibitory synapses in dendrites and how this maintains correct excitability of the neuron, both during plasticity and pathogenesis. We employ a variety of advanced imaging techniques (including live and super-resolution microscopy), biochemistry and electrophysiology to determine mechanisms of cross-talk between excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Of particular interest are neuropsychiatric disease risk molecules with synaptic functions and links to E/I balance.

Examples of Work Performed:

Experimental Duties:

Preparation of primary neuron culture

Basic molecular biology (work with recombinant DNA, cell transfections/transformations)


Biochemistry techniques, SDS-PAGE and western blotting

Microscopy and fluorescent imaging techniques

Preparation of common laboratory reagents

Participate and contribute to lab meetings, journal clubs and department seminars

Conduct experiments as related to the research project

Administrative Duties:

Establish and Maintain lab organization

Oversee and help maintain laboratory protocols

Place and track laboratory orders


Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in biology, molecular biology, genetics or a related field.
  • Previous laboratory experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with tissue culture, molecular biology and/or microscopy would be preferred
  • We seek a bright, organized, energetic and motivated individual who is interested in exploring the very exciting science behind synaptic transmission and E/I balance.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English are required.
  • The applicant should be open and eager to learn new experimental techniques.
  • Ability to work as a member in a cohesive group.
  • Position requires a 2 year commitment

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is commensurate with skills and experience. The University of Colorado offers a full benefits package. Information on University benefits programs, including eligibility, is located at Employee Services.

The University of Colorado Denver is dedicated to ensuring a safe and secure environment for our faculty, staff, students and visitors. To assist in achieving that goal, we conduct background investigations for all prospective employees.

The University of Colorado strongly supports the principle of diversity. We encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and all veterans. The University of Colorado is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work. Alternative formats of this ad are available upon request for persons with disabilities.

Application Materials Required:Cover Letter, Resume/CV, List of References

Application Materials Instructions:

Applications are accepted electronically at CU Careers, refer to requisition ID: 8302

When applying, applicants must include:
  1. A letter of application which specifically addresses the job requirements and outlines qualifications
  2. A current Resume/CV
  3. The names, addresses, daytime telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for three professional references, either attached to your resume/CV or uploaded as a separate document
Please be advised that the University does check references as part of the employment process.

Please do not submit any of your application material (via email) to the job posting contact.

Job Category: Faculty

Primary Location: Aurora

Department: H0001 -- Anschutz Medical Campus - 20120 - SOM - Pharmacology

Schedule: Full-time

Posting Date: Mar 3, 2017

Closing Date: Ongoing

Posting Contact Name: Jennifer Orsund

Posting Contact Email:

Position Number: 00731493


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