Professional Research Assistant - Pietras Lab

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

University of Colorado - School of Medicine

Professional Research Assistant

The Department of Medicine in the Bone Marrow Transplantation and Hematological Malignancies Program at the University of Colorado is looking for a bright and enthusiastic individual interested in advancing their career by taking a key position in a brand-new, high-impact laboratory headed by an energetic, recently recruited principal investigator (PI), Dr. Eric Pietras. The laboratory is focused on unraveling key questions relating to the biology of normal and leukemic blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Further information on Dr. Pietras and the laboratory's research can be found at the CU Division of Hematology program website

The PI's lab is part of a richly collaborative group of like-minded biomedical investigators in the Division of Hematology. As such, this position offers the candidate an opportunity to work in a highly supportive, fun, fast-paced environment with multiple cooperating junior and senior investigators who are motivated to mentor young scientists and to make high-impact discoveries that increase our understanding of the biology of leukemia and other blood disorders. This position will therefore provide a rewarding, challenging and intellectually rich environment with dedicated mentorship and a desire to foster career advancement and scientific growth.

Principal responsibilities of the position will be to be to perform key laboratory support and management tasks, manage experimental animal colonies and support the scientific program of the lab both experimentally and intellectually by assisting with and/or independently conducting experiments, analyzing and presenting data under the supervision of the PI and other laboratory staff.


  1. Use of experimental hematology and molecular biology approaches; in vivo murine modeling of leukemia and disease; extraction and processing of organs, isolation of rare blood and blood progenitor cells from bone marrow using magnetic bead separation and flow cytometry; in vitro functional assays on blood stem and progenitor cells; maintenance of cell cultures; primer design and DNA/RNA manipulation; quantitative PCR; molecular cloning; high throughput DNA sequencing; gene expression studies, including RNAseq; and RNAi technology. Position also entails analysis of data, active reading and interpretation of the scientific literature, and design of experimental approaches (Estimated effort: 60%)
  2. Manage daily laboratory operations, including but not limited to setting up equipment, independently designing and implementing new organizational strategies to promote smooth laboratory operations, ordering, inventory, cleaning, preparation of laboratory reagents and husbandry/maintenance of mouse colonies. Maintain laboratory records. (Estimated effort: 35%)
  3. Train students and other staff as needed, attend and present in laboratory meetings and journal clubs, write and edit scientific publications (Estimated effort: 5%)


  1. Comply with all standard operating procedures and quality control systems
  2. Comply with any laboratory duties assigned by the PI.

The ideal candidate will have the following attributes:

  1. A high degree of intellectual curiosity, a high degree of self-motivation, and a specific career interest in the areas of experimental hematology, immunology and/or stem cell biology.
  2. An understanding of, and proficient technical skills and experience in, molecular biology, immunology, genetics/genomics, and/or cancer biology.
  3. Proficiency in multitasking, including managing multiple projects and laboratory duties concurrently is required.
  4. Attention to detail and excellent written and communication skills are required, and candidate must have excellent organizational and record-keeping skills.
  5. Computer proficiency to perform data analysis (e.g. MS Excel, Prism, FlowJo), design presentations (e.g. MS PowerPoint) and conduct word processing (e.g. MS Word) is critical.
  6. Desire to play a key, pioneering role in the establishment of a new laboratory, and a desire to make important, publishable discoveries and invest time and energy to address challenging scientific and clinical questions.

The PRA position requires 100% effort Monday through Friday. Working in the evenings, weekends or holidays may be required if completion of work requires such under extenuating circumstances. This is an at-will exempt position and is not eligible for overtime compensation.



  • BA or BS from an accredited institution, majoring in the biological sciences or related field, with an outstanding academic background including previous laboratory internship experience outside of coursework.
  • Must have an undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.4 or higher in the science or science-related major.

  1. Candidate must either be a current student in a science-related program, or currently/previously employed in a science-related occupation. A minimum of 1 year of laboratory experience in cellular immunology and/or molecular biology.
  2. The candidate must demonstrate intrinsic intellectual curiosity, a love of science, and must be self-motivated with a desire for career advancement through working in a fun, fast-paced, and high-energy laboratory environment.
  3. The candidate must be able to clearly articulate their career goals and how their scientific interests will be satisfied in the position.
  4. The candidate must have a desire to learn, be mentored and become intellectually invested in the research program and operation of the lab with emphasis upon attention to detail.
  5. Candidate must be intellectually and technically adept, highly organized, and able to maintain meticulous records of experiments, animal colonies and laboratory organization.
  6. Candidate must be able to work independently with a high degree of professionalism, sound judgment and communication skills. Must be able to work effectively in team settings with others who are in peer and supervisory roles. Computer proficiency is required.
  7. Comply with all standard operating procedures and quality control systems, and comply with any laboratory duties assigned by the PI. Must be able to work flexible hours based on experimental needs, including nights & weekends.
  8. Candidate will be encouraged and expected to actively participate in laboratory and larger group meetings and journal clubs, and to give presentations in these settings.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the person assigned to this job. They are not an exhaustive list of all the potential duties and responsibilities associated with it.

Preferred Qualifications:

Candidates with BS in immunology or molecular biology, or Bachelor's degree with equivalent training background are preferred. Individuals with a desire to 1) continue on to PhD training; or 2) with full time experience in an academic research lab with prior publications, are strongly preferred.

Minimum 2-year commitment is preferred. Experience with animal models and flow cytometry is also preferred. Working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator is preferable.


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: 3612

When applying at CU Careers, applicants must include:
  1. A letter of application which specifically addresses the job requirements and outlines qualifications
  2. A current CV/resume
  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 - 20164 - SOM-MED-BoneMarrow Transplant

Schedule: Full-time

Posting Date: Feb 29, 2016

Closing Date: Ongoing

Posting Contact Name: Lynette Brandon

Posting Contact Email:

Position Number: 00722669


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