Research Assistant (Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory)

Manhattan KS
Aug 14, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

General Description of Position: The person in this Research Assistant position will perform histology duties related to service and research. Duties will included trimming (grossing) of fixed biopsy and necropsy tissues, embedding tissues in paraffin wax, cutting tissues on a microtome and preparing glass slides of the tissues in accordance with those QA/QC guidelines of an AAVLD accredited laboratory. Also, routine filing of slides, tissue blocks, data entry, operating and maintaining automated histology equipment, immunohistochemical staining, disposing of tissues and updating standard operating procedures. Significant attention must be given to the KSVDL QMS (Quality Management System) and subsequent compliance.

Maintaining harmonious working relationships with co-workers and other employees is a must. A positive customer service attitude is essential. The individual must be able to work cooperatively in scheduling work hours with co-workers such that hours outside of 8-5 may be expected, and work could include Saturdays/weekend duties. Working hours could vary as needed to meet customer demands for rapid turnaround times for biopsy submissions and could include working on Saturdays/weekends.

The initial contract will be 6 months, with demonstration of proficiency in skills and contributing to a positive team environment at this time, this contract will be renewed annually after the initial time period.

Diversity and Inclusion: Kansas State University embraces diversity, and promotes inclusion in every sector of the institution. The university actively seeks candidates whose commitments and contributions will advance the University's commitment to the Principles of Community.  Job Description: - Prepare tissue sections for histopathology: diagnostic and research samples (glass slides). Embed processed tissues in paraffin wax, cut tissue sections on microtome and prepare glass slides, stain tissue sections using appropriate stains for routine histopathology (H&E) and special stains as requested, coverslip slides (all steps of producing glass slides from beginning to end). Perform special stains to determine the presence of fungi, bacteria, mycobacteria or other infectious agents/abnormal cellular morphology in formalin fixed tissue sections. Maintain embedding station, autostainers and automatic coverslipper and tissue processors.

- Trim biopsy, necropsy and research tissues for histopathology. This task includes trimming samples for margin evaluation when necessary, documenting tissue/biopsy samples received, and providing written images/drawings/photographs for use by the pathologist reading the slides. Includes writing on or printing cassettes with the semi-automated cassette printer, cleaning and maintaining the trim areas and associated equipment.

- Additional duties include maintaining the downstairs trim room, maintaining inventory of trimming supplies, discard tissues as needed, tidy the room as needed. Dispose of tissues after set dates and as cleared by pathologists/supervisor. File paraffin blocks, slides and paperwork, entering specimen data on computers in current LIS.

- Other duties as required to assist in the histopathology and immunohistochemistry areas. Cross-train in other areas of the laboratory to assist when help is needed for high workload times or when other laboratory personnel are absent. These procedures include immunohistochemistry of infectious agents and cell identification for diagnostic and research material. Assistance in multiple tasks for the process of immunohistochemical staining for prion diseases (scrapie, chronic wasting disease), very limited fluorescent antibody testing and limited operation of digital pathology projects will be required. Assists in writing standard operating procedures and other tasks as assigned by supervisor. 

Required Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in microbiology, biology, chemistry, animal science or other related fields. Eight years of histology laboratory experience may be substituted for education as determined relevant by the agency.  Preferred Qualifications: Certification in histotechnology, ASCP [histotechnician (HT) or histotechnologist (HTL)]; histology experiences. Familiarity with laboratory tests and procedures, working knowledge of chemistry, familiarity with animal diseases, interest in animals, a good team player and knowledge of safe laboratory practices.  Special Instructions to Applicants: Please submit an application along with a cover letter, resume and contact information for three professional references.    Screening of Applications Begins: Screening of applications begins immediately Salary Range / Pay Rate: $ 34,071 - $ 57,921 Annual Salary Equal Employment Opportunity: Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans and actively seeks diversity among its employees. Background Screening Statement: In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.