Staff Scientist

Job description

Hyde Park Campus

20146 Biochem/Mol Bio

About the Unit
The Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMB) studies how biomolecules operate and interact to drive the complex and diverse behaviors of living systems. The questions that we ask are broad and multifaceted, and as a result, our trainees are well equipped for future academic and industrial careers in biochemistry and biophysics. Our research encompasses all areas of modern biochemistry, including structural biology, biophysics, and biomolecular engineering and design. Our Department is distinguished by its intellectual rigor and collaborative style. Interdisciplinary interactions are further facilitated by our presence in the Gordon Center for Integrative Sciences, which brings together a large and diverse group of biological and physical scientists to pursue common research goals.

Job Information

Job Summary:

The objective of this laboratory is to understand the physical basis of excitability and, in particular, the relation between structure and function of voltage dependent ion channels.


  • 70% - Perform fundamental research as a biophysicist regarding excitability and the voltage-gated ion channels responsible for generation and propagation of the nerve impulse, including: (1) site-directed mutagenesis of ion channel, (2) expression of channels in Xenopus oocytes, (3) electrophysiological characterization using 2 microelectrode clamp, cut-open oocyte or patch clamp techniques, (4) expression of recombinant forms of these proteins in prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems, (5) purification of these proteins using affinity chromatography, size exclusion and ion-exchange chromatography, (6) biophysical measurements of their function using electrophysiological techniques such as lipid bilayer recordings, (7) critical analysis of electrophysiological data including measurement of voltage dependence and time constants to build kinetic models. Ensure timeliness and accuracy of the results and of written reports. Organize and prioritize work performed in the laboratory. Expedite the completion of projects and ensure that appropriate turn-around goals are met. Perform troubleshooting of problems with procedures, methods and protocols in all aspects of electrophysiological experiments.
  • 20%- Oversee all activities and operations of the laboratory regarding electrophysiology and oocyte expression. Monitor and assure that appropriate and effective procedures are followed and that proper documentation is up to date. Oversee training of new personnel including technologists, graduate students and new postdoctoral fellows. Give presentations to the group members as well as at educational workshops and at scientific meetings.
  • 10%- Participate in preparation and writing of grant applications and reports and (co)-author research manuscripts.

  • Knowledge in relevant scientific field required.
  • Knowledge of research techniques or methods required.
  • Knowledge of regulatory policies and procedures required.
  • Analytical skills required.
  • Problem-solving skills required.
  • Attention to detail required.
  • Organizational skills required.
  • Verbal and written communication skills required.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team required.
  • Proficiency with Gpatch, Analysis, Excel , PowerPoint, Origin required.
  • Knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet/database, communications, and curve fitting software required.

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience and Certifications:

  • Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Physiology or Biophysics

  • 15 years of experience in an academic research laboratory required.
  • Experience in electrophysiological techniques including cut-open oocyte, cut-open axon, patch clamp, lipid bilayers and general biophysical methodology required.
  • Experience with structure-function studies using site-directed mutagenesis, heterologous expression in oocytes and in cultured cells, biochemical characterization and use of spectroscopic methods required.
  • Excellent organization and communication skills are required.

Technical Knowledge or Skills:
  • Proficiency with Gpatch, Analysis, Excel , PowerPoint,and Origin required.
  • Knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet/database, communications, and curve fitting software required.
  • Knowledge in relevant scientific field
  • Knowledge of research techniques or methods
  • Knowledge of regulatory policies and procedures
  • Experience contributing to research manuscripts, reports, or publications preferred

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:
  • Ability to sit for two to four hours
  • Ability to use computers extensively for two to four hours
  • Ability to stand for four hours or more
  • Laboratory environment

Required Documents:
  • Resume

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualification

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Background Check Required?


Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

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Part time

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Job No:
Posted: 2/21/2018
Application Due: 3/31/2018
Work Type: