Research Assistant 4

Job description

Job Title: Research Assistant 4
Location: Case Main Campus
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Job ID: 8498

Working with a high degree of independence, coordinate research work in medical and related technical. The research objective is to generate laboratory data for projects in global health that explore the molecular and epidemiologic relationships between parasitic, bacterial and viral infections using samples obtained from population-based studies in low-income countries. Specifically, the laboratory studies human malaria parasites, parasitic worms and recently SARS-CoV-2. This position will primarily involve research on malaria parasites and SARS-CoV-2. The malaria research focuses on how malaria parasites invade human erythrocytes with the aim to develop effective malaria vaccines and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. SARS-CoV-2 studies evaluate factors that regulate the type antibody responses individuals develop to the virus, how long these antibodies persist, and whether they are associated with protection from re-infection or disease.


    Coordinate major research activities and staff. A major project is to generate human monoclonal antibodies from anti-specific B cells isolated from individuals exposed to malaria or SARS-CoV-2 and to characterize their function. This will involve skills in flow cytometry and molecular biology. Test, catalog and store samples. Evaluate adequacy of techniques; study and test new procedures and organize and analyze subsequent genotyping data. Assist the principle investigator to ensure all lab-related activities are completed in a timely manner and all protocols and regulatory guidelines are followed. (35%).Perform the most complex quantitative analytical procedures. Extract and measure DNA extraction using molecular biology techniques. Design primers and validate their utility using native DNA PAGE, PCR and qPCR amplification. Samples will need to be set up for analysis in the university sequencing facility. Clone the genes encoding variable regions of human immunoglobulins into genes expressing heavy chain regions of different IgG subclasses. (15%)To refine and develop assays that measure functional antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 (e.g. neutralizing assays and those that measure antibody-dependent killing of virally infected cells (15%)Provide input and recommendations to principle investigator regarding significant developments in research projects. Provide updates and recommendations to principle investigator based on developments in the lab and staff performance. Assess analyses/procedures undertaken and whether subsequent changes may be needed; report recommendations directly to principle investigator. (10%)


    Assist in developing procedure and coordinate information with others. Devise new protocols and techniques for research projects involving a high degree of skill and training. Improve our ability to generate human monoclonal antibodies using other or improved procedures, such and EBV transformation of B cells prior to screening for production of antibodies to the antigens of interest. (5%)Co-author research projects. Write up results and methods for publication related to novel lab assays and international research studies. Assist in writing grant applications. (5%)Teach or instruct others in research techniques. Teach lab staff and/or students in laboratory techniques utilized and identified in research protocols. Teach evaluation and alignment of immunoglobulin sequences to determine their clonal origin or degree of somatic mutations relative to germline. Teach/advise how to analyze and present these data. (5%)May supervise Research Assistants and Technicians. Assist in the supervision of lab staff and assign weekly or monthly assignments; assure weekly progress reports are available for lab meetings. (5%)Maintain meticulous records (including for international receipt and shipping of materials and samples and regulatory entities). (3%)Attend the Center’s weekly scientific session. May present lab results at GHID or other seminars. (2%)


Department: Regular, daily contact with supervisor and regular lab meetings on Tues mornings to maintain workflow.

University: Contact with the Genomics Core to deliver material for genotyping and sequencing.

External: Occasional contact with US and overseas colleagues/collaborators to arrange meetings, clarify results, plan assays. Occasional contact with the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences Bioinformatics core for sequencing information and analysis.

Students: Moderate contact with students to instruct them in basic laboratory techniques and occasionally oversee their activities.


Supervision and instruction of students and technicians.


Experience: 5 to 8 years of related experience in microbiology and molecular biology required.

Education/Licensing: Bachelor of Science degree required; Master’s degree preferred.


    Has solid knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within the field of molecular and microbiology with emphasis on parasitology.Has some facility with flow cytometry and basic concepts of immunology, especially humoral immunologyFacility with Microsoft Office applications, especially, Excel, Word and PowerPoint. While not required, familiarity and capabilities in bioinformatics will be useful.Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job. Ability to operate laboratory equipment to prepare buffers, perform PCR or qPCR, polyacrylamide and agarose electrophoresis.Professional and effective verbal and written communication skills with evidence of this provided.Attention to detail, good record keeping, accuracy, time management skills and follow-through.Ability to meet consistent attendance.Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors, and customers face to face.


General laboratory environment with full laboratory bench, personal computer and desk area. Some materials will have to be retrieved and placed on shelves at a height of ~10 feet. A metal stair with rails is available for items placed on higher shelves. The laboratory does occasionally work with phenol, chloroform, concentrated acids and polyacrylamide. The research assistant may potentially be working with a low-level infectious agents (malaria parasites).

Diversity Statement

In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Reasonable Accommodations

Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Equity at 216-368-3066 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.





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Job No:
Posted: 10/7/2020
Application Due: 11/6/2020
Work Type: