Research Assistant 1

Job description

Job Title: Research Assistant 1
Location: Case Main Campus
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Job ID: 8561

Working under moderate supervision, the research assistant will perform medical and related technical research. The position in the Carpenter Lab involves research in lung and immune cell biology related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB) in humans. The position provides an opportunity to make exciting discoveries and impact the fields of infectious disease and immunology, which includes performing experiments in a BSL-3 lab, working with human cells and mouse tissues, and managing lab operations. The research assistant will perform experiments on human cells/tissues and mouse cells/tissues with an immunology or microbiology focus and will maintain the lab and its equipment / reagents / cell lines / mouse colony. Bacterial cultures will be used to infect mice or mouse/human immune cells under appropriate biosafety containment (BSL-2 or BSL-3). This position will involve work with animals and human blood.


    Perform research work in medical and related technical areas, involving the use of lab skills. Research on human and murine immune cells using cell isolation and immune cell stimulation, cell and animal infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and related bacteria, to gather data on how immune cells function in response to infection. Assist other lab members with experiments including maintaining cell lines, preparing solutions, supplies and equipment for experiments performed by lab members. (25%)Conduct analysis of samples. Analyze samples from experiments using flow cytometry, ELISA, PCR/qPCR, western blots, gel electrophoresis, sequencing and other techniques, with appropriate training and supervision. (15%)Record results for a particular experiment or closely related series of experiments. Collect and record cell culture, PCR, flow cytometry and sequencing data. Organize raw data, update lab notebook and related folders, and analyze data using the appropriate analysis software (10%).Order laboratory supplies and reagents and will maintain records of orders and expenses. (10%)Maintain mouse colonies and cell lines. Passage and maintain cell lines in sterile culture conditions. Work with animal medicine and other lab members to ensure mice in the colony are organized, maintained, and documented including breeding and genotyping as needed. Performing procedures (e.g. injections) and administer treatments to the animals as needed for experiments, in accordance with standard operating procedures. (10%) Maintain records of experiments. Record and organize all data and results from experiments, and maintain a lab notebook with the aims/goals, experimental strategy, methods (or reference to the protocol) followed, and summary of major results and conclusions. (7.5%).Maintain and test equipment utilized in experiments. Ensure routine maintenance and function of lab equipment and lab operations and will maintain records of orders and expenses. (7.5%)


    Write and maintain lab protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs). Train other lab members on experimental techniques and safety procedures. Coordinate trainings for lab members with the Biosafety Office, Animal Medicine, EHS and others, as needed. (5%)Ensure lab is in compliance with IACUC and IRB protocols. Update IACUC and IRB protocols as needed together with Dr. Carpenter. (5%)Maintain Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) documents, records of trainings, performing occasional updates, and ensure lab is in compliance. (5%)Perform other duties as assigned. (<1%)


Department: Daily contact with supervisor to maintain workflow. Daily contact with other lab members and department members to learn techniques and receive training and feedback on experiments.

University: Occasional contact with other departments to share information.

External: Limited contact with vendors to exchange information.

Students: Frequent contact with student employees to exchange information.


This position has no direct supervision of staff employees.


Bachelor’s degree in science and 0 to 1 year of experience, or an Associate’s degree in an approved biotechnology program and 0 to 2 years of experience is required.


    Has knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices and procedures within the fields of immunology and microbiology research.Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.Ability to operate laboratory equipmentAbility to meet consistent attendance.Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors, and customers face-to-face.A positive attitude about science and medicine, and a desire to make an impact for patients and to advance knowledge through research in important areas of infectious diseases and immunology.Ability to work effectively, independently and collaboratively within a team. Must be highly motivated, responsible, dependable and a self-starter.Ability to be flexible if duties on certain days require attendance outside normal business hours.Strong organization skills and good habit of maintaining a clean lab working environment; demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy, time management skills, and proven ability to successfully follow-through on assigned projects. Must have the ability and willingness to learn new techniques and procedures as needed, follow established protocols and request clarification if necessary.Ability to maintain meticulous, complete, and easily retrievable laboratory data.Ability to work for 2-3 hours at a time wearing an N-95 mask, hooded gown, gloves and protective eye-ware, which are required for work in the BSL-3 lab.Must be willing to perform research work with mice with appropriate supervision and trainingMust demonstrate compliance with university animal research and care (ARC) policies and procedures and compliance to regulations of the Animal Welfare Act, Public Health Service Policy, AAALAC guidelines and other applicable regulatory guidelines.Must demonstrate compassion for animals within university facilities and dedication to the Animal Resource Center’s mission. Must handle animals with care and respect at all times.Must be able and willing to learn new techniques, procedures, processes, and computer gear to protect the health of the animals.Previous experience working with animals preferred.Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.Molecular biology skills (PCR, gel electrophoresis) preferred, and immunology lab skills (fluorescent antibody staining, flow cytometry, ELISAs) skills are a plusProficiency in Microsoft Office and GraphPad Prism is preferred. Experience using Flowjo and Adobe Illustrator is a plus.


General laboratory environment: The Carpenter Lab is in the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine on the Medical Sciences Campus of Case Western Reserve University, the leading and largest biomedical research institution in Ohio. The lab is an open floor plan with abundant bench space for experiments, animal handing, and cell culture. The employee may have exposure to hazards. The lab is equipped with biosafety cabinets for tissue and cell culture work and work with infectious pathogens, as well as a shared fume hood for storage and use of hazardous and non-hazardous material. RNA/DNA isolation and PCR are performed in the lab. Flow cytometry is performed using shared equipment on the floor, or in a separate building where the flow core is located. Core facilities will assist with sequencing and complex analyses, such as bioinformatics. The position will require working at the bench and manipulating cells in a biosafety cabinet (hood). The position will require working with mice and other animal models and working with human blood and tissue samples. Although every safety measure will be taken, there is the potential for exposure to bloodborne pathogens, chemicals and possibly radiation. The employee will need to wear protective eye-ware, a lab coat and gloves while working in the laboratory. Some work will be performed in the BSL-3 lab space, where Mycobacterium tuberculosis is used for experiments in a biosafety cabinet. Appropriate training and protective equipment (gowns, gloves, mask, etc) will be provided to prevent exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other infectious agents in the BSL-3 lab, such as SARS-CoV-2. Infections, sample and tissue processing from infected animals will occur in the BSL-3 lab space until all samples are disinfected, after which they can be removed from the BSL-3 to continue processing and analysis in the general lab space (under BSL-2 conditions).

Lab Culture: The employee should expect frequent interactions with other lab members in an exciting and friendly research environment, and the employee must be willing to collaborate and work together with others. When needed, working outside standard working days or hours is required by the needs of a given experiment. Everyone attends weekly lab meetings where ongoing research is discussed.

Major physical demands include transferring animal cages or supplies between the lab and the animal holding facility, maintaining the animal colonies, as well as changes of mouse cages, as needed. Transferring supplies between the lab and the BSL-3 or to core facilities is also required.

Case Western Reserve University's animal facilities are accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) and is managed according to the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” appropriate Federal Animal Welfare Regulations, and the Public Health Service “Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals." This position, and all animal research personnel, are subject to internal compliance to SOM Animal Resource Center Standard Operating Procedures and to compliance regulations of the Animal Welfare Act, Public Health Service Policy, AAALAC guidelines, the State of Ohio Veterinary Practice Act, Federal Drug Enforcement Administration regulatory guidelines, US Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine regulations and other applicable regulatory guidelines.

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: 11/20/2020
Application Due: 2/18/2021
Work Type: