Research Assistant 2

Case Western Reserve University
Case Main Campus
Closing date
Oct 21, 2021

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Research Staff & Technicians

Job Details

Job Title: Research Assistant 2
Location: Case Main Campus
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Job ID: 8911

Working under general supervision, the Research Assistant 2 will conduct studies of B cell responses directed at developing an improved COVID19 vaccine approach that can boost anti-COVID19 antibody and T cell responses. Studies will involve immunizations of with mRNA or plasmid encoding antigen or COVID19 peptide in lipid nanoparticles. Specialized agents will be added to the nanoparticles to heighten responses. Readouts will be antibody responses (ELISAs) and T cell responses (flow cytometry, ELISAs and ELISPOT assays). In addition to this project, the research assistant will conduct general experiments and will have her/his own project. Background in immunology and B or T cell experiments is preferable. The research assistant will work with other lab members and maintain the specialized knockout and transgenic mice uniquely developed in the lab. The mouse work will be supported by Core labs that do mouse genotyping, histopathology, confocal analyses antibody production and flow cytometry. Work will include tissue culture, cellular assays, molecular assays, flow cytometry among other approaches. Participate in lab meetings and teaching sessions on immunology. This position will work with mice.


    Plan and carry out projects in accordance with general plans. Conduct cell culture, basic molecular biology, Western blotting, flow cytometry, isolation of RNA for gene expression analyses and other molecular and cellular techniques as needed for project development. In vitro experiments involve working with mammalian cell lines, primary cells isolated from mouse tissues or bone marrow, human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) or cells. Goal is to provide data for publication. (60%)Assist staff in preparing protocols (IACUCs) for studies with mice. Help maintain mouse colonies. Understand the background and rational of the experiments that the lab is performing with mice. (15%)Maintain clear and comprehensive records of experiments. Collect and analyze data, manage data and protocols. Work with colleagues in collaborating laboratories for techniques as the research assignments require. May assist in developing improved techniques. Contribute collaboratively as a member of the research team. Help prepare safety protocols. Maintain liquid nitrogen tanks. (9%) Oversee inventory. Maintain records of chemical and biological reagents. Assist in general lab and equipment maintenance. Train new staff. (7%) Devise new protocols and techniques for research projects involving a high degree of skill and training. Cell staining for flow cytometry and co-immunoprecipitations. (9%)Evaluate adequacy of techniques; study and test new procedures and analyzes data. B and T cell isolations and activation assays. (9%)


    Present work at weekly lab meetings. (3%)Perform other duties as assigned. (4%)Read literature on projects. (3%)


Department: Continuous contact with principal investigator and senior lab members to discuss weekly plans and provide data and mouse inventory updates.

University: Moderate contact with collaborators within the institution learning new assays, obtaining samples or performing coordinate assays of samples.

External: Little contact with external constituents.

Students: Frequent contact with undergraduate students in the PIs undergraduate Biology program to assist in thesis project and provide experimental support. Train new students/personnel in the laboratory.


Train new staff. May direct the work of undergraduate or other students.


Experience/Education: Bachelor's degree and 1 to 3 years of experience or Associate’s degree in an approved biotechnology program and 2 to 4 years of experience required.


    Must possess technical skills in cell culture, RNA extraction and PCR, Western blotting, flow cytometryKnowledge and understanding of commonly used concepts, practices and procedures within the field of basic molecular biology, microbiology and immunology research. Immune cell isolation and analytical techniques.Proficiency in computer techniques PowerPoint, Excel, Photoshop preferredExperience working with mice, proper handling and care of mice, general surgical techniques and the collection of blood and tissue samples preferred. Veterinary help will be available. Working knowledge and understanding of flow cytometry data acquisition and analyses and immune assays such as ELISA, preferred but not required; if this experience is not present initially, must be able to learn and master these approaches.Ability to analyze numerical data with standard computational approaches, including basic statistical approaches and to prepare graphs, tables and other analytic presentations of data.Effectively communicate and work with individuals from a broad spectrum of backgrounds within the department, school and university.Good/strong organization skills; ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines. Must demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy, time management skills and follow-through. Ability to work effectively independently and collaboratively within a team.Must demonstrate flexibility and ability to work under pressure; must be able to (work in a fast-paced, changing environment) and have flexibility of time.Must have willingness to learn new techniques, procedures, processes and computer programs as needed.Must be able and willing to maintain a high standard of personal cleanliness and utilize protective gear to protect the health the animals.Must 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 meet consistent attendance.Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors and customers face to face.


General laboratory environment. The employee will be exposed to infectious agents and chemicals. Employee will need to wear appropriate protective equipment for BSL3 and ABSL3 environments such as gloves, coat, eyewear, scrubs, coveralls and respiratory protection when required. Working conditions will require working at the bench in a biology laboratory, working with mice in the laboratory and in the animal facility, working in BSL3 and ABSL3 environments. Working outside standard working days or hours as required by the needs of a given experiment.

CWRU's animal facilities are accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) and are 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.



Working at Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case Western Reserve is distinguished by its strengths in educationresearch, service and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland's University Circle, we offer nationally recognized programs in the arts and sciencesdental medicineengineeringlawmanagementmedicinenursing and social sciences.

Student enrollment exceeds 9,800 students, forty percent of whom are undergraduatesFacultyand students hail from more than 90 countries, with academic interests that reach every region of the world. Case Western Reserve, with the support of individuals, corporations and foundations, aids nearly 100 designated research centers.

As a service-oriented institution dedicated to civic leadership, Case Western Reserve seeks individually and collectively to prepare our students to improve the human condition and to direct the benefits of discovery toward a better society. This effort is not limited to the university's classrooms, laboratories, librariesresidence halls and athletic fields, but includes partnerships with many other institutions. We build these partnerships believing that our ability to improve the human condition should begin in our own community.

Case Western Reserve University remains Ohio's top-ranked school among the nation's premier national universities, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and is the only Ohio institution ranked in the top 50 nationally. We promote a culture of inquiry marked by rigor, creativity, curiosity, innovation, respect, sensitivity and open communication of ideas.

The university supports interdisciplinary partnerships in education and research with numerous faculty holding joint appointments in more than one Case Western Reserve school or department, as well as at neighboring institutions. These relationships launched many of the unique pairings of science, business and liberal arts into the centers and programs that enhance the undergraduate and graduate experience at the university. Our dual degree programs enrich the educational experience for those students who choose to balance the technical requirements of engineering or the sciences with a strong interest in the humanities.

With more than $375 million in research funding annually, the university attracts outstanding undergraduate and graduate students along with renowned faculty whose research has made significant contributions to the way we live and work. Case Western Reserve counts 15 Nobel laureates among our alumni and current and former faculty, including the first American scientist to ever receive the prize.

Our students' experiences in cultural institutions, clinics, social service agencies and industry are not viewed as “extra-curricular,” but create the learning experience that defines a Case Western Reserve education. The university's service programs in the Cleveland Municipal School District have impacted more than 145,000 students with more than 43 signature programs. The university has launched more than 580 community partnerships on the local, national and international levels. Annually the university sponsors Case for Community Day, an event where hundreds of Case Western Reserve employees and students lend their time and talent to targeted community development projects in the Greater Cleveland area.

Our alumni number more than 110,000 and constitute a “who's who” of every profession. Alumni represent one of the university's strongest resources, playing a vital role in campus life through their work as advisors, mentors, friends and advocates.

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