Working under moderate supervision, the Research Assistant 1 will be a vital team member and will perform research work including animal and human tissue processing, various immunohistochemistry assays, protein chemistry including gel electrophoresis and western blotting, and assist with general lab maintenance. The Zhu laboratory studies neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease and other related diseases. Specifically, the lab focuses on how mitochondria in various cell types contribute to the cell death and disease progression. The research assistant will work closely with lab members including the principal investigator, research associates, post-doctoral scholars, and other research assistants, and learn to design, perform, and analyze experiments. This position will work with animals (mice), specifically assisting the other senior Research Assistants with mouse colony breeding and performing PCR genotyping analysis. This position will work with animals.
- Perform research work in medical and related technical areas involves use of lab skills. Process human and animal samples for histological and biochemical studies. Learn to dissect tissues of selective brain regions and prepare tissue sections, perform histochemical and immunohistochemical experiments. Assist with mouse colony maintenance. Generate, maintain, and analyze tissue culture cell lines for experimental purposes. (20%)
- Conduct analysis of samples. Become proficient in microscopy and digital image acquisition. This includes light microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, and confocal microscopy. Perform gel electrophoresis and Western blotting. Perform PCR to assist with genotyping of mouse models. (20%)
- Record results for a particular experiment or closely related series of experiments. Prepare basic figures using PowerPoint for describing and presenting results to PI. Use Excel and other statistical software to quantify results. Learn to use Western blot image analysis software. Develop skills in other software- Image J, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator. (20%)
- Maintain records of experiments. Maintain clear and accurate records in lab book and use Box or lab server as backup. (10%)
- Maintain test equipment utilized in experiments. Perform routine lab maintenance, including maintaining organization of stockroom, refrigerators and freezers, cleaning equipment and lab ware; dispose of biohazardous waste. (10%)
- Order reagents and other laboratory supplies via the university online ordering system and work with departmental administrative assistants. (10%)
- Assist with general lab duties, such as helping to prepare, complete, and update annual lab safety training records. Assist lab members with shipping and receiving samples. Run autoclave as needed for reagent sterilization and waste decontamination. Attend weekly lab meetings (currently remote via Zoom). (10%)
Perform other duties as assigned. (<1%)
Department: Daily contact with supervisor and other lab personnel to discuss research and maintain workflow.
University: Occasional contact with other labs/departments to share information.
External: Limited contact with vendors to exchange information. Limited contact with outside collaborators to receive/ship samples and exchange information.
Students: Daily contact with students in the lab to exchange information.
This position has no direct supervision of staff employees.
Education/Experience: Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or related field and 0 to 1 year of experience or Associate’s degree in an approved biotechnology program and 0 to 2 years of experience.
- Has knowledge of basic laboratory skills including pipetting, basic chemistry lab techniques including weighing using analytical balance, preparing solutions, pH meter usage.
- Ability to work effectively independently and collaboratively within a team (must be highly motivated, responsible, dependable, and a self-starter).
- Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.
- Ability to operate routine laboratory equipment: weighing balances, pipets, knowledge of use of spectrophotometer.
- Ability to meet consistent attendance.
- Professional and effective verbal and written communication skills and good interpersonal skills with the ability to work and communicate with various individuals within and external to the University.
- Will be expected to complete training 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.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office, such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint.
- Willingness to develop skills and proficiency in Western blot image analysis software, Image J, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator.
General laboratory environment. The employee will be exposed to animals, blood borne pathogens, chemicals, fumes, dust, UV light. The employee will perform repetitive motion. The employee will need to lift up to 24 lbs. Personal protective equipment is provided and lab coat is required to be worn in the lab. Gloves, goggles and face shields are provided.
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.