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Research Assistant (Job 9367)

Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio

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Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details


Working with a high degree of independence and under general direction, the Research Assistant 4 will perform research tasks related to experimental quantitative cancer evolution and multiplexed genome-engineering in mice. The research assistant will coordinate, design, implement, test and validate data collection and analysis methods in molecular biology and genetics. This position will work with animals.



  1. Coordinate major activities of lab. Oversee, develop procedures, optimize experiments on quantitative animal modeling of lung cancer and multiplexed genome engineering. (25%)
  2. Provide input and recommendations to principal investigator regarding significant developments in research projects. Key complex tasks include the design and coordination of plasmid pools, coordination of mouse breeding, and generating DNA libraries from experiments with large sample sizes. (20%)
  3. Perform the most complex quantitative analytical procedures. Specific tasks include the design of new plasmid pools, production and administration of recombinant viruses to live mice, animal dissections, immunohistochemistry, and general molecular biology work (plasmid cloning (including sgRNA design), PCR, DNA extractions, etc..). (20%)
  4. Assist in developing procedures. Review the efficiency of in vivo genetic engineering techniques and complex quantitative precision of experiments. Coordinate information with others as needed. (10%)
  5. Perform experimental quantitative cancer evolution and multiplexed genome-engineering in mice. Produce recombinant viral vector pool and sustain the appropriate levels of colony size to ensure budgetary availability to all users. This includes but is not limited to providing care for animals, inspecting animals regularly, maintaining ID/records of all animals, and keeping datasheets up-to-date and circulated appropriately. Monitor critical lab infrastructure, including freezers and the equitable allocation of space.  Review lab inventory and monitor procurement, as needed. May also help solicit services from gene synthesis, animal and sequencing vendors. (15%)
  6. Train or instruct others in research techniques and standard laboratory policies as well as basic molecular genetics research techniques. May supervise research assistants, technicians and students. (5%)
  7. Co-author research projects and provide data to the principal investigator for sponsor progress reports, manuscripts, grant and pilot applications. Participate in manuscript and grant writing, review data and figure quality.  (5%)



Perform other duties as assigned. Duties include initial lab set-up tasks. (<1%)



Department: Daily contact with supervisor and laboratory personnel to discuss research projects.

University: Occasional contact with other departments and clients throughout the university, and with cross-institutional collaborations to discuss research.

External: Limited or no contact with vendors to exchange information.

Students: Frequent contact with students, fellows, and medical students to exchange information.



May supervise research assistants, technicians and students.



Experience: 5 to 8 years of related experience required.

Education/Licensing: Bachelor’s degree in Science required.



  1. Has knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field.
  2. Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.
  3. Ability to operate laboratory equipment.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Must be able and willing to learn new techniques, procedures, processes, and computer gear to protect the health of the animals.
  7. Previous experience working with animals preferred.
  8. Strong molecular biology skills (PCR, DNA library prep, cloning, Retroviral constructs).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Ability to work effectively independently and collaboratively within a team (must be highly motivated, responsible, dependable and a self-starter).
  12. Ability to maintain meticulous, complete, and easily retrievable laboratory data.
  13. Ability to willingly learn new techniques and procedures as needed, follow established protocols or laboratory procedures and request clarification if necessary.
  14. The lab is also pioneering in situ barcode sequencing techniques and any experience with Illumina sequencing platforms (HiSeq, MiSeq) is a plus. 
  15. Ability to meet consistent attendance.
  16. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors and customers face to face.



General laboratory environment: The lab is an open floor plan with abundant bench space. Ample desk space with computers is provided. The lab is equipped with one shared fume hood for storage of hazardous and non-hazardous materials. Handling of recombinant vectors requires BSL-2 training. A common equipment room located adjacent to the lab are equipped with animal euthanization station. The shared cell culture room nearby is equipped with incubators, culture hood, and microscope. Access to a multi-color Flow Cytometer and a Seahorse Analyzer belonging in a neighboring lab. The employee should expect frequent interactions with lab members and must be willing to collaborate.

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


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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