Research Associate - Department of Biology

Research Associate Position

Department of Biology

The Skeletal Research Center, Department of Biology – Case Western Reserve University (Arnold Caplan, PhD, Director) has an open position for a Research Associate, in the field of Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) biology. The research associate will be expected to work in two different areas: control of skeletal cancer metastasis and evaluation of engineered cartilage.

Skeletal Metastasis: The applicant will be involved in an NIH-funded project aimed at understanding the role of MSCs, acting as perivascular cells, during the invasion of circulating cancer cells (melanoma and breast cancer) into the bone marrow. In vitro and in vivo techniques will be employed to unravel the sequence of events during cancer cell extravasation, and the role of MSCs/pericytes as gatekeepers controlling the process.

Evaluation of Engineered Cartilage: The applicant will be involved in an NIH-funded project aimed at developing non-destructive evaluation technologies and protocols for engineered cartilage in vitro. This will include the molecular cloning of biomarker imaging probes that are based on DNA promoter activity and/or on miRNA activity, and adapting and using imaging techniques to quantify the activity of these biomarker probes in living tissue. In addition, the applicant will be involved in a project aim to research the biological critical issues related with the use of hMSCs in the design of articular cartilage constructs by Tissue Engineering and iPS reprograming technology, as part of a novel therapeutic approach to treat articular cartilage diseases/ injuries.

Primary Duties: The applicant will contribute to the design, performance and data analysis obtained within these projects, interacting with scientists from various disciplines such as Biomedical Engineering and Bioimaging, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and with clinicians from the areas of Orthopaedics and Rheumatology. The applicant should have good scientific writing skills.

Qualifications: A PhD (in Molecular Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Cell Biology/Physiology, Regenerative Medicine or related fields)


  • Experience in the areas of Cancer Biology, Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology
  • Laboratory experience in the areas of Cell and Tissue Culture and Molecular Biology (including DNA/RNA/Protein techniques, cloning, sequencing, microscopy and other imaging techniques and histology processing).
  • Experience with small animal surgery techniques.
  • Experience with computer-based data acquisition and analysis, e.g., for qPCR, flow cytometry.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills and a high level of proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • Ability to communicate scientifically with individuals from other disciplines, mainly from Engineering and Clinical Medicine.
  • Ability to initiate independent research projects supported by own ideas.

For further information, or to apply, please email Dr. Rodrigo Somoza ( or write to: Skeletal Research Center, Case Western Reserve University, 2080 Adelbert Road, Millis Building 114A, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7080, USA. To apply, please send a cover letter, current CV, and arrange to have three confidential letters of recommendation sent.