Research Associate - Department of Nutrition


Working under general supervision, the Research Associate will plan and carry out research projects in the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics in the Department of Nutrition. The research associate will be involved in research projects examining cell-to-cell communication networks mediated by small cell-derived vesicles (extracellular vesicles) and strategies to repurpose vesicles and virus-like particles for delivery of protein and RNA therapeutics including genome editing. The research associate will perform PCR, recombinant DNA technology and cloning, and mammalian cell culture experiments. The research assistant will also carry out other standard lab activities including production and analysis of virus-like particles, western blots, gel electrophoresis, flow cytometry, and preparation of samples for mass spectrometry. The research associate will work closely with the principal investigator, laboratory members, and other individuals in the department and School of Medicine.



  1. Plan and carry out project involving PCR, cloning, and cell culture experiments in accordance with general plans. (45%)
  2. Analyze results from experiments using flow cytometry, gel electrophoresis, western blotting, and mass spectrometry. Will be involved in developing improved techniques, methods or procedures. (20%)
  3. Maintain accurate data recording and note-taking for experiments conducted. Analyze data and present findings at meetings with the principal investigator. (22%)
  4. Operate laboratory equipment such as centrifuges, incubators, and biosafety cabinets as needed for experiments. Assist other laboratory members with general lab maintenance and help oversee and maintain inventory of scientific reagents. (10%)



  1. Assist with publishing and presenting scientific work at local/national conferences. (1%)
  2. May train new staff and direct the work of students. (1%)
  3. Perform other duties as assigned. (1%)



Department: Daily contact with the principal investigator and other laboratory and departmental members. This contact will involve discussing and formulating experimental plans, coordinating use of laboratory resources, performing experiments, and discussing results.

University: Minimal contact with researchers in other departments to collaborate on projects or exchange information.

External: Occasional contact with external collaborators to share reagents, protocols, or data.

Students: Minimal contact with students.



As the research associate becomes established in the laboratory, they may be assigned research assistants to help them with their research. In this case, the research associate will have supervisory responsibilities along with the laboratory supervisor (Dr. Tilton).



Ph.D. degree in Microbiology, Immunology, Genetics, Biochemistry or other field in the biological sciences.



  1. Attention to detail and accuracy and time management skills.
  2. Basic understanding of common practice and procedures within the field.
  3. Oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills.
  4. Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  5. Ability to work closely with teammate(s).
  6. Motivation, responsibility, and dependability.      
  7. Accurate data recording and note-taking.                     
  8. Willingness to learn new techniques and procedures as needed.
  9. Ability to meet consistent attendance. 
  10. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors, and customers face to face.



General laboratory environment.  This position will have contact with or exposure to the following hazards: chemicals and viruses.  Laboratory and bloodborne safety training is required and will be provided.  Appropriate personal protective equipment is also required and will be provided, including gloves, lab coat and protective eyewear. 


Send cv and letter of interest to Dr. John Chip Tilton at