Research Associate - Department of Pharmacology

Date: December 12, 2019

Title: Research Associate

Department: Pharmacology

School: Medicine

Location: Wood, 343

Supervisor Name and Title: Beata Jastrzebska, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Qualified applicants may submit resume to 



The objectives of the research projects in this laboratory are to understand the biochemical basis underlying the mechanisms of specific retinal degenerative diseases such retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease and age-related macular (AMD) degeneration. Currently, the laboratory is funded by NIH on the project that focuses on discovering novel non-hydrolysable analogues of retinal chromophore in a context of potential therapeutic strategy for vision related degenerative diseases.

The Research Associate is expected to lead the project independently and be involved in the designing, and conducting experiments, and preparing manuscripts. Additionally, the Research Associate will be responsible for general laboratory management, maintaining laboratory organization, and training staff. This position will work with animals.




  1. Good understanding of the principles of pharmacology is critical. The individual will be involved in the drug development project.


  1. The individual with computational skills working is necessary for in silico docking based drug design. Knowledge of the Autodock/VINA on VEGAzz software is required.


  1. Experiences in working with animals is necessary. Responsibilities include day-to-day assessment/maintenance of the colony and breeding lines for continuity and genotyping the created animals.


  1. Perform the bright light-induced retinal damage experiments in mice and applied various drug therapies to protect eyes against light insult. Assess the effectiveness of protection of the applied therapeutic compounds on retinal morphology by using imaging techniques such as: spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO) and two-photon microscopy (TPM) and on retinal function by using electroretinography (ERG).


  1. Perform general molecular biology, cell culture and biochemistry techniques, including transformation, DNA/RNA isolation, cloning, mutagenesis of proteins, transfection, PCR, RT-PCR, maintenance of cell lines, bioassays, protein purification according to developed methods, SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting, cryo-sections and immuno-histochemistry.


  1. Lead the project independently with minimal supervision. This includes the ability to search relevant literature, make scientific decisions on how to apply and modify relevant protocols. The applicant should be able to interpret the data from individual experiments, discuss them and come up with the interpretation of the larger sets of experiments. Ability to troubleshoot and modify experimental protocols as needed without supervisory input is expected.


  1. Maintain ordering and other laboratory records. Make inventory lists of reagents produced in the lab.


  1. It is expected that the Research Associate will participate in the laboratory meetings and journal clubs. It is also expected to attend weekly departmental and Vision Research Community seminars.  Participation in the annual departmental retreat is required.


  1. Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage time effectively are expected.




  1. Assist in issues related to the research as needed, including the performance of additional assays, maintain the lab records and help in training others in the lab protocols.
  2. Perform other duties as assigned.



Within the Department

  Daily contact with others in the lab, eventually other members of the Department.

Within the University

  Daily to weekly, ordering/information retrieval, etc.

External to University

  Daily to weekly, ordering information and follow-up, technical representatives, etc.


 Daily, students rotating or doing full-time research within laboratory and the Department.



The Research Associate will assist with training students and visitors in the lab.



Experience: 1 to 3 years in laboratory setting.

Education/Licensing: PhD in the field of Biology or Chemistry or other related field is required. 



Essential Skills: The individual must be able to work independently; cooperatively to perform all of the essential functions described above in an efficient and reliable manner.

Technical Skills: Familiarity with biochemical experimental approaches as well as computer programs (Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point) is required.

Knowledge and understanding of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within the field of - general molecular biology, cell culture, biochemistry, pharmacology and work with small animals. 

Ability to perform - transformation, DNA/RNA isolation, cloning, mutagenesis of proteins, transfection, maintenance of cell lines, bioassays, protein purification according to developed methods, cryo-sections and immuno-histochemistry.

  1. Must demonstrate compliance with CWRU 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.
  2. Must demonstrate compassion for animals within CWRU facilities and dedication to the Animal Resource Center’s mission.  Must handle animals with care and respect at all times.
  3. Previous experience working with animals required.
  4. Knowledge and understanding of/Working knowledge of/Demonstrated ability to interpret data from individual experiments, and contribute to discussions of the interpretation of larger sets of experiments.  Ability to troubleshoot and modify experimental protocols as needed, if necessary without supervisory input.
  5. Excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills; must demonstrate the ability to effectively and professionally communicate and work with various individuals from a broad spectrum of disciplines, technical and educational backgrounds within the department, School and University, and with individuals outside the University.
  6. 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.  
  7. Effective management skills; ability to lead, train, work with new team members and lab visitors.
  8. Ability to work effectively independently and collaboratively within a team. Must be highly motivated, responsible, dependable and a self-starter.
  9. Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.  
  10. Effective problem-solving skills; must demonstrate excellent analytical skills, sound judgment and good decision-making. 
  11. Must demonstrate flexibility and ability to work under pressure; must be able and willing to (work in a fast-paced, changing environment, and conform to shifting priorities, demands and timeline. 
  12. Willingness and ability to rely on and follow instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.
  13. Ability to operate laboratory equipment such as centrifuge, ultracentrifuge, cryostat.
  14. Proficiency in Microsoft Office (ex: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher) and database management.
  15. Must demonstrate willingness to learn new techniques, procedures, processes, and computer programs as needed.
  16. Must be able and willing to maintain a high standard of personal cleanliness and utilize protective gear to protect the health of the animals.



Employee is directly exposed to the following hazards in the work environment:

Chemicals, commercial products (oil, cleaning solvents), UV light, repetitive motion


Employee will have the following tasks:

Lifting up 15 lbs, driving

Employee will need the following protective equipment:

Appropriate gloves, laboratory coat, and protective eye ware

Travel requirements:

Employee will be required to drive while on the job

Employee will transport universal waste (biological samples, tissue, animals, contaminated equipment)


Case'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.



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.