Research Associate (Laboratory Research) - Pediatrics

Date: October 2021

Title: Research Associate (Laboratory Research)

Department: Pediatrics

School: Medicine

Location: Main site would be Wearn Building (4th floor) with regular work in the animal facilities, occasionally collaborative work in the Wood Building (1st floor), and Wickenden Building.  Occasionally work in Core facilities in various buildings throughout the university to use special equipment (e.g., confocal microscope, Western blot scanners).

Supervisor Name and Title: Stephanie M. Ford, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Dr.

Collaborators: Michael W. Jenkins, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Andrew Rollins, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Michiko Watanabe, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics.



The Ford laboratory and collaborative team (Drs. Jenkins, Rollins, Watanabe) focus on investigating the mechanisms of prenatal alcohol exposure induced congenital heart defects and prevention using supplements.  The approach is to use animal models (primarily avian/quail and mouse models) and a broad range of state of the art imaging modalities to capture structure and function of tiny beating heart.  Added to our repertoire is the analysis of epigenomic consequences of prenatal ethanol exposure that will be overlaid on the structural and functional information. The Research Associate will execute research projects with the aim of completing the specific aims of currently funded NIH research grants and publishing papers to report the findings. Under the guidance of the PIs, the Research Associate is expected to work independently, design and plan projects, oversee collaborations, supervise students, manage animal models, and carry out research activities of an assigned project through completion. The Research Associate will be trained to and utilize optical coherence tomography (OCT), standard biochemistry techniques (Western blot, qRT-PCR, immunostaining, light and fluorescence microscopy), confocal microscopy, light sheet microscopy, and other techniques as needed. The Research Associate will keep Dr. Ford (PI) informed of progress of research projects and provide recommendations on experimental design. The Research Associate will also record, analyze, present data and findings at in-house laboratory meetings and will have the opportunity to attend and present at extramural scientific meetings, seminars, etc., prepare manuscripts, and contribute preliminary data for grant proposals.  The Research Associate will also be responsible for day to day laboratory management, ordering, keeping track of receiving supplies, and equipment maintenance.


Please submit applications to Dr. Michiko Watanabe’s email at



  1. Plan and execute experiments for research projects designed by the principal investigator and may design experiments independently and in collaboration with the PI. Assist with and coordinate experiments performed by other lab members, ensuring adequate resources, assisting with experimental design and analysis. Oversee progress of the research projects and provide regular progress reports to the PI; and provide input and recommendation to principal investigator regarding significant developments in research projects. Ensure the PI is informed about the results of lab members and ensure the PI’s experimental strategy is explored by lab members and through independent experiments by the Research Associate. Conduct experiments to supply scientific information as part of a larger project; studies involve but are not limited to immunohistology, Western blotting, ELISA, DNA and RNA isolation, PCR, and various imaging modalities. Maintain accurate records of data and provide findings and recommendations to the PI based on analysis. (70%)
  2. Assist the PI in and independently develop new techniques and protocols. Train lab members on new techniques. (10%)   
  3. Mentor and train lab staff and graduate students; oversee research work and ensure pro jects are being completed according to the research plan. This will involve teaching other members of the lab techniques and scientific discovery methods, including students and post-docs. Assist and teach both established and new research techniques to other lab members to facilitate their experiments. Coordinate trainings for lab members with the EHS and others, as needed. (10%)
  4. Present data and findings at laboratory meetings and scientific meetings, seminars, etc. Prepare manuscripts, and contribute preliminary data for grant proposals. (2.5%)   
  5. Operate laboratory equipment such as the incubator, fluorescence microscopes, Western blot, Northern, Southern, RT-PCR apparati, be primarily responsible for general lab maintenance and oversee and maintain inventory of scientific reagents. (2.5%)
  6. Independently author research projects. Assemble data and make publication-quality figures from analyzed data. With the highest level of integrity and responsible conduct of research, participate in writing manuscripts as a first author and co-author for discoveries from research performed in the lab, together with the PI and other lab members. (2%)
  7. Assess, update, and develop new standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the lab. (2%)
  8. May supervise research assistants and technicians. Supervise the research and technical work performed by other lab members, ensuring proper lab procedures are followed, and their safety, and ensuring adequate resources are provided for lab work. (1%)



  1. Write sections of grants (NIH, AHA).
  2. Perform other duties as assigned.



Department: Frequent contact with Dr. Ford and lab members, weekly meetings with the collaborative team for research updates, will work with other faculty for collaboration of research projects, contact with administrative staff as needed.

University: Regular/Occasional contact with other laboratories for collaboration, Regular/Occasional contact with the Animal Resource Center during training, Contact with other departments as needed       

External: Supply vendors, other institutions, funding agencies, etc. as needed

Students: Undergraduate and graduate student employees working in the lab



No direct supervisory responsibilities. Will train and provide oversight to lab staff and students.



Experience: Minimum of 1 to 5 years of related laboratory experience required. Experience in immunohistology preferred.  Scientific writing experience required.

Education/Licensing: PhD.



  1. Immunohistology skills: ability to use and troubleshoot immunostaining of various tissues.
  2. Microscopy skills: ability to use and troubleshoot light and fluorescent microscopes.
  3. Excellent analytical skills; ability to formulate findings and recommendations from the analysis.
  4. Excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills; must demonstrate the ability to effectively and professionally communicate and work with various individuals within and external to the University.
  5. Strong organization skills; ability to multi-task, prioritize, and meet deadlines.  Must demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy, time management skills, and follow-through. Must be able to work under pressure and conform to shifting priorities, demands, and timeline.    
  6. Effective leadership skills; ability to lead, train, work with, and elicit cooperation from team members and staff. 
  7. Ability to work effectively independently and collaboratively within a team.  Must be highly motivated, responsible, dependable, and a self-starter.
  8. Effective problem-solving skills; must demonstrate innovation and creativity, sound judgment, and good decision-making. 
  9. Good computer skills, including database management. Ability to learn new programs as needed.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Must be able and willing to maintain a high standard of personal cleanliness and utilize protective gear to protect the health the animals.



The Research Associate will be working indoors, will be exposed to standard laboratory chemicals including potential carcinogens and neurotoxins. The Research Associate may occasionally travel to conferences. The mouse work will occasionally require bouts of early, evening and weekend responsibilities to administer regents and check animal conditions.

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.