Research Associate - Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and HIV Medicine

Date: November 2020

Title: Research Associate

Department: Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and HIV Medicine

School: Medicine

Location: BRB 10th floor

Supervisor Name and Title: Stephen Carpenter, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine

 

POSITION OBJECTIVE

Working with a high degree of independence and under general direction, the research associate will perform and coordinate medical research on immunity to tuberculosis and related technical areas. The position in the Carpenter Lab will involve research and coordination of projects in lung and immune cell biology related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB). The Research Associate will perfrom experiments and analysis on human cells/tissues and mouse cells/tissues with an immunology or microbiology focus. Bacterial cultures will be used to infect mice or mouse/human immune cells under appropriate biosafety containment (BSL-2 or BSL-3). The candidate will also act as lab manager, ensuring lab maintenance and operation and coordinating technical activities of research assistants, students and fellows together with Dr. Carpenter. The position provides an opportunity to make exciting discoveries and impact the fields of infectious disease and immunology, which includes performing experiments in a BSL-3 lab, working with human cells and mouse tissues, and managing lab operations. The candidate will work with animals and human blood.

 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  1. Perform the most complex quantitative analytical procedures. The candidate will perform independent research on human and murine immune cells using cell isolation and cell stimulation, infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and related bacteria, and molecular analysis to gather data on how immune cells function in response to infection. (25%).
  2. Conduct analysis of samples. Analyze samples from experiments using flow cytometry, ELISA, PCR/qPCR, western blots, gel electrophoresis, sequencing and other techniques, and record results in an organized manner. (15%).
  3. Coordinate major activities of laboratory/ research. The candidate will assist with and coordinate experiments performed by other lab members, ensuring adequate resources, assisting with experimental design and analysis. (7.5%)
  4. Teach / instruct others in research techniques. The candidate will assist and teach both established and new research techniques to other lab members to facilitate their experiments. The candidate will also coordinate trainings for lab members with the Biosafety Office, Animal Medicine, EHS and others, as needed. (7.5%).
  5. Author research projects. The candidate will assemble data and make publication-quality figures from analyzed data. With the highest level of integrity and responsible conduct of research, the candidate will participate in writing manuscripts as a first author and co-author for discoveries from research performed in the lab, together with Dr. Carpenter and other lab members. (7.5%).
  6. Assist in developing procedures, and coordinate information with others as needed. The candidate will explore new research techniques and develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the lab.  The candidate will organize SOPs in folders and make them accessible to the lab. (7.5%)
  7. May supervise research assistants and technicians. The candidate will 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. (6%)
  8. Provide input and recommendation to principal investigator regarding significant developments in research projects. The candidate will ensure Dr. Carpenter is informed about the results of lab members, and ensure Dr. Carpenter’s experimental strategy is explored by lab members and through independent experiments by the candidate. (6%)
  9. Ensure lab is in compliance with IACUC and IRB protocols. Update IACUC and IRB protocols as needed. (6%)

 

NONESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  1. Performing procedures (e.g. injections) and administer treatments to animals as needed for experiments, in accordance with standard operating procedures, and assisting other lab members such procedures for their experiments. (5%).
  2. Supervise and participate in maintaince of mouse colonies and cell lines. Work with animal medicine and other lab members to ensure mice in the colony are organized, maintained, and documented including breeding and genotyping as needed (4%).
  3. Maintain Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) documents, records of trainings, performing occasional updates, and ensure lab is in compliance. (2.5%)
  4. Perform other duties as assigned (<1%).

 

CONTACTS

Department: Daily contact with supervisor to discuss research and maintain workflow.

University: Regular contact with other departments to share information.

External: Occasional contact with vendors to exchange information.

Students: Frequent contact with student employees to exchange information.

 

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY

May supervise research assistants, technicians and participate in the supervision of research technique for graduate students and fellows.

 

REQUIREMENTS

Experience: At least 5-8 years of related experience after graduate / post-doctoral training is required.

Education/Licensing: A terminal degree (Ph.D. and/or M.D.) is required.

 

REQUIRED SKILLS 

  1. Has knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures within the fields of cell and molecular biology, immunology or microbiology.
  2. Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.
  3. Ability to operate laboratory equipment.
  4. Ability to meet consistent attendance.
  5. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors and customers face to face.
  6. A positive attitude about science and medicine, and a desire to make an impact for patients.
  7. Ability to work effectively, independently and collaboratively within a team. Must be highly motivated, responsible, dependable and a self-starter.
  8. Ability to be flexible if duties on certain days require attendance outside normal business hours.
  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. Must have the ability and willingness to learn new techniques and procedures as needed, follow established protocols and request clarification if necessary.
  11. Ability to maintain meticulous, complete, and easily retrievable laboratory data.
  12. Basic cell culture skills and sterile technique are required
  13. Molecular biology (gel electrophoresis, PCR, quantitative PCR, RNA sequencing) and protein expression skills (flow cytometry or western blotting) are required. Additional immunology lab skills (fluorescent antibody staining, microscopy, ELISAs) are a plus.
  14. Proficiency in Microsoft Office and GraphPad Prism is required. Experience using Flowjo and Adobe Illustrator is a plus.
  15. Ability to work for 2-3 hours at a time wearing an N-95 mask, hooded gown, gloves and protective eye-ware, which are required for work in the BSL-3 lab.
  16. Must be willing to perform research work with mice with appropriate supervision and training
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Must be able and willing to learn new techniques, procedures, processes, and computer gear to protect the health of the animals.
  20. Previous experience working with animals is required.
  21. Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality is required.

 

WORKING CONDITIONS

General laboratory environment: The Carpenter Lab is in the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine on the Medical Sciences Campus of Case Western Reserve University, the leading and largest biomedical research institution in Ohio. The lab is an open floor plan with abundant bench space for experiments, animal handing, and cell culture. The employee may have exposure to hazards. The lab is equipped with biosafety cabinets for tissue and cell culture work and work with infectious pathogens, as well as a shared fume hood for storage and use of hazardous and non-hazardous material. RNA/DNA isolation and PCR are performed in the lab. Flow cytometry is performed using shared equipment on the floor, or in a separate building where the flow core is located. Core facilities will assist with sequencing and complex analyses, such as bioinformatics. The position will require working at the bench and manipulating cells in a biosafety cabinet (hood). The position will require working with mice and other animal models and working with human blood and tissue samples. Although every safety measure will be taken, there is the potential for exposure to bloodborne pathogens, chemicals and possibly radiation. The employee will need to wear protective eye-ware, a lab coat and gloves while working in the laboratory. Some work will be performed in the BSL-3 lab space, where Mycobacterium tuberculosis is used for experiments in a biosafety cabinet. Appropriate training and protective equipment (gowns, gloves, mask, etc) will be provided to prevent exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other infectious agents in the BSL-3 lab, such as SARS-CoV-2. Infections, sample and tissue processing from infected animals will occur in the BSL-3 lab space until all samples are disinfected, after which they can be removed from the BSL-3 to continue processing and analysis in the general lab space (under BSL-2 conditions).

 

Lab Culture: The employee should expect frequent interactions with other lab members in an exciting and friendly research environment, and the employee must be willing to collaborate and work together with others. When needed, working outside standard working days or hours is required by the needs of a given experiment. Everyone attends weekly lab meetings where ongoing research is discussed.

 

Major physical demands include transferring animal cages or supplies between the lab and the animal holding facility, maintaining the animal colonies, as well as changes of mouse cages, as needed. Transferring supplies between the lab and the BSL-3 or to core facilities is also required.

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.

 

Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a brief statement of research interests, and provide at least 3 references to Stephen.carpenter@case.edu .

 

Case Western Reserve University is an Equal Opportunity Employer encouraging excellence through diversity.  Qualified woman and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.