Research Associate - Pathology

Date: March 2021

Title: Research Associate, Search 220

Department: Pathology

School: Medicine

Location: Wolstein Research Building

Supervisor Name and Title: Dr. Chen Zhao, Associate Professor



The responsibilities of the Research Associate (RA) include: planning and executing the project of how non-canonical NF-kB signaling regulates the self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells and leukemia stem cells, specifically, to define the differential role of non-canonical NF-kB signaling in NIK-induced bone marrow failure and MLL-AF9-induced acute myeloid leukemia. The RA is expected to independently perform in vitro and in vivo mouse experiments, work with different animal models, cell lines, and de-identified banked human specimens, perform data analysis, present research data in different conferences, prepare manuscripts and contribute preliminary data, background and significance and experimental design for grant proposals. The RA will be working with animals.



  1. Work collaboratively with the principal investigator to conduct research, such as retroviral or lentiviral gene transduction (shRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 system), gene expression (RNA-sequencing) and functional analyses. The RA will be working with the PI to lead the research and coordinate major activities of research staff. The RA will assist in designing and conducting the experiments independently and collaboratively to dissect the roles of non-canonical NF-kB signaling in normal hematopoiesis and acute myeloid leukemia. The RA and the PI will meet regularly to discuss the project status. Throughout this project, the RA is expected to become progressively more independent and competent, in order to lead a research project. (45%)
  2. Perform rodent experiments and husbandry including bone marrow transplantation, chimeras analysis, genotyping and maintain an accurate animal database. (30%)
  3. Rigorously document experimental results and present results in laboratory meetings, departmental seminars and scientific conferences. (10%)
  4. Prepare manuscripts and contribute preliminary data for grant proposals. (5%)
  5. Work closely with other lab members to ensure projects are being completed according to the research plan and in organizing laboratory space and supplies. (5%).
  6. Work with PI to submit and manage compliance with policies, procedures and regulations of the Animal Resource Center, IACUC, lab safety policy, and other applicable regulatory guidelines for which essential training will be provided. (5%)



Perform other duties as assigned.



Department: Daily contact with supervisor and other lab members.

University: Occasional contact with other departments to share information.

External: Occasional contact with vendors to exchange information.

Students: Moderate contact (up to 5 hrs/wk) with student employees.



Train and oversee rotation students and other research staff in the lab.



Experience: 3 to 5 years of related experience in immunology, molecular biology and/or cancer stem cell biology required.

Education/Licensing: PhD or MD degree in science, immunology, molecular biology, or related field



  1. Knowledge and understanding of commonly-used procedures within the field of molecular biology, cell biology, and other related technologies. 
  2. Previous experience working with animal and human tissues.
  3. 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.
  4. Good organization skills, ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.  Must demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy, time management skills, and follow-through.
  5. Must demonstrate willingness to learn new techniques, procedures, processes, and computer programs as needed.
  6. Must be able and willing to maintain a high standard of personal cleanliness and utilize protective gear to protect the health of the animals.
  7. 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.
  8. Excellent knowledge and experience working with mouse husbandry.
  9. Ability to meet consistent attendance. 
  10. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors, and customers face to face.



General laboratory environment. Mostly, will work at bench performing experiments that requires long time standing and sitting. Will perform some experiments in the animal room and standing at the laminar flow hood. Will work with mouse tissues including blood samples. Will work with archived formalin-fixed human tissues and established human fibroblasts and organoids. Will work with general lab chemicals.

Must be willing to adjust working hours according to the nature of ongoing experiments and occasionally work extended hours to finish the experiments. Working on weekends and holidays are needed depending on the ongoing experiments and need to accelerate data generation and data collections.


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 may send inquiries containing a Curriculum Vitae (CV) with a list of publications and contact information with references to the Principal Investigator, Chen Zhao at



Case Western Reserve University strives to maintain a diverse and inclusive work environment and is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. All applicants are protected under Federal law from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, and genetics. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.



Case Western Reserve provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Equity by phone at 216.368.3066 or by email at Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.