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Senior Medical Researcher

Case Western Reserve University
Westlake, OH
Closing date
Jan 29, 2023

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Science, Life Sciences
Organization Type
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Job Description

Working with a high degree of independence and under general direction, the Research Assistant 4 will coordinate major research work that focuses on determining the internal organization of virus particles. The objective of this research is the construction of HIV-1 particles labelled with minimal fluorescent tags, using genetic code expansion (GCE) technology, for high resolution fluorescence imaging. This will involve designing a series of labels in select HIV-1 proteins, optimization of protocols for the production of labeled viral particles, and characterization of the produced viruses using quantitative biochemical and virologic approaches. Overall, the studies aim to enable high resolution fluorescence imaging HIV-1 viruses in vitro as well as following infection. The imaging studies, using novel fluorescence microscopy approaches, will be performed in external collaborations. This position will provide recommendations to the principal investigator regarding significant developments in research activities and experiments.

  1. Provide input and recommendation to principal investigator regarding significant developments in research projects. Coordinate major research activities within the laboratory and with external collaborators in the US and UK external collaborators in US and UK co-funded by U54 PCHPI Center grant. (20%)
  2. May supervise graduate students and technicians involved in studies relevant to this research project. Will train new laboratory personnel in standard laboratory practices and relevant research techniques. May monitor the laboratory budget including spending on federal grants that fund laboratory's research activities. (10%)
  3. Co-author research projects. Provide high quality research data and publication quality figures for use in presentations, progress reports, manuscripts and grant applications. Co-write and co-author scientific publications resulting from and/or including results of experimental studies. (15%)
  4. Perform the most complex quantitative analytical procedures. Design and construct retro- and HIV-1-based vectors incorporating minimal tags using innovative cloning techniques. Produce minimally labelled viral particles using Genetic Code Expansion technology (GCE). Perform quality control of recombinant viruses produced using quantitative biochemical approaches, flow cytometry, and fluorescent microscopy, and infectivity assays. Experiments will be performed in both established and primary human cells under BL2 and BL2+ containment conditions. (40%)
  5. Develop procedures, coordinate information with others as needed. Devise, optimize and evaluate new protocols and techniques for non-routine research projects involving a high degree of skill and training and utilize newly developed research techniques, as appropriate. Teach or instruct others in research techniques. Evaluate adequacy of techniques and protocols designed to produce proteins tags using GCE technology. (10%)


Perform other duties as assigned. (5%)


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

University: Occasional contact with principal investigators or laboratory personnel in other research groups or core facilities to exchange expertise or information

External: Moderate contacts with external collaborators aimed to organize and co-ordinate exchanges of research materials. Infrequent contacts with sales representatives for product inquiries or to arrange services.

Students: Contact with student employees to exchange information.


May supervise research assistants and technicians.


Experience: 5 to 8 years of related experience required.

Education/Licensing: Bachelor's degree in science required.

  1. Practical knowledge and understanding of commonly used concepts, practices and procedures within the biochemistry, molecular-genetics and/or virology fields.
  2. Must possess the following basic technical skills: sterile technique; reagent and media preparation, cell culture, DNA transfection, preparation of plasmid DNA, molecular cloning, western blotting, PCR, and production of retroviral/lentiviral vectors.
  3. Must demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy, time management skills and follow-through. Adherence to NIH Rigor and Reproducibility policy is required.
  4. Ability to problem-solve effectively and assist in the development and implementation of alternative solutions as needed.
  5. Must be highly motivated, conscientious and willing to learn.
  6. Professional and effective verbal and written communication skills.
  7. Strong organization skills; ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  8. Ability to work effectively independently and collaboratively within a team.
  9. Must be compliant with applicable regulatory guidelines.
  10. Ability to operate complex laboratory equipment including, flow cytometer, high resolution fluorescent and confocal microscopes.
  11. Familiarity with standard laboratory safety policies and procedures.
  12. Proficiency in Microsoft Office.
  13. Must demonstrate willingness and ability to learn new techniques, procedures, processes and computer programs as needed.
  14. Ability to meet consistent attendance.
  15. Ability to interact with colleagues and supervisors face to face.


The employee will be working in a laboratory in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology. Experiments using retroviral vectors and viruses will be carried out under BSL2/BSL2+ conditions. There are no unusual hazards; possible exposure to the usual hazards in the form of general chemicals, infectious agents, bloodborne pathogens, paraformaldehyde, phenol, chloroform, methanol, ethidium bromide, ultraviolet light and sonication. Required personal protective equipment includes a standard lab coat, gloves and safety glasses when appropriate. The employee will need to be able to lift up to 25 lbs., bend/stoop, kneel, crouch, push, pull and reach above shoulders. The employee will use repetitive motion, including pipetting and the use of a keyboard and computer mouse while performing job duties.

Diversity Statement
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.

Reasonable Accommodations
Case Western Reserve University 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 at 216-368-3066 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

COVID Vaccination
Case Western Reserve University has implemented a COVID Vaccination policy requiring evidence of COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty and staff with an on-campus presence. Religious and medical exemptions may be provided in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. For more information go to: Applicants may contact the Office of Equity at 216-368-3066 / for information regarding religious or medical exemptions as an accommodation.
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