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Job Description

Research Assistant I
JOB SUMMARY:
Provide, under direct supervision, support for specified research projects; collect, assess, and communicate data/results. Assist in general laboratory operation and inventory.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Under supervision, run experiments, assays, and record results
  • Read and follow experimental protocols (May include animal handling, tissue culture, etc.)
  • Compile and communicate results to supervisor
  • Follow University safety protocols (may include use of combustibles, radioactivity, toxic material, and/or carcinogenics)
  • Perform calculations involving molarity, % solutions, and serial dilutions
  • Prepare and operate equipment in experimental procedures
  • May include blood gas analyzer, centrifuge, pH meter, spectrophotometer, autoclave, scintillation counter, electrophoresis unit, analytical balance, etc.
  • Maintain and repair equipment according to manufacturer and university guidelines.
  • Ensure Laboratory is prepared for experiments
  • Maintain inventories,
  • Maintain sterile conditions as required
  • Prepare reagents
  • Clean equipment.


TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES:

  • Growing and maintaining mammalian and insect cell culture, passaging cells, freezing cells, making media, and documenting inventory of cell lines in the laboratory.

  • Propogation of infectious viruses in cell culture, characterization of virus pools. Development and validation of assays to test therapeutics against viruses.

  • Performance of infection, treatment, and observation of small animal models of infection and treatment/vaccination. Routine husbandry of small animals, tissue processing, and assays to assess viral load in tissues, immune responses to infection, and protection from vaccine or other therapies

  • Preparation and QC of cell culture media, and reagents for assays.

  • Maintain equipment, cleaning lab spaces, attend laboratory and group meetings, interaction with students and laboratory staff on virology or animal-related experiments.


Basic Qualifications
Bachelor's Degree (or equivalent experience) and < 1 year experience

Physical Requirements/Strengths needed & Physical Demands:


    Movement

    • Occasional: Sitting: Remaining in seated position
    • Occasional: Standing: Remaining on one's feet without moving.
    • Occasional: Walking: Moving about on foot.
    • Occasional: Lifting under 35 lbs: Raising and lowering objects under 35 lbs from one level to another
    • Occasional: Push/Pull: Exerting force to move objects away from or toward.
    • Occasional: Bending/Stooping: Trunk bending downward and forward by bending spine at waist requiring full use of lower extremities and back muscles
    • Occasional: Crawling:Moving about on hands and knees or hands and feet.
    • Occasional: Reaching below shoulders: Extending arms in any direction below shoulders.
    • Occasional: Handling: Seizing, holding, grasping, turning or otherwise working with hand or hands.

    Sensory

    • Occasional: Vision: Clarity of near vision at 20 inches or less and far vision at 20 feet or more with depth perception, peripheral vision, color vision.
    • Occasional: Noise: May include exposure to occupational noise levels which equal or exceed an 8-hr time-weighted average of 85 decibels, requiring enrollment in VUMC's Hearing Conservation Program which includes training, use of hearing protection, and periodic audiometry.
    • Continuous: Communication: Expressing or exchanging written/verbal/electronic information.

    Environmental Conditions

    • Occasional: Chemicals and Gasses: Medications, cleaning chemicals, oxygen, other medical gases used in work area.
    • Occasional: Pathogens: Risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other contagious illnesses.
    • Occasional: Radiation: May be exposed to occupational radiation, requiring enrollment in VUMC's Radiation Safety Program which includes training, use of personal protective equipment with lead shielding, and personal dose monitoring.
    • Occasional: Climate: Ability to withstand exposure to atmospheric extremes including heat, cold, humidity, and barometric pressure changes.