Research Assistant I

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas (US)
Commensurate with experience
May 15 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

A Research Assistant I position is immediately available in the Dauer laboratory, which is moving to the Peter O’Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center starting June 24.

The research assistant will take an active role in setting up and establishing the Dauer laboratory, a prominent neurobiology laboratory investigating the pathogenesis and novel treatments of the movement disorders dystonia and Parkinson disease. This is an ideal opportunity to participate in the growth and success of an exciting research group.

The successful candidate will be responsible for purchasing laboratory supplies and equipment, balancing the budget, and tracking inventory. This task includes regularly assessing the supply and equipment needs of the laboratory, researching products from different companies, performing price comparisons and negotiating bids in conjunction with the purchasing department. The successful candidate will be expected to make independent decisions on purchases and to work with the laboratory directors to determine laboratory needs. Responsibilities also include: managing the day-to-day operations of the laboratory when the P.I. is absent; educating students, fellows and technical personnel in laboratory practices and procedures; assuring compliance with proper protocols for the operation of complex instruments such as cryostat, microscopes, high speed centrifuges, and thermal cyclers.

The successful candidate will take a lead role in the management of a large and complex mouse colony containing many different genetic mutants, and be involved in the design, execution and data interpretation of a behavioral studies as well as to isolate cells and tissues from these animals for molecular studies.

Management of the mouse colony will include setting up complex genetic breeding strategies, checking for mouse plugs, harvesting of mouse embryos, and weaning mouse pups into genotyped balanced cages following genotyping. Animals will be genotyped by PCR using DNA extracted from ear punch biopsies. Based on the results of the genotyping, the technician will independently determine which littermates to set up in breeding pairs, which to use in studies and which to sacrifice. She/he will interact closely with vivarium staff as well as PhD students and postdoctoral scientists, so good interpersonal skills and a history of effectiveness of teaching are essential traits for the successful candidate.

The successful candidate will also be responsible for performing behavioral tests on the animals, including: rotarod, open field, gait analysis, tail suspension, and strength and coordination testing. The behavioral studies will also involve injecting the mice with CNS active drugs (i.p. or s.q. injections). The candidate will also be responsible for harvesting brain and other tissues from the animals, including perfusions and processing for histology, isolating DNA, RNA and protein for molecular studies, and culturing of primary cells harvested from the animals.


Masters Degree in Biology highly preferred.

2-3 years of relevant research experience is required, including experience in and knowledge of: animal handling/assessment, cell culture, histology, and molecular biology.

Proven effectiveness in teaching and working effectively in team setting also highly preferred.


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