Research Associate / Research Director in the Daniel Laboratory

Ithaca, New York
Salary commensurate with experience.
June 01 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Research Associate / Research Director in the Daniel Laboratory

A Research Associate (Research Director) position is available in the Daniel Research Team at Cornell University in the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

The Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory of Professor Susan Daniel is an interdisciplinary collection of engineers, biophysicists, and molecular biologists conducting highly collaborative, scientific research to understand cell membrane functions and cellular process, with a focus on host-pathogen interactions, revealing the rules of life, and advancing creative biotechnology applications in virology, microbiology, plants, and cell-free systems. Our work requires extensive use of synthetic and molecular biology, cell culture, and fluorescence microscopy, as well as biophysical, microfluidic, and bioelectronic tools. Our team fosters the opportunity for students at all levels to participate in the research enterprise. Reporting to Professor Daniel, the primary role of this position is to assist and develop the growing research and operations of the Daniel Lab. We are wholly committed to inclusive and empowering environments in all aspects of education and STEM research. Come get bio-inspired with us!

See the laboratory’s website for more information: The lab is located on the Ithaca campus of Cornell University in Olin Hall in the Engineering Quad.

Duties and Responsibilities will include:

1. Scientific research and leadership (25%):

1.1. Lab research support:

  • Perform experiments and analysis guided by research goals outlined in grants in the Daniel lab, including molecular biology, cloning, cell culture, molecular-based, bioelectronics, and biophysical assays/techniques, and fluorescence microscopy.
  • Assist in design of experiments, proof-of-concepts, and collection of preliminary data for upcoming planned submissions.
  • Assist research projects with microfluidics and bioelectronics devices; gain working knowledge of shared resources and facilities on campus and leverage those when needed.

1.2. Disseminating research:

  • Work with students and postdocs on the development of manuscripts and revisions, fellowships, and presentations.
  • Maintain lab website and periodic updates.

1.3. Mentoring trainees:

  • Assist with the scientific and career development of lab members.
  • Collaborate closely with students at both graduate and undergraduate levels, and post-doctoral associates.
  • Coordinate undergraduate research projects.

2. Grants and management (25%):

2.1. Proposal development:

  • Collect and organize new results from lab members into white papers.
  • Assist in proposal writing and editing.
  • Develop materials for center and training grants. Draft support letters.
  • Initiate grant submissions, prepare required submission materials, and coordinate with OSP for timely submission.

2.2. Post-award management:

  • Assist in annual and final grant reporting.
  • Manage budgets, spending, & projections in coordination with CBE finance department. Coordinate budget decisions and expenditures with PI.
  • Oversee assets of the lab.

3. Laboratory management and coordination (50%):

3.1. Lab operations:

  • Develop and maintain protocols and procedures that other researchers execute.
  • Onboard new students and postdocs (develops checklist for safety trainings, adds new members to internal online groups, and trains students in simple lab protocols, etc.).
  • Coordinate access to equipment for lab members (e.g., set up Google calendars and maintain access). Provide training for new lab members.
  • Support students in day-to-day trouble shooting of common techniques.
  • Coordinate purchasing and inventory management (orders chemicals and materials, serves as main contact for vendors).
  • Oversee cell culture operations (bacteria and mammalian) - ensure that equipment is functional, oversee common media and stock solutions, train lab members in common procedures and sterile techniques.
  • Coordinate and run lab meetings and events.
  • Coordinate joint lab meetings with research collaborators, including external labs.
  • Assist in laboratory outreach events.

3.2. Safety:

  • Interact with the University's Environmental Health & Safety.
  • Maintain existing safety protocols, records of student training, and SOPs with safety assessments.
  • Develop risk assessments for new procedures ensure lab personnel compliance with procedures.
  • Oversee the continuous operation of laboratory equipment in emergency scenarios, including freezers and cell culture.
  • Liaise with department technical and safety teams.

3.3. Lab asset management:

  • Oversees the continuous operation of laboratory capital equipment, maintenance, and coordinating lab member equipment maintenance tasks.
  • Liaise with department building coordinator and administrators as needed for Daniel lab needs.
  • Work with current lab members to ensure lab materials are centrally organized and available to all new and current members, including plasmids, cell lines, and other biological material inventories.
  • Maintain internal database of chemicals and materials.
  • Organize, manage, and maintain Daniel lab box files and other electronic databases, records, and resources. Ensure that inventories of research outcomes are up-to-date (data organization, fridge/freezer organization and inventory).
  • Coordinate shipping of published materials when needed. Obtain MTA and export licenses when required.  

This position will be supervised by Professor Susan Daniel. The minimum educational qualities is a PhD. degree in a related field, such as biology, bioengineering, chemistry, chemical engineering. At least 3 years work experience in a lab setting preferred. Preferred experience in fluorescence microscopy and image processing, molecular biology, and cell culture. Experience in virology, biophysics, bioelectronics is desired, but a willingness to learn is necessary. Previous experience in laboratory management must be demonstrated and is required for this position.

Our team offers a fun, collaborative, and ambitious work environment where teamwork and inclusion is highly valued. This is a new position within the Daniel Research Team that offers an opportunity to expand our research impact more widely and promote translational activities. The Daniel team currently has 14 lab members and is growing.

To Apply: Applications must be submitted on-line at Through this website, applicants are required to submit a cover letter, curriculum vita, research statement, diversity/inclusion statement and three reference letters. For further information, contact Susan Daniel (

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Salary conforms with the Cornell University standard.

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