Research Assistant 3 (job#8848)

Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio
Commensurate with experience
June 21 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Research Assistant 3 (job#8848)

A Research Assistant 3 position is available in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Working with an internationally recognized virologist who has made seminal contributions to the study of transcriptional control in HIV. Current research interest concerns control mechanisms that regulate HIV transcription and latency in CD4 memory T-cells and microglial cells. Understanding these mechanisms is central to current efforts to induce latent viruses as part of an HIV eradication strategy. The laboratory has established new model systems for studying HIV latency and identified novel pathways leading to proviral reactivation and silencing – key insights that support current efforts at HIV eradication and cure. Additional projects concern improvement of NK cell homing and killing by genetic engineering from IPSC-derived NK cells. We seek outstanding candidates to support the laboratory.

Working under limited supervision, the Research Assistant 3 will coordinate research work and assist researchers in projects aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of HIV latency including the effect of estrogen on HIV infection and latency in microglial cells, including work with iPSC-derived microglial cells and microglial cells derived from humanized mice. This position will involve work with genetically engineered NK and microglial cells using CRISPR technology. This position will also support reservoir measurements using advanced molecular techniques and require work with human tissue and blood samples.


  1. Carry out complex research assignments of a non-routine nature. Prepare cells for use in the HIV latency models, including iPSC cells, maintain and grow lentiviral vectors, and viral stocks and assist in experiments involving these materials. Research assignments include cell culture work, including coordination and pick up of blood draws; isolation of primary T-cells, viral transfections and infections; DNA isolation and manipulation (i.e., cloning, gel electrophoresis); flow cytometry. (40%)
  2. Devise new protocols and innovative techniques for research projects involving a high degree of skill and training. Improve the development of HIV latency models in primary T-cells and microglial cells.  (12%)
  3. Evaluate adequacy of techniques, study and test new procedures and analyzes data including the systematic evaluation of different protocols to optimize cell viability, yield and infectivity rates.  Maintain meticulous records of experiments.  (11%)
  4. Coordinate laboratory/research activities with members of the group requiring tissue culture and virology support. May supervise students and technicians. Responsible for technical training of new staff, graduate students, and undergraduates regarding laboratory policies as well as basic molecular virology techniques.  (11%)
  5. Work closely with the principal investigator. There is a regular weekly one-on-one meeting and ad hoc interactions as needed, in addition to participation in the group laboratory meeting once a week. (11%)


  1. Present and analyze data during weekly lab group meetings. May co-author research projects. (3%)
  2. May supervise students and technicians.  As the key person providing tissue culture support for multiple projects, training for new students, postdocs and other laboratory members will be expected when they are unfamiliar with the laboratory methods.  (3%)
  3. Ensure that the laboratory complies with environmental health and safety requirements. (3%)
  4. Perform general lab maintenance and tasks, including handling purchase orders.  May monitor the laboratory budget.  (2%)
  5. Attend departmental seminars and research retreats. (2%)
  6. Perform other duties as assigned. (2%)


Department: Continuous contact with supervisor, laboratory staff, and faculty of the department to meet research objectives.

University:  Occasional contact outside the department as needed to meet research objectives.

External: Occasional contact outside the University will be limited to contacting businesses in regard to instrument repair and service.

Students:  Frequent interactions with students within the lab and department to meet research objectives.


May supervise students and technicians.


Experience: 3 to 5 years of laboratory experience.

Education/Licensing: Bachelor of Science degree required in biology, chemistry, or a related field.


  1. Must possess knowledge and technical skills in:  Sterile technique; reagent and media preparation; mammalian cell culture. Experience with virology and/or viral vectors preferred.
  2. Excellent communication and organizational skills, with the ability to multi-task.
  3. Ability to operate laboratory equipment including advanced instruments such as flow cytometers, liquid handling robots, PCR machines.
  4. Strong organization skills and good habit of maintaining a clean lab working environment; demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy, time management skills, and proven ability to successfully follow-through on assigned projects.
  5. Must be able to and willing to learn new techniques, procedures, processes and computer software/hardware to perform experiments.
  6. Ability to work effectively independently and collaboratively within a team (must be highly movitated, responsible, dependable and a self-starter).
  7. Professional and effective verbal and written communication skills and good interpersonal skills with the ability to work and communicate with various individuals within and external to the laboratory, Department and University.
  8. Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.
  9. Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.
  10. Ability to operate laboratory equipment.
  11. Ability to meet consistent attendance.
  12. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors and customers face to face.
  13. Proficiency in routine computer use such as ability to use Microsoft Office and database programs.


The employee will be working in a laboratory in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, in a safe and pleasant general laboratory work environment, with potential exposure to certain chemical and radioactive hazards.  The employee will need to be able to lift up to 25 lbs, bend/stoop, crouch, push, pull and reach above shoulders. The employee will perform DOT shipping/receiving of lab items, including hazardous biological and infectious materials. Personal protective equipment (lab coat, gloves, goggles) provided to limit exposure to hazards.


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.


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.


We invite interested, qualified applicants to browse our website at for job ID 8848.

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