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Research Animal Specialist, Non-Human Primate and Large Animal Facility

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Research Animal Specialists at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Comparative Medicine (CCM) provide basic husbandry, health surveillance, and compliance monitoring to laboratory animals. Responsibilities also include performing equipment sanitation, maintaining husbandry records, and supporting the facility teams in daily work as needed. For this role candidates interested in working with Non-Human Primates, Swine, and other USDA covered species are preferred.
All Research Animal Specialists are required to work in a team environment following Lean Management principles and participate in continuous improvement projects. This position involves daily exposure to laboratory animals, their waste products, and possibly chemical agents, radioactive isotopes and ABSL2 hazards. Rotating weekend and holiday work hours are required. CCM offers a wide variety of career and skill building opportunities, as well as an extensive benefits package offered to MGH employees.

The Following Duties are performed daily with minimal supervision:
  • Provides Animal Husbandry Tasks.
  • Serve as a member of a research animal care team, which is responsible for daily animal husbandry and welfare checks in the facility.
  • Perform daily work involving the handling of genetically engineered animal models, animals with immuno-compromised health status, and animals recovering from surgery or other invasive procedures, etc.
  • Assemble caging supplies with proper handling to ensure sterility level of equipment, feed and water.
  • Perform daily animal pen/caging sanitization or changing. Following aseptic technique, ensuring animals are not contaminated when outside primary enclosure.
  • Provide compliance monitoring of cage conditions. (Overcrowded cage management, spot changing of dirty cages, etc.).
  • Track progress of neonates, notification of team members & PI staff, and weaning of cages per SOPs.
  • Ensure animals are provided with food and water daily.
  • Record critical facility data/documentation on a daily basis required by local, state and federal regulatory agencies.
  • Perform routine euthanasia on laboratory animals according to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Panel on Euthanasia
  • Provides Animal Health Monitoring
  • Evaluate animal’s health each day and report abnormal clinical signs to the team lead and veterinary staff per SOP.
  • Provide follow-up notification and treatment of common health concerns prescribed by the veterinary staff per SOP. 
  • Reports progress of therapies to the team, veterinary staff, and PI staff via health card notifications and email.
  • Performs Facility Cage Wash Operations.
  • Operate and maintain automated cage wash equipment and sterilizers in order to sanitize primary animal holding cages, support equipment, and general access areas.
  • Assemble caging.
  • Prepare acidified water bottles using an automated bottle filler.
  • Receive, transport, process, store facility supplies, animal feed, bedding, and enrichment
  • Provides Facility Maintenance and Sanitization.
  • Maintain animal rooms so that secondary enclosure is free of infectious agents and other contaminates by following the sanitation monitoring program standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Report facility and environmental issues that fall outside animal welfare regulatory requirements (as defined in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals).
  • Performs Facility Support Functions.
  • Use current technology including PDAs and bar code application to record daily cage census.
  • Comply with CCM and MGH policies and SOPs.
  • Provide facility support functions as assigned. (bioware trouble shooter, van driver, etc.)
  • Works within a Team Environment following Lean Management Principals.
  • Utilize lean management tools in conjunction with the Team Lead and other teammates, such as value stream mapping and 5S, in order to problem solve and continuously improve operations.
  • Attend team meetings and training sessions on all aspects of laboratory animal care and uses of animals in biomedical research as scheduled.
The Following Duties may be performed daily under supervision from the Team Lead or Manager:
  • Perform husbandry and health monitoring of animals in ABSL2 areas.
  • Assist the Team Lead or designee with housing incoming animals.
  • Provide research support services.
  • Collect sentinel samples processing and evaluation.
  • Perform husbandry and health monitoring of USDA covered species, updating Individual Animal Records when required.
  • Ordering and receiving facility supplies, monitoring material replenishment systems.
  • Assist in the creation, validation and maintenance of visual controls within the facility.
  • Comply with CCM and MGH policies and standard operating procedures.
  • Provide treatment and follow-up of non-standard health concerns as prescribed by the veterinary staff.
  • Works holiday and weekends as assigned.
  • Other duties as assigned.

  • High school diploma or equivalency degree required
  • Experience in care of animals preferred
  • Proficient in verbal and written English and Mathematics pertinent to the duties of this position and situations encountered in the animal facility.
  • Ability to lift and move 50 lbs on a regular basis
  • Long periods of standing
  • Has a customer-focused attitude and enjoys working with similarly dedicated persons in a team fashion within a high-energy research environment.
  • Ability to learn and use bar code/PDA technology and basic computer skills including email and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Valid drivers license (for specified facilities).
  • The animal facility has a variety of environmental conditions. Specifically, employees may be exposed to noise, dust, chemicals, extreme heat, and animal waste products. The duration of exposure to any of the above is dependent on the assigned duties. Some aspects of this position may expose the incumbent to potentially fatal zoonotic diseases. Appropriate protective clothing and equipment may be required and will be provided, accompanied by appropriate training.
  • Travel between facilities may be required. Driving MGH vans to transport animals and equipment may be required.
  • This position may also expose the employee to animals treated with chemical hazards, radioactive dyes and other induced conditions as part of approved protocols.
  • Employees are expected to conduct all work in a safe manner that includes maintaining knowledge of animal handling techniques consistent with the condition of the animal, protocol, regulations and department policy, including radioactive treatments and bodily fluids.