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Sr. Research Specialist

The Pathology Department is seeking a Senior Research Specialist with a sophisticated understanding of techniques and a solid foundation in the underlying science, gained from experience. Under minimal or no supervision, performs research laboratory experiments by developing new or following established procedures and protocols. Participates in the design of experiments and analyzes data. Works independently and manages daily research projects. Will present at departmental/divisional meetings, and provides training to other individuals who may be assigned to the laboratory on a regular or temporary basis. This role will assist the principle investigator in the development and coordination of specific research projects, experimentation, data collection and analysis, and organization of the laboratory.
Specific Duties & Responsibilities:
Primary Research
  • Performs experiments related to primary neuronal cultures, neuronal differentiation of human stem cells, genetic manipulation of the above, phenotypic characterization of the above with the indicated molecular and biochemical methodologies.
  • Performs western blot, PCR, cloning experiments, and related biochemical and molecular essays.
  • Participates in preparation of tissues and immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization probing of gene expression in tissues.
  • May assist in surgical procedures and pharmacological treatments of small laboratory animals.
  • Working with the PI, develops new methods or imports new methods from other entities inside and outside Hopkins, including academia and corporation, as deemed appropriate for research programs in the Koliatsos Lab.
  • Performs the quality control evaluation and data analyses using computational tools.
  • Creates and implements laboratory standard operating procedures (SOP) of all aspects of sample handling and analysis.
  • Records outcomes/results of all experiments by writing.
  • Communicates results in lab and institutional meetings and scientific conferences.
  • Assists the PI in grant preparation as needed.
Laboratory Management & Research Coordination
  • Assists the principal investigator to assign responsibilities and coordinate different projects and she manages the laboratory operations. She is the person to go to in the absence of the PI.
  • Maintains database and organizes specimens and reagent resources.
  • Monitors biohazard/radiation safety standards and proper handling of potentially hazardous chemical and biological agents and/or radiation sources in the workplace.
  • Does electronic billing entry for work done in lab.
  • Is responsible for routine operational activities such as: ordering supplies and materials, reviewing inventory, maintaining up to date records of experiments/projects, etc. 
  • Monitors inventory levels and proper storage of materials and supplies in accordance with established policies and procedures.
  • Performs maintenance of equipment. 
  • Performs miscellaneous related duties as assigned.
Educational/Communicational Functions
  • Exchanges information in an appropriate manner requiring good oral and written communication. 
  • Trains students, staff members, and postdoctoral fellows in sample preparation and instrument operation with established SOPs.
  • Has regular interactions with students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty members, and vendors. Oversees day to day activity of Post Docs and students in the lab.
  • Leads collaborative lab activities, representing the Koliatsos Lab and Johns Hopkins in a professional manner.  
Minimum Qualifications (Mandatory):
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Science.
  • 4 years experience in a comparable laboratory performing relevant techniques.
  • Experience in cell/stem cell culture techniques and molecular methods.
  • Master's Degree, with related graduate research, may substitute for experience to the extent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula.*
JHU Equivalency Formula: 18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year of experience.For jobs where equivalency is permitted, up to two years of non-related college course work may be applied towards the total minimum education/experience required for the respective job. 
** Applicants who do not meet the posted requirements but are completing their final academic semester/quarter will be considered eligible for employment and may be asked to provide additional information confirming their academic completion date. 
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Neuroscience lab experience.
  • Stem/pluripotent cell differentiation into neurons.
Special Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
  • Expert in cell culture and molecular methods. 
  • Advanced knowledge of good laboratory practices.
  • Great organizational skills.
  • Excellent record keeping and documentation skills.
  • Able to work independently, under minimal supervision with strong decision making skills and good judgment.
Equipment, Machine, or Tool Requirements:
  • Computer and Laboratory equipment maintaining and operating including: cell culture systems, microtomes/vibratomes, centrifuges, electrophoresis devices, HPLC, mass spectrometers, spectrophotometers, freezers, etc.
Physical Requirements:
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee may remain in a stationary position (sitting or standing) up to 70% of the time.  
  • Occasionally required to traverse throughout the laboratory or to retrieve equipment, supplies, or specimens from other locations on campus. 
  • The employee is required to operate computer keyboard, laboratory instruments, and small laboratory tools such as pipettes, cutting instruments, glass tubes, dishes, and/or slides.
  • Constantly repositions self to perform duties at laboratory work stations, gathering specimens, and loading equipment. 
  • Prolonged vision requirements including viewing computer screen, paper reports/documents, charts and results. Visual acuity is required to distinguish fine gradation of color or structure and closely examine specimens (including via a microscope). 
  • May transport equipment and supplies usually less than 40 pounds from one area to another (in the laboratory or on campus (specify)). May be required to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds with proper training, or precautions/lifting aides (example: supply boxes or Formalin cubes). In some areas work space is limited.
Laboratory Environment:
  • Exposure to toxins and infectious agents exist, but potential for personal injury or harm is minimized if established safety and health precautions are followed. 
  • Must refer to and are expected to comply with procedure manuals, follow proper laboratory protocols and safety policy/procedures, and be familiar with material data safety sheets in assigned work areas. 
  • Able to read and understand all Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) guidelines applicable to assigned work area. 
  • Working in laboratory where there may be discomforts due to odors, noise, temperature fluctuations, and working around lab equipment. 
  • Research areas may include animal, human, human products, DNA, radiation protocols, and other bio-hazardous materials. Use of personal protective equipment may be advised or required.
Additional Information:
  • Staff may be required to complete annual competency review, and must insure compliance with Johns Hopkins Policy, Laboratory Policy & Procedure, Health, Safety & Environment regulations, and all applicable privacy & confidentiality laws/practices. Rotating on-call, weekend, or pager duties are required. 
  • Many department laboratories operate 24/7 with schedules on day, evening, or night shift. 
  • Rotating schedules which may include weekend work and holiday assignment. (Overtime possible when authorized/needed to meet business and patient needs). 
  • In the event of unexpected university closings including inclement weather or declared emergency, the employee in this position is required to report to work and/or remain at work.
Supervisory Responsibility:
  • 2 Junior Research Assistants.
  • 1-2 Undergraduate Students.

Classified Title: Sr. Research Specialist
Role/Level/Range: ACRP/04/MC 
Starting Salary Range: $45,650 - $62,850 annually (commensurate with experience)
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: M-F 8:30am-5:00pm 
Exempt Status: Exempt 
Location: ​​​​​​​School of Medicine Campus 
Department name: ​​​​​​​SOM Pat Neuropathology 
Personnel area: School of Medicine