Research Assistant - Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA Scientific / Education & Training

Job Reference #: 18001169

Our mission is to inspire and educate world class health care providers and scientists for the people of Iowa and our global community.  Researchers in the College's over 280 laboratories are served by state-of-the-art core research facilities and research support facilities. Much of the research conducted is interdisciplinary and collaborations are fostered and coordinated through major research centers, institutes and programs. Many faculty members are internationally renowned for their research. Two faculty members are Howard Hughes Institute Investigators, 12 are members of the Institute of Medicine and two are members of the National Academy of Sciences.
The university is located along the picturesque Iowa River in Iowa City, a city of some 77,000 people (170,000+ in the metro area) regularly ranked as one of the nation’s best places to live. Iowa City is less than four hours from Chicago and within five hours of Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas City, readily accessible via interstate highways and a regional airport 30 minutes away.
To assist in and perform cutting edge research in the Ted Abel lab focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of memory storage and the molecular basis of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders using molecular and genetic approaches. Areas of responsibility include maintaining mouse lines, performing behavioral and biological experiments, and basic lab duties.
Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Perform surgical procedures on mouse models
  • Oversee all IACUC protocols and IACUC walkthroughs
  • Maintain mouse lines
  • Perform mouse behavioral experiments
  • Assist in and perform molecular biology experiments including PCR
  • Assist in and perform electrophysiology experiments
  • Basic lab management duties
  • Record, organize, and present laboratory data at lab meetings.  Assist in preparing data for publications and grant proposals.
  • Develop and maintain knowledge of the field through familiarity with the scientific literature and attendance of internal and external meetings and conferences.
  • Demonstrate ability to successfully multitask by effectively allocating time and managing involvement in several research projects
  • Possess strong initiative and desire to troubleshoot/problem-solve technical and experimental challenges
  • Demonstrate excellent organizational skills and documentation in a research laboratory setting
  • Perform data management and processing with standard software

Key Areas of Responsibility
Perform research activities as directed by lab members. Read and review articles as directed. As individual skills develop, analyze literature to develop hypotheses for discussion with other researchers or principal investigator.

Conduct Experiments:  
Read and understand protocols. As individual skills develop, troubleshoot and analyze protocols; propose modifications to other researchers or principal investigator. Arrange and plan daily activities to prepare for experimental protocols. As individual skills develop perform complex techniques as outlined in research protocols and test and evaluate current procedures. Set up and operate equipment for experiments. Perform experimental procedures assuring fidelity to protocols; record and consolidate data as directed by Principal Investigator. Track progress/success of research project. As skills develop may present results at lab meetings. As skills develop, develop and monitor quality controls.

Analyze and Summarize Data; Prepare Reports; Contribute to Manuscripts, Publications:
Collect, track, and perform data entry for reports. Prepare materials for reports. As skills develop, analyze data. Prepare bibliographies and abstracts for publications.

Administrative and Project Management:
Perform a variety of routine tasks related to the maintenance of the research environment (lab). Adhere to safety and compliance guidelines.

May train, provide direction, assignments, feedback, coaching and counseling of employees to assure outcomes are achieved.

Universal Competencies: 
Collaboration and Embracing Diversity: 
Ability to work with a variety of individuals and groups in a constructive and civil manner while appreciating the unique contribution of individuals from varied cultures, race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Positive Impact/Achieving Results:
Ability to utilize existing resources and learning to achieve or exceed desired outcomes of current and future organizational goals/needs. Able to demonstrate ethical behavior in diverse situations while producing results.  

Service Excellence/Customer Focus:
Ability to meet or exceed customer service needs and expectations and provide excellent service in a direct or indirect manner. Ability to effectively transmit and interpret information through appropriate communication with internal and external customers.

Supervision received:
General supervision is received from Dr. Marie Gaine.
Supervision exercised:
Functional supervision may be exercised over student laboratory assistants.
Please attach a resume and cover letter as part of the application process. Job openings are posted for a minimum of 14 calendar days. This job may be removed from posting and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended. For questions or additional information, please contact  

Successful candidates will be subject to a criminal background check and credential check
Education Required:
  • Requires the academic knowledge of a discipline in the biological sciences plus the ability to apply and adapt this knowledge generally associated with a Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience, such that one can perform beginning level of research in a natural or health science field or discipline.

Required Qualifications:
  • At least one year of experience with molecular biology lab techniques such as PCR, gel electrophoresis, etc.
  • Experience working with mice or other rodents
  • Experience with Microsoft Excel or other data analysis software
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail

Highly Desirable Qualifications:
  • Some working knowledge of basic neuroscience and/or electrophysiology
  • One to two years’ experience in the laboratory research setting
  • Experience with breeding and genotyping genetically modified mice
  • Experience performing animal surgical techniques or other tasks requiring manually dexterity
  • Experience with IACUC record-keeping including the creation of formal reports

Job ID: 66147

Posted 24 days ago

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