You are viewing a preview of this job. Log in or register to view more details about this job.

Research Specialist - Ahrens Lab, Molecular Biology

Janelia Research Campus is a pioneering research center in Ashburn, Virginia, where scientists pursue fundamental questions in neuroscience and imaging. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) launched Janelia in 2006, establishing an intellectually distinctive environment for scientists to do creative, collaborative, hands-on work.   Our integrated teams of biologists, computational scientists, and tool-builders pursue a small number of scientific questions with potential for transformative impact.  We share our methods, results, and tools with the scientific community.  It is a uniquely innovative and collaborative atmosphere that reflects HHMI’s reputation for excellence.

The laboratory of Dr. Misha Ahrens has an exciting opportunity to join the team as a Research Specialist. The Ahrens lab uses the genetically accessible zebrafish to study the role of neuronal and glial cells in behavior as well as in brain and body interactions.  The successful candidate will work with Dr Ahrens and lab members to design and construct transgenic fish lines to enable these studies.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Expertise in molecular biology, Tol2 transgenesis, CRISPR/Cas9 editing and genotyping to generate transgenic fish lines.
  • Expertise in various DNA sequencing software such as Snapgene / DNAstar.
  • Knowledgeable in and able to manage the whole process of transgenesis from designing vectors, cloning, microinjection and screening founder fish.
  • Able to work with the vivarium staff to maintain the labs fish lines.
  • Conduct literature reviews to be used in determining most suitable driver and reporter lines to map and manipulate different cell populations in the fish brain.
  • Identify methodological problems in research protocol and assist the vivarium in implementing modifications to optimize research work flows.
  • Prepare and present written or oral progress reports concerning studies, including assembly, organizational and interpretation of data.
  • High organized, detail oriented and able to work with minimal supervision on multiple projects at the same time.
  • May configure, operate, and/or maintain specialized equipment.
  • May develop, or lead the development of, training tools.
  • May plan for and provide working supervision to a group of laboratory employees of lower grade engaged in the performance of technical and professional work and a variety of complex to routine to complex tasks.

  • The candidate will essentially be working independently, with minimal supervision. They will work closely with Dr Ahrens and essentially be responsible for the generation, maintenance and propagation of the various transgenic zebrafish lines used by the lab. Therefore, their work will have immediate, long term impact on the results of entire lab. 
  • They will establish intermediate range goals and schedule work to meet those goals. 

  • Master of Science degree in Biology, Molecular Biology or Genetics; or an equivalent combination of education and related work experience.

  • Two years of related research experience as a Research Technician III or equivalent (Four years of related work experience).

Skills and Abilities
  • Ability to make sound decisions based on knowledge and experience.
  • Ability to prepare research reports for presentation to a large audience. Ability to draft research manuscripts. 
  • In-depth knowledge of Molecular Biology and Genetics and of the underlying principles and concepts. 
  • Able to critically review information. Readily understands new concepts.
  • Ability to develop innovative processes to achieve goals. Reviews work activities to determine where new information could improve processes or move projects forward.

Physical Requirements
Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet). Work may involve possible exposure to malodorous vapors, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of carcinogenic substances or other hazardous materials.
Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:
This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however.  Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation and Benefits
Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our Benefits at HHMI site to learn more. 

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer