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Technical Research Assistant I/II



The Respiratory Functional Genetics Laboratory focuses on biological functional evaluation of genetic variants associated with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  The TRAII will be an active participant in experimental research and will have the opportunity to present his/her lab work. He/she will work independently, and perform non-routine, highly specialized molecular biology experiments. The TRAII will also participate in the modification and development of new research protocols.

1) Independently perform molecular biology and cell biology procedures including but not limited to DNA and cDNA cloning, RNA isolation, cell transformation and transfection, mammalian and bacterial cell culture, reporter assay, florescence microscopy, and validation by rtPCR and western blot.

2) Responsible for the coordination of individual projects, including quality assurance and scheduling to meet deadlines.

3) Responsible for the tracking and ordering of laboratory supplies, capital purchases, and budgeting of allotted funds.

3) Works independently and in teams to perform experiments and analyze results.

4) Prepare reagents, solutions and buffers for use in procedures.

5) Establish new and modify existing research techniques.

6) Responsible for animal colony maintenance including, but not limited to, animal husbandry, genotyping, and primary cell extraction.

7) All other duties as assigned.




  • BS or BA required; MS degree preferred in Biological Science.
  • Minimum 1 year of relevant lab work experience.
  • Experience with molecular cloning, PCR, mini and maxi preparation plasmid, cell culture, transfection, western blot and immunofluorescence.
  • Experience with nuclear protein extraction, reporter assay and RNAi delivery is plus.
  • Experience with mouse models would be desirable.



1) Ability to attend to details and to be precise.  Sound analytical and organizational skills.

2) Excellent written and verbal communication skills; must be able to thoroughly document experiments, protocols, and data.  Must be able to logically structure tasks and set priorities.

3) Knowledge of cell biology and/or molecular biology typically obtained through a bachelor degree program in biology, molecular genetics, biochemistry, or laboratory science.  Broad knowledge of scientific principles and laboratory techniques.  Ability to identify potential problems, communicate, and troubleshoot them effectively.

4) Be able to operate and maintain delicate electronic equipment and safely use and dispose of toxic chemicals and biohazardous materials.




Variety of laboratory/office settings.  Exposure to toxic chemicals and biohazardous materials.  Work may require odd hours to complete experiments.






The Channing Division of Network Medicine (CDNM) focuses on network medicine and systems biology approaches to complex diseases. The Functional Genomics Laboratory, within the CDNM, aims to determine the function of genes identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) mainly in respiratory diseases including COPD and asthma. The Research Scientist functions very independently and under the general supervision and guidance of the PI, Dr. Zhou. The Research Scientist will be an active participant in the experimental research, mainly in the functional characterization of asthma- and COPD- associated genetic loci and their related gene networks. The Research Scientist will be responsible for applying and optimizing high-throughput functional genomics experiments within the Functional Genomics laboratory to identify functional variants in asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other disorders of the respiratory system.


The Research Scientist is expected to perform non-routine, highly specialized molecular genomics experiments (including but not limited to CRISPR-based screening, 3C (chromatin conformation capture assay), 4C (circular chromatin conformation capture assay), massive parallel reporter assay (MPRA), molecular cloning, and luciferase reporter assays. The research scientist will have the opportunity to present lab work, participate in the modification of research protocols, and contribute to the scientific literature. Specific responsibilities will include design and execution of high-throughput genetic and genomic experiments, as well as assessment and implementation of new methods and platforms. Hiring and supervising laboratory technicians may be required and assisting the Functional Genetics Laboratory Director in the training of technicians in these methods.



  • Establish and optimize protocols for chromatin structure assessment of GWAS loci.
  • Design optimal experiments for validation of networks such as using CRISPR KO targeting key genes.
  • Update existing protocols, archive obsolete protocols, and write new protocols when necessary.
  • Coordinate assigned projects, including quality assurance, preparing data reports, prioritizing time in order to meet deadlines, and maintain detailed and accurate laboratory notebooks and other records.
  • Maintains active knowledge of new research techniques in functional genomics.
  • Present experimental results at weekly seminars. Develops rapport and excellent communication with team members.
  • May be required to supervise laboratory technicians, including hiring, performance evaluation, disciplinary action, orientation and training. Train new lab technicians with basic molecular and cellular biology techniques.
  • Place orders for lab general supplies and reagents when needed.
  • Responsible for the tracking and ordering of laboratory supplies, capital purchases, and budgeting of allotted funds.
  • All other duties as assigned.



  • D. with at least three years of post-doctoral experience or MS degree with at least five years of experience in scientific field of research
  • Experience in molecular genomics techniques such as 3C, 4C, MPRA, CRISPR, gene silencing, and molecular cloning are highly desirable.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret experiment data is required.


  • Strong research design and analytical skills.
  • In-depth knowledge of field of research.
  • Excellent time management/organizational skills
  • Ability to independently troubleshoot.
  • Strong written and verbal presentation skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and teamwork.


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