Research Laboratory Specialist Associate

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We are seeking a highly motivated, organized, detail-oriented individual to work with a team of interdisciplinary investigators on projects related to obesity-associated cancers. This position will be working with a faculty member moving their existing lab to the University of Michigan; thus, initial work will also involve setup of a new lab. Long term, this position will include work with cell culture and animal models of obesity and cancer, surgical manipulations in rodent models, as well as euthanasia and tissue collection from rodents. You must be compassionate and willing to work with research animals.  You should also be proficient in Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Power Point), and experience with other software for data analysis is a plus. You must have excellent written and oral communication skills and be able to work well with other individuals in a group research setting.  You must be punctual and able to meet assigned deadlines.  Other responsibilities will include basic laboratory experiments (immunostaining, qPCR, western blotting, cell culture, etc.) and general laboratory oversight and maintenance.


The position has the following responsibilities:


  • Molecular biology experiments on study tissues and/or cultured cells (immunostaining, qPCR, flow cytometry, Western Blotting, etc)
  • Perform cell culture studies using aseptic technique
  • Participate in regular (weekly or daily) tasks related to studies on rodents (measuring body weight, food intake, body composition, tumor size using digital calipers, administering drugs)
  • Perform rodent ovariectomy, euthanasia procedures, and tissue collection according to established protocols
  • Maintain a detailed and updated lab notebook


  • Analyze experimental data
  • Plan new experiments
  • Attend and participate in regular lab meetings
  • Presentation of research results at group meetings
  • Perform literature searches and develop/optimize protocols for molecular biology techniques


  • Maintain a clean and orderly laboratory, scheduling equipment repairs as necessary
  • Supply ordering and basic book-keeping
  • Train new users on equipment/techniques as appropriate based on expertise
  • Participate in preparation of figures and text for grants and manuscripts

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in the life sciences (cell/molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry, kinesiology, or similar biomedical field)
  • At least 1 year of relevant experience
  • Demonstrated experience in cell and molecular biology procedures for protein and nucleic acids (pipetting, calculations for making solutions, basic molecular biology techniques including:  qPCR/RNA-seq, immune-based procedures such as immunostaining, ELISAs, Western blotting, and flow cytometry)
  • Ability to develop new techniques and methods through literature searches and work effectively to assure rapid research progress.
  • Excellent written and oral communication, including fluent in English
  • Proficient with both scientific and general computer software (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and experience working in a highly collaborative working environment, including the ability to work both independently and with members of a team
  • A verifiable ability to function effectively in a continually changing environment, and to troubleshoot problems and implement corrective actions.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Master's degree is preferred.
  • Ideally, we are looking for a candidate with 1-3+ years of experience in molecular techniques, including working with rodent models  
  • Relevant experience in data analysis is not required but would be an asset
  • Experience with laboratory management and regulatory compliance (safety protocols, animal protocols, etc) would be beneficial
  • Experience with sample preparation and bioinformatics analysis for RNA sequencing
  • Experience with microscopy
  • Ability to conduct statistical analyses using SPSS, R, or related programs.

Additional Information

The general salary range for this position is $37,000 - $49,000 annually; an offer may be extended outside this range based on equity, experience, knowledge and skills for this role. Benefits are included with this position. 

We are committed to fostering inclusive, accessible environments for staff and trainees to develop and use their unique skills. We welcome all applicants from any background or identity group. We value ingenuity, respect for others, attention to detail, and commitment to lifelong learning above existing technical skills. We are happy to provide accommodations for any potential barriers you may identify or encounter in the application process.

Why Work At Michigan

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future. Benefits include:

  • Generous time off
  • A retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting
  • Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses
  • Maternity and parental leave
  • University commitment to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third-party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations, including one booster when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working remotely and temporary workers.   More information on this new policy is available on the U-M Health Response website or the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint websites.