Research Lab Specialist Assoc

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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.


The Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan is seeking applications for a Research Laboratory Specialist Associate under the guidance of Professor Zhongming Liu. This position offers an exciting opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary and collaborative team on using multimodal technologies to study brain-body interactions in both animal and human subjects.

The primary goals of our research are to map and characterize the functional neural circuits that underlie dynamic and bi-directional communications between the brain and visceral organs, such as the gut, heart, and lung, and to further investigate how brain-body interactions influence cognition and emotion. To achieve these goals, we employ a wide range of experimental and computational techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neurophysiology, neural tracing, chemogenetics, immunohistochemistry, gastric electrical stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and behavioral training and assessment, as well as advanced methods in signal processing, image processing, machine learning, and biophysical modeling. 

Facilities, Resource, Environment

Our research team benefits from excellent facilities and resources to support cutting-edge investigations. We have direct access to three MRI systems dedicated to research purposes, including two 3-Tesla MRI systems for human studies and one 7-Tesla MRI system specifically for small animal research.

Within our lab, we have established capabilities for human electroencephalography (EEG) and physiological recordings, including electrogastrogram (EGG), electrocardiogram (ECG), respiration, skin conductance, eye tracking, and pupillometry. For small-animal studies, we have dedicated wet-lab spaces equipped for brain and abdominal surgical procedures, high-density neurophysiology, behavioral assessments, histology, contrast agents, and device fabrication.

To support our computational needs, we have in-house high-performance computing platforms. Additionally, we have access to institutionally supported community clusters, providing us with extensive computational resources for data processing and analysis.

As a Research Lab Specialist Associate, you will be immersed in a vibrant and collaborative research environment. Our team consists of established MRI scientists, neuroscientists, physiologists, engineers, and gastroenterologists, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge exchange. This research-active environment offers valuable opportunities for engaging in collaborative projects and benefiting from a diverse range of expertise. 

Who We Are

Michigan Engineers are world-class educators, researchers, students and staff who strive to build a people-first future. As part of the nations number one public research institution, Michigan Engineering's mission is to provide scientific and technological leadership to the people of the world, develop intellectually curious and socially conscious minds, create collaborative solutions to societal problems, and promote an inclusive and innovative community of service for the common good.

Our vision, mission and values are supported by a people-first engineering framework that guides our work. As Michigan Engineers, we strive to apply excellent engineering fundamentals, integrated expertise and equity-centered values to reimagine what engineering can be, close critical gaps, and elevate all people. Information about our vision, mission and values can be found at:

The University of Michigan has a storied legacy of commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Michigan Engineering models that commitment in our research, culture and collaborations. We seek to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of that commitment. Learn more about DEI at Michigan Engineering:

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


As a Research Laboratory Specialist, your responsibilities will involve conducting animal and human experiments and assisting data analysis and reporting, including but not limited to the following:

Assist team of researchers with collection, processing, and analysis of rat specimens for laboratory research. 
Assist laboratory staff in completion of rat experiments including surgeries, neurophysiological recordings, imaging, drug administration, blood collection, weights, surgical assistance, dissection and organ harvesting, tissue fixation, cryosectioning and immunohistochemistry, centrifugation and ELISA. 
Management and organization of laboratory samples and data.
Assist laboratory staff with daily lab tasks such as animal monitoring, sample labeling, and organization.
Follow SOPs to make buffers, weigh chemicals accurately and safely, follow good safety practices and dispose of hazardous materials appropriately (with the help of lab manager).  
Travel around campus to accomplish tasks either by personal vehicle or research shuttle.  


Required Qualifications*

Bachelors degree or B.Eng in engineering, neuroscience, or physiology. 
Written communication abilities and interpersonal skills. 

Desired Qualifications*

Prior experience in animal studies is desirable, but not required.
Prior experience in signal processing and analysis is desirable, but not required.

Work Schedule

The Michigan Engineering Office of Biomedical Engineering operates in a hybrid work environment consisting of both in-person and remote work. This position will be classified as a ON-SITE position within the Michigan Engineering STARR classification matrix which means working on campus 4-5 days per week and working remotely the rest of the week. You can find more information here:

Additional Information

**Note:  This is a one year term-limited position with the possibility of extension based on need and funding.

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 are 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.