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Job Req ID:  62676

Research Specialist II

The Melia Laboratory is dedicated to the study of metal homeostasis in inflammatory bowel disease. We are focused on a mutation in a zinc and manganese transporter, ZIP8, that is associated with an increased risk of Crohn's disease. Our aim is to understand what the clinical implications of this mutation are and if targeted therapeutic approaches could be employed using ZIP8 genotype to help the right patients receive the right treatment strategy. To study this mutation, we have generated a novel knock in mouse model and use complementary in vitro models, including primary human and mouse cell culture lines and traditional cell culture models like HEK293s. In both humans and mice, we have demonstrated that this disease associated mutation results in a relative manganese insufficiency. There is much to uncover about manganese homeostasis in the gut, how it impacts inflammatory bowel disease, and how deficits in manganese requiring enzymes (such as those required for glycosylation) impact pathobiology. For these reasons, our lab really spans the gamut from study of metal biology, intestinal homeostasis to redox homeostasis and N-glycosylation. This work is important because at least 10% of patients with Crohn's disease carry this mutation, and the mutation ranks in the top 10 of mutations associated with human disease, including schizophrenia and obesity. We hypothesize that there are important commonalities across these diseases to be uncovered, and we are committed to asking the necessary scientific questions needed to follow our findings as we continue to study ZIP8. 


We are seeking a Research Specialist II  who will work in the Division of Gastroenterology and will interface with members of this and other labs in the Division. The Research Specialist II will be under the general supervision of a faculty investigator. A qualified applicant should be capable of exercising independent judgment while participating in the planning of experiments and evaluating results. When needed, they will also provide training to other individuals who may be assigned to the laboratory on a regular or temporary basis. An ideal candidate will be motivated to learn new skills as the project requires.


Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Participates in planning studies and evaluating/interpreting test results utilizing detailed knowledge of research laboratory procedures and practices. Independently works on projects and collaborate with other team members. Interact with undergraduate students and medical trainees also involved in the project. Specific lab experiments and experience will involve:
  • Mouse care, husbandry, and experimental protocols (including colitis models)
  • Cell culture and maintenance (organoid experience is preferred).
  • RNA extraction and qPCR
  • Protein isolation
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry
  • Use of imaging equipment including confocal microscope
  • Flow cytometry cell analysis and sorting
  • Patient sample processing including DNA extraction
  • Atomic absorption spectroscopy
  • Digital image analysis – annotating and computational analysis using a high-end software platform
  • Independent troubleshooting of technical and experimental issues
  • Selects, develops, performs and evaluates research methods; operates appropriate equipment.
  • Uses various software applications, such as spreadsheets, relational databases, electronic mail, World Wide Web, statistical packages, and graphics packages to assemble, manipulate and/or format data and/or test reports.
  • Is an integrated member of the research team. May be involved in establishing laboratory protocols. Will be asked to prepare reports, figures on the analysis.
  • Exercises professional and scientific judgment and assumes responsibility for decisions, consequences, and results. Engages in regular and continuous decision making having an impact on the success of the laboratory.
  • Keeps a thorough and organized laboratory notebook and electronic files to document experiments.
  • Maintains an orderly laboratory workspace.
  • Ensures laboratory efficiency by following set protocols for lab cleanliness, organization, and safety regulations.


Minimum Qualifications (Mandatory):

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Chemistry, or related field plus two (2) years laboratory experience performing relevant techniques.
  • Master’s degree, with related graduate research may substitute for experience.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Related Master's degree.


Physical Requirements:

  • Sitting in normal seated position for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to use a keyboard and move about.
  • Ability to see and hear within normal parameters.


JHU Equivalency Formula:  30 undergraduate degree credits (semester hours) or 18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year of experience.  Additional related experience may substitute for the required education on the same basis. For jobs where equivalency is permitted, up to two years of non-related college course work may be applied towards the total minimum education/experience required for the respective job. 


Classified Title: Research Specialist II
Role/Level/Range: ACRP/03/MB 
Starting Salary Range: $39,310 - $54,060 annually (commensurate with experience)
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: Mon-Fri 
Exempt Status: Exempt  
Location: ​​​​​​​School of Medicine Campus

Department name: ​​​​​​​SOM DOM Gastroenterology 
Personnel area: School of Medicine


The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.


If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at jhurecruitment@jhu.edu. For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.


Johns Hopkins has mandated COVID-19 and influenza vaccines, as applicable. Exceptions to the COVID and flu vaccine requirements may be provided to individuals for religious beliefs or medical reasons or because the individual is pregnant or attempting to become pregnant. Requests for an exception must be submitted to the JHU vaccination registry. For additional information, applicants for SOM positions should visit https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine/ and all other JHU applicants should visit https://covidinfo.jhu.edu/health-safety/covid-vaccination-information/.


The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work.  Your recruiter will advise accordingly.


The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.


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