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Job Req ID:  16677

Research Specialist II



General Summary/Purpose:


The Clinical Pharmacology Analytical Laboratory (CPAL) focuses on the development and implementation of high-throughput liquid chromatographic-tandem mass spectrometric (LC-MS/MS) methods for the identification and quantitative analyses of small molecules. A primary objective of the CPAL is the quantification of anti-infectives in biological specimens, and the laboratory serves as a central testing location for the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN). Methodological approaches have been optimized for the isolation and detection of target molecules from a variety of biological matrices, including blood, urine, cervicovaginal fluid, seminal plasma, colorectal fluid, peripheral blood mononuclear cells and tissue homogenates. Mass spectrometric, radioisotopic and fluorescent instrumentation are available in the CPAL to facilitate the detection of anti-infective drugs and other small molecules. Clinical research specimens are analyzed based on Assay Validation Reports and Standardized Operating Procedures (AVR/SOP) that are reviewed and approved by the cross-network NIH/DAIDS external Clinical Pharmacology Quality Assurance Program.


Duties and Responsibilities:


The person in this position must:


  • Maintain an up-to-date laboratory notebook with careful and accurate recording of daily laboratory duties.
  • Be capable of exercising independent judgment while participating in the planning of experiments, execution of research protocols, as well as the evaluation and interpretation of the results.
  • Provide general laboratory support, including general upkeep of laboratory (centrifuges, pipettes, etc.) and storage (freezers, refrigerators, etc.) equipment.
  • Utilize prior experience and comply with biohazard/radiation safety standards through proper handling and storage of hazardous chemical and biological agents, and radiation sources in the laboratory.
  • Follow the practices of the lab, with regards to: maintenance of notebook, nomenclature for labeling datasets, and storage of laboratory documents in the appropriate areas (i.e. shared server folders).
  • Participate in the planning of experiments, execution of research protocols, as well as the evaluation and interpretation of results.
  • Interpret and analyze data for large sample sets for network and non-network studies.
  • Enter network study data into the Laboratory Data Management System (LDMS) and report to the appropriate groups.
  • Perform routine maintenance and calibration of multiple LC-MS/MS and other analytical instruments within the CPAL.
  • Work with senior research specialists for assay development and instrument troubleshooting.
  • Participate in process improvement initiatives and be a steward of quality within the laboratory unit.
  • Perform the quantitative analysis, principally by LC-MS/MS, of drug/metabolite content in clinical specimens according to established Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).



Essential Job Functions:


  • Experience using universal safety precautions to protect self and co-workers.
  • Able to follow and adhere to existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
  • Able to adhere to schedules and protocols.
  • Able to plan experiments and evaluate/interpret results.
  • Assist in drafting or revising SOPs.
  • Must be able to communicate with others in the lab, to seek help, make suggestions and express ideas as necessary.
  • Proficiency working with computers and various software applications, especially Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word, the World Wide Web and electronic mail.
  • Complete annual university biohazard/universal precaution/radiation safety training.
  • Monitor equipment performance, and may perform routine maintenance or repairs.
  • Adhere to biohazard/radiation safety standards for the proper handling and disposal of potentially hazardous chemical and biological agents and/or radiation sources in the workplace.
  • Able to work as part of a research team.
  • Must be able to work night time and weekend hours.
  • Must be able to take responsibility for completing tasks within specified timeframes.
  • Will be responsible for one’s own work.
  • Provide technical assistance to junior technologists, students and fellows
  • Participate as an active member of the NIH Network Clinical Pharmacology
  • Quality Assurance Program to provide quality assurance/analytical support, analyze and review subject data for the NIH network studies.
  • Perform daily assessment and troubleshooting of LC-MSIMS and other analytical instruments and equipment.
  • Assist in the maintenance of quality controls for procedures and function checks on equipment
  • Prepare solutions, buffers, etc.
  • Attend and participate in weekly staff and division meetings, protocol and research related meetings and trainings, performance improvement and quality assurance activities, and other meetings as required or assigned.
  • Complete and maintain up to date documentation of compliance requirements indicated by the Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Hospital, including but not limited to: JHM Research Compliance, HIPAA, Bloodborne Pathogens, Biohazard Precaution, and Radiation Safety.
  • Properly catalogue and transmit data using electronic software programs, including LDMS and Microsoft Excel.
  • Will have knowledge of the policies, procedures and practices necessary to conduct the work described above and an awareness of the role and importance of the position within the CPAL and its potential impact on the working unit.



Decision Making:


  • Exercise professional judgment and assume responsibility for own decisions, actions, results and consequences.




  • Reports to the Director of the CPAL.
  • Will be responsible for one’s own work.
  • Will be responsible for the maintenance and cleanliness of laboratory areas.




  • The person in this position will be expected to exchange complex and detailed information in an appropriate manner requiring strong oral and written communication skills.
  • The person in this position must be willing to seek guidance in a timely fashion when uncertain regarding duties or assignments.


Minimum Qualifications:


  • Required: A minimum of BS/BA in biochemistry, analytical chemistry, chemistry, molecular biology or comparable biological or physical science area.
  • Required: Minimum of two years of related work experience 


 Preferred Experience:


  • Greater than 2 years’ experience in a comparable laboratory with experience in general laboratory techniques, particularly protein precipitation and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric methods.
  • Demonstrated organizational and time management skills with a high degree of attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage multiple and competing priorities.
  • Proficiency working with computers and various software applications, especially Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word, the World Wide Web and electronic mail.


Physical Requirements:


  • Work produced is subject to precise measures of quantity and quality.
  • Work environment may include areas of unpleasant extremes of odor and temperature (cold or heat).
  • Biohazardous conditions such as the risk of radiation exposure, fumes or airborne particles, and/or toxic or caustic chemicals or infectious agents such as HIV may be present in this work environment and mandate attention to safety considerations.
  • Near vision to see objects clearly within 20 inches.
  • Sharp focus to adjust vision when doing close work that changes in distance from eyes.
  • Full spectrum vision to identify and distinguish color.
  • Finger dexterity required to manipulate objects with fingers rather than with whole hand(s) or arm(s), for example, using a keyboard.
  • Handling by seizing, holding, grasping, turning or otherwise working with the hand or hands, but without finger dexterity.
  • Occasionally lifting, carrying objects weighing 20 lbs. or less.




Classified Title: Research Specialist II 
Role/Level/Range: ACRP/03/MB 
Starting Salary Range: $38,536 – 52,989 (commensurate with experience)
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: M-F 8:30 am - 5pm 
Exempt Status: Exempt  
Location: 33-MD:Johns Hopkins Bayview 
Department name: 10002806-SOM DOM Clinical Pharmacology 
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.


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


During the Influenza ("the flu") season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.


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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