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Job Req ID:  9745

Research Specialist II

General summary/purpose:

The Research Specialist II will be a member of the investigative team in a busy academic laboratory studying cancer immunology and developing new cancer immunotherapies. The applicant will be responsible for performing experiments, with minimal guidance, using basic and emerging molecular biology techniques. In addition, he/she will assist with general laboratory tasks, including processing of human blood/tissue specimens, cell culture, and general maintenance of laboratory equipment and supplies. 


Specific duties & responsibilities:

  • Perform various molecular biology techniques, including isolation and quantification of nucleic acids, reverse transcription, and PCR amplification without supervision.
  • Perform more advanced molecular biology techniques, with appropriate training as needed, including quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), RNA sequencing (RNAseq), and TCR sequencing (TCRseq).
  • Prepare reports of findings by compiling/annotating results, preparing figures/tables, and packaging data for analysis by statisticians or other data analysts, when required.
  • Critical thinking and attention to detail is essential. Must work without cross-contaminating samples.
  • Maintain in vitro cell cultures.
  • Follow established lab procedures and protocols and utilize aseptic technique to perform experiments.
  • Process, store and log human clinical trial bio-specimens in notebooks and digital format, with meticulous care and accuracy.
  • Maintain accurate, detailed data records in laboratory notebooks and electronically on file servers, ensuring their appropriate file backup, description, accuracy, and completion.
  • Must be able to communicate well and work with teams, including being available on a rotating schedule to cover lab emergencies.
  • Must attend lab meetings and seminars.
  • Assist with research projects, published journal database searches, manuscript preparation and troubleshooting, as needed.
  • Participate in general laboratory tasks, including maintenance of lab equipment, monitoring inventory levels, and ordering materials and supplies in accordance with established policies and procedures.


Minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or related field required.
  • 2 years laboratory experience performing relevant techniques.
  • Master's degree, with related graduate research, may substitute for experience to the extent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula.


Preferred qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in science preferred.
  • Experience with in vitro cell culture a plus.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint software.


Special knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Must be knowledgeable and skilled in molecular biology, including isolation and quantification of nucleic acids, reverse transcription, and PCR amplification. Must be knowledgeable about quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), RNA sequencing (RNAseq), and TCR sequencing (TCRseq), or capable of performing these techniques with appropriate training.
  • Knowledge of Windows computers and Microsoft Office applications.


Any specific physical requirements for the job:

  • May be required to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds, usually less (example: liquid nitrogen freezer racks or supply boxes).
  • Occasionally required to traverse throughout the laboratory or to other locations on campus to conduct experiments and/or retrieve equipment, supplies, or specimens. The employee is required to operate computer keyboard, laboratory instruments, and small laboratory tools such as pipettes, cutting instruments, glassware, and/or glass slides. Constantly repositions self to perform duties at laboratory workstations, gathering specimens, and loading equipment.
  • Exposure to toxins and infectious agents exist, but potential for personal injury or harm is minimized if established safety and health precautions are followed. Able to read and understand all Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) guidelines applicable to assigned work areas. Working in laboratory where there may be discomforts due to odors, noise, temperature fluctuations, and working around lab equipment. Research may include animal and human products, nucleic acids, radiation protocols and other bio-hazardous materials. Use of personal protective equipment may be advised or required.


Classified title: Research Specialist II

Role/Level/Range: ACRP/3/MB

Starting Salary Range: $38,000 - $52,000; commensurate with experience

Employee group: Full time

Employee subgroup: Exempt

Schedule: 9 AM – 5 PM, M-F, with availability to cover off-hour laboratory emergencies on a rotating schedule

Location:  East Baltimore

Department Name: Surgery

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 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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