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Job Req ID:  94002

Research Specialist

The Center of Immunization Research (CIR), Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, has been evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of live attenuated flavivirus vaccines for more than a decade. The laboratory is interested in using specimens collected during clinical trials of these vaccines to better understand the immunological response to flavivirus infection. The CIR has a Research Specialist  position for a self-motivated professional focused on research characterizing the immune response to flavivirus infection and supporting the development of associated vaccines.


Specific Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Perform and analyze assays accurately according to the Standard Operating Procedures, to include, but not limited to: plaque reduction micro neutralization, neutralizing antibody, virus titration, flow cytometry, HAI Assays, ELISA, and PCR.
  • Apply Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) principles to characterize test articles and analysis of specimens.
  • Maintain detailed records of assays. Enter and verify study specific data.
  • Maintain cell cultures (example: Vero, LLC, C6/36 mosquito cells, K562 cells), Viral culture / titers (including immunostaining).
  • Process PBMCs.
  • Willingness to learn and assist in the development of new assays.
  • Must be able to work independently and as a member of a team in the design, set up, and performance of stability studies for flavivirus vaccines
  • Receive, log, ship, and store specimens. Transfer and ship specimens per DOT/IATA specifications. Maintains site shipping and storage logs of all specimens, including use of specified electronic system.
  • Maintain and organize specimen repository.
  • Maintain freezer/refrigerator/incubator temperature logs.
  • Provide professional input in the creation and revision of Laboratory Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and protocols.
  • Identifies, troubleshoots and solves problems with immunoassays
  • Monitor inventory of laboratory supplies, liquid nitrogen, and dry ice, and places orders as needed.
  • Maintains and troubleshoots laboratory equipment.
  • Demonstrates organization, problem solving, resourcefulness and flexibility.
  • Discusses laboratory results with Principal Investigator, NIH scientists, and site investigators as required.
  • Perform reasonable job duties, even if not part of the job description, as assigned by the Principal Investigator or Program Director.
  • Keep and maintain detailed records of assays along with laboratory notebook.
  • Maintain effective professional communication with principal investigators, clinical and laboratory study teams, to assist in prioritizing laboratory assays for vaccine trials.
  • Attend weekly laboratory team meetings and weekly clinical team progress meetings.
  • Holds self accountable for professional, responsible conduct. 
  • Demonstrates excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills. 
  • Detail oriented, well-organized, self-motivated, superior time managements skills.


Minimum Qualifications (Mandatory):

  • Bachelor's Degree in Biology, Chemistry or related field. Background in virology or immunology.
  • 1 year 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.*
  • Requires the ability to flex schedule at the supervisor’s request to work some evenings or weekends as required by study needs, however most work will be accomplished during normal lab hours, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.


JHU Equivalency Formula: 18 graduate degree credits (semester hours)  may substitute for one year of experience. 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. 


** Applicants who do not meet the posted requirements but are completing their final academic semester/quarter will be considered eligible for employment and may be asked to provide additional information confirming their academic completion date. 


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with software such as FlowJo and performing viral plaque reduction micro neutralization assays highly desirable.


Special Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Must be able to handle large volumes and handle multiple tasks at one time.
  • Must be comfortable using Microsoft office software such as Word, Excel, Teams, Powerpoint and Outlook. Familiarity with databases (FreezerPro preferable), accurate data entry, and report generation.


Physical Requirements:

  • Occasionally lifting, carrying, pushing, and/or pulling objects weighing up to 50 lbs., such as specimens packed in dry ice.
  • Will require foot travel within the JHMI campus, particularly between the clinic on Broadway Street and the laboratory on Wolfe Street.
  • Travel to the clinical unit on the Bayview campus.
  • Duties may require standing, walking, or sitting for an extended periods of time.
  • Requires dexterity to manipulate objects, such as pipetting and other laboratory duties.


Classified Title: Research Specialist
Role/Level/Range: ACRP/03/MA  
Starting Salary Range: Commensurate with experience  
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: M-F 8: 30 - 5pm / 40 hours/wk 
Exempt Status: Non-Exempt 
Location: School of Public Health  
Department name: Ctr for Immnztn Rsch Vaccine Scis CIR  
Personnel area: School of Public Health 



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


The Johns Hopkins University values diversity, equity and inclusion and advances these through our key strategic framework, the JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion.


Equal Opportunity Employer

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.


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Accommodation Information

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The following additional provisions may apply, depending on campus. 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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School of Public Health - East Baltimore Campus