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Job Req ID:  41497

Sr. Research Specialist

General Summary/Purpose:  

The Sr. Research Specialist will join the research program in our Laboratory focused on HMGA Chromatin Regulators in Stem Cell and Cancer Biology at the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying HMGA chromatin regulators in cancer and stem cells in a basic and translational laboratory.  As part of the study team, he/she will collaborate with the Principal Investigator (PI) to design and develop protocols, and oversee study-related activities on several projects.  With limited supervision by the PI, he/she will design and perform laboratory experiments on independent research projects.  He/she will:  1) be responsible for developing and organizing data reports and writing scientific papers resulting from the research projects, 2) provide day-day supervision and train junior postdoctoral fellows and students on the techniques and skills needed in the lab, 3) collaborate with the PI in overseeing the administrative and scientific implementation of the research protocols for our research studies.  With appropriate direction by the PI, he/she will function as a leader in maintaining and circulating research protocols among the program members, setting agendas and schedules for routine research-related meetings and other activities, processing laboratory protocols for basic and translational research projects of our HMGA research program.  With guidance from the PI or the PI’s designee, he/she will also function in capacities required for laboratory function, including ordering reagents or directing our technician to order reagents and conduct experiments.  He/she will assist the principal investigator in organization of the laboratory and the completion of experiments, and will routinely communicate with lab members regarding scientific and other issues.  


Specific Duties & Responsibilities:  

  • Participate in laboratory research on a comprehensive HMGA research program and develop and design research protocols to investigate molecular mechanisms underlying HMGA1 in cancer and stem cells as well as pursue clinical translation of the laboratory findings.
  • With limited guidance by the principal investigator (PI), develop and define research projects and strategies on the HMGA research program.
  • Independently design and perform laboratory experiments for specific HMGA research projects in the lab
  • Use special skills and expertise to prepare and apply cancer and stem cell, human bio specimens, and animal models to cancer and stem cell research
  • Use a variety of laboratory tools, such as cell manipulations, cell inoculation to produce animal models, molecular genetic tools, Western blotting, PCR, genetic analysis to conduct laboratory cancer and stem cell biology research
  • Organize, analyze and summarize the research data to prepare laboratory and scientific meeting reports on HMGA research.
  • Present data at meetings.
  • Write/draft scientific manuscripts  for publications from the research projects
  • Participate as a member of collaborative group study team in study design and development of HMGA research projects.
  • Help train and supervise junior postdoctoral fellows and students with the above skills and expertise for HMGA research  
  • Suggest ideas for new research projects.
  • Conduct training sessions for junior personnel and students on the program.
  • Works with the PI to prepare and submit annual IRB renewal requests, amendments and adverse event reports according to IRB requirements for human tissue collection related to the clinical and translational research.
  • Maintains excellent working knowledge of all assigned study protocols and reporting requirements.
  • Coordinates, organize and arrange regular scientific meetings for the team members as needed; prepares agendas, material for, and coordination of meetings with researchers on the HMGA research program in the lab.  
  • Train research staff on job functions and performs quality assurance reviews for the scientific data.
  • Maintains detailed working knowledge of protocols
  • Designs spreadsheets and databases for tracking and management of research data
  • Perform statistical analyses on research data using standard statistical software
  • Performs literature searches for presentations and publications
  • Ensures accuracy and timeliness of data collection.
  • Interacts regularly with members of the research team regarding data management and the status and progress of ongoing studies.
  • Data entry and management using database and other computer software
  • Track and assess quality of data entry and abstraction.
  • Meets regularly with the PI and other senior members of the team to discuss study progress. Participates in all mandatory meetings of the research program and helps to prepare material for these meetings.
  • Prepares reports as required by the principal investigators and senior scientists on the program.  Is highly experienced and knowledgeable and complies with all standard laboratory research protocols, regulations, and policies; may instruct introductory level research personnel in these guidelines and policies
  • The specialist should be familiar with PC and Macintosh computers and standard computer software, including the Microsoft Office package and Adobe Acrobat and Photoshop.  He or she will help to purchase new laboratory computers and interact with our IT department to ensure that computers and printers are functioning. 
  • Although not a requirement, familiarity with HTML and iWeb to keep up the lab website is a plus.
  • The specialist will help to order or oversee ordering reagents; experience with the HopkinsOne system and ordering from the JHU CORE store, JHU Supply Store, and external vendors is a plus.  This will require monitoring inventory levels of materials and supplies, as well as communication with and knowledge of relevant vendors.  In addition, he or she will process invoices for services received.  Proper handling and organization of paperwork is required to ensure that laboratory spending is constrained to budgetary limits.
  • Will be responsible for the composition of standard laboratory protocols and he or she will assist in the completion and submission of grants, IRB and ISCRO applications. 
  • The specialist will be responsible for completing renewal of registrations pertaining to recombinant DNA, human tissue and pathogens, and for amending and renewing the animal care and use agreements. He/she will also participate in data interpretation, training staff and fellows, training researchers from collaborating laboratories, and proofing scientific papers and grant applications.   He or she will also ensure that new staff and students have completed all relevant HIPAA, biosafety and animal training.
  • The Sr. Research Specialist will monitor equipment performance and maintenance, and be responsible for scheduling repairs and renewing service contracts when necessary.  He/she will be responsible for maintenance of equipment shared across several laboratories.  Duties include managing and developing an appropriate invoicing and billing process related to use of equipment, if applicable.  The specialist will also train new users, and assist with usage when needed.  He/she will be responsible for scheduling preventative maintenance and keeping the systems in working order, as well as addressing and troubleshooting any problems.
  • Assist the principal investigator and other investigators in our group with laboratory organization and completion of experiments
  • Communicate laboratory issues with personnel in a timely manner.
  • Help with experiments involving the shared flow cytometer and cell imaging systems.
  • Train new users for the shared FACS and cell imaging system.
  • Help to invoice for the shared system usage, maintain a database of spending and budget information, process and pay invoices for outside laboratory services.
  • Direct our technician to schedule maintenance, repair and certification of laboratory equipment.
  • Compose protocols for laboratory processes.
  • Renew and amend animal care and use protocols.
  • Renew biosafety registrations.
  • Keep the laboratory prepared for safety inspections.
  • Assist in the completion of grants, IRB and ISCRO applications.


Minimum Qualifications (mandatory):

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or other related science required.
  • Minimum of four years of experience in a comparable laboratory, 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 and/or 2-10 years of experience in a comparable laboratory performing relevant techniques, coupled with knowledge of biological sciences, molecular biology, or chemistry.


Special Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Able to perform scientific research through conducing laboratory experiments using a variety of techniques, such as cell culture, microscopy, DNA extraction, PCR, Western blotting, tumor animal procedures, and others.
  • Knowledge of basic and translational research and principles required, particularly in cancer and stem cell research. 
  • Proficiency in the use of software applications, databases, spreadsheets, and word processing required.
  • Excellent organizational, attention to detail, and time management skills required.
  • Actual strong research experience is required.
  • Able to manage multiple and competing priorities.
  • Have excellent communication skills.  
  • Skills and expertise in handling special pulmonary hypertension cell lines and developing pulmonary hypertension animal models.


 Any Specific Physical Requirements for the Job:

  • Sitting in a normal seated position for extended periods of time
  • Reaching by extending hand(s) or arm(s) in any direction
  • Finger dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers rather than with whole hand or arm, for example, using a keyboard.
  • Communication skills using the spoken word.
  • Ability to see within normal parameters
  • Ability to hear within normal ranges
  • Ability to move about


***JHU Equivalency Formula:  18 graduate degree credits 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.


Classified Title: Sr. Research Specialist 
Working Title: Sr. Research Specialist  ​​​​​
Role/Level/Range: ACRP/04/MC 
Starting Salary Range: $45,195-$62,225 (commensurate with experience)
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: Monday-Friday/8:30am-5:00pm 
Exempt Status: Exempt  
Location: 04-MD:School of Medicine Campus 
Department name: 10002811-SOM DOM Hematology 
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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