Research Assistant (Genetics & Epidemiology)
Joslin Diabetes Center - Boston, MA

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The Research Assistant (Genetics and Epidemiology/Pediatrics) position involves research using human tissues and cell lines, including biochemical assays, RT-PCR analysis of gene expression, and molecular biological analyses (e.g. Western blotting, ELISA, etc.). The research assistant will also act as a liaison to other basic and clinical research groups to facilitate the transportation of study samples to and from the Joslin Diabetes Center.

We are seeking a research assistant to join us in learning more about how maternal health during pregnancy impacts risk of diabetes and obesity in her offspring.

The research assistant will be working in an exciting area that has received much attention in the scientific literature and popular press. In the past, the contributions from this research assistant position have led to co-authorship on the associated publications, which would be ideal for those seeking careers in research or medicine.

  • Accurately record data from experiments on paper and help establish and maintain an electronic record of cell lines, frozen samples, and experimental data.
  • Tissue culture: Isolate and grow cells for primary culture using aseptic technique.
  • Molecular characterization: Gene expression by quantitative RT-PCR and microarray and expression of specific proteins via Western blotting.
  • Prepare buffers and media for experiments.
  • Biochemical assays: Analyses of biochemical and metabolic parameters in human plasma by ELISA and RIA.
  • Sample processing: Obtains plasma from whole blood by centrifugation; aliquots and freezes plasma and tissue samples using appropriate safe-handling techniques for biohazardous (potentially infectious) materials.
  • Sample collection: Coordinates with research nurses in a labor and delivery ward to obtain placental, cord blood, and umbilical cord tissues shortly after delivery. Transports samples from external hospital to Joslin.
  • Statistical analysis: Data entry into spreadsheet software. Calculates basic descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation) and graphs experimental data.
  • Presents data in lab meetings.
  • Team integration: Evaluates needs in consultation with the Primary Investigator, other researchers or outside scientists. Teaches lab fellows and students the procedures linked to experimentation. Liaises and coordinates with internal and external research assistants, technicians and study nurses.

  • Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, biology, molecular biology, or related fields. (Coursework in biostatistics or epidemiology considered an asset.)
  • A minimum of three months laboratory experience outside of the classroom (e.g. co-op or internship program) and experience in cell culture, quantitative PCR and immunoblotting are desired, but not pre-requisites.
  • Microsoft Office experience
  • Data entry experience
  • Statistical analyses experience preferred.

Joslin Diabetes Center is an EEO M/F/D/V

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