Associate Biologist
Southern Research Institute - Frederick, MD

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General Summary

This position is a technical lab support position. It is responsible for performing a broad range of biological assays and procedures using standard scientific techniques and methods; and recording, analyzing and reporting results.

This position will be heavily involved in tissue culture, cryopreservation, and virus expansion. Specific techniques will include basic laboratory dilution calculations for cell count and viability determinations, as well as preparation of cell culture media. Culture and expansion of adherent and suspension cell lines and some primary cell cultures, propagation of viruses in primary cells and cell lines, preparation of master and submaster cell cultures, and cryopreservation and sterility testing.

Additional requirements include monitoring and maintenance of laboratory area and equipment. Attention to detail, good communication, strong work ethic, adaptability, work independently and as a part of a team, basic use of Word and Excel. Accurate documentation and good laboratory practices is a must. Must meet entry requirements for and be able to work in both a BSL2 and BSL3 environment. Must be adaptable to shifting priorities based on organizational needs and study needs.

Key Responsibilities
  • Perform experimental procedures under the supervision of associate project leader
  • Resolve problems requiring the application of standard procedures and techniques.
  • Conduct experimental procedures following Standard Operating Procedures and Good Laboratory Practices where appropriate
  • Willing and able to work in a Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) environment and a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) environment
  • Able to receive all relevant vaccinations/immunizations
  • Develop proficiency in data acquisition, analysis, and presentation
Position Specific

This position is responsible for tissue culture including cultivation, expansion, cryopreservation, and shipping of cell lines and viruses as well as preparation and cultivation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and general support for antiviral assays and procedures using standard scientific techniques and methods; and recording, analyzing and reporting results. Additional training for handling and shipping biological and infectious materials will be provided.
  • Perform assays needed for government and commercial contracts
  • Maintain different cell types
  • Tissue/cell culture
  • Performance of cell-based antiviral assays,
  • Preparation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from blood
  • Performance of antiviral assays and enzymatic endpoint assays (RT and p24)
  • Expansion of HIV and other viruses
  • Review and help with preparation of SOP’s
  • Collect, analyze, report and maintain data for review by technical staff using spreadsheets
  • Maintain experimental data in a laboratory notebook in addition to other formats as requested
  • Attend departmental and other necessary meetings pertinent to work.
  • Perform all work tasks following laboratory safety requirements.
  • Observe appropriate safety and study requirements by reading, understanding, and following Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), and assay protocols
Requirements/Minimum Qualifications
  • BS (or equivalent) in relevant discipline and 0-3 years of related experience in a relevant discipline.
  • Limited experience performing preparation of media and reagents, aseptic technique, and assay design
  • Ability to perform basic laboratory calculations required for cell viability counts, cell culture media preparation and expansion of cell lines and primary cells.
  • Sterile technique
  • Experience with expansion of a variety of cells and viruses preferred.
  • With guidance, able to conduct effective literature searches, analyze and present data.
  • Demonstrate ability to utilize relevant MS Office Suite Products, Sigma Plot and/or other statistical software products
  • Ability to observe and follow appropriate safety and study requirements by reading, understanding and performing Standard Operating Procedures, Good Laboratory Practices requirements, and study protocols.

Individuals who will enter BSL-2/BSL-3 labs must: satisfactorily meet medical requirements; obtain required vaccinations; pass and maintain in depth security and background checks, including, but not limited to, clearance to handle select agents; wear required PPE; and have effective communication skills. All offers of employment (and continued employment) are subject to drug testing.

Core Behaviors

Customer Focus : Makes customers and their needs a primary focus of one's actions; developing and sustaining productive customer relations.
Contributes to Team Success : Actively participates as a member of a team to move the team toward the completion of goals.
Builds Trust : Interacting with others in a way that gives them confidence in one's intentions and those of the organization.
Results Achievement : Takes prompt action to accomplish objectives; takes action to achieve goals beyond what is required; is proactive.
Safety Awareness : Identifies and corrects conditions that affect employee safety; upholds safety standards.

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