Vanderbilt University Research Assistant I (Biochemistry) in Nashville, Tennessee

Research Assistant I (Biochemistry) (Job Number: 1900153)


The Dewar Lab in the Department of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University is seeking a hard-working and enthusiastic molecular biology/biochemistry research assistant to aid in the lab’s studies of DNA replication and repair. The Dewar lab relies heavily on biochemistry and molecular biology, and extensively employs an in vitro DNA replication system derived from frog egg extracts. See Dewar et al , 2015, Nature and Dewar et al , 2017, Genes Dev for examples of the type of research that will be undertaken.

The Dewar lab is a mid-sized lab seeking a research assistant who will spend most of their time on research, with some effort put towards maintaining lab infrastructure. The new research assistant will be directly mentored and instructed by the Principle Investigator, Dr. Dewar, in planning, conducting, and presenting research. It is expected that the new research assistant will produce enough data for a first author publication within 2 years of joining the lab. We have a strong post-baccalaureate training record and our current research assistant is leaving to attend graduate school in the biomedical sciences. Overall this is an excellent opportunity for any recent college graduate looking to obtain research experience before applying to graduate school or medical school.

Duties and responsibilities

With moderate direction, contribute to lab research projects aimed at understanding biochemical mechanisms and pathways involved in DNA replication and repair. (70%)

  • Use agarose gels to analyze radioactive DNA intermediates of DNA replication and repair

  • Use protein gels and Western blotting to analyze proteins bound to DNA during different stages of DNA replication and repair

  • Design and clone DNA templates for in vitro replication assays

  • Express and purify proteins in bacteria and insect cells

  • Test antibodies by immunoprecipitation and western blotting

  • Establish and maintain human cell lines, and perform basic cell culture experiments

Perform routine duties to ensure the laboratory is prepared for experiments. (15%)

  • Prepare buffers and reagents.

  • Order supplies

  • Receive packages

Perform routine maintenance of the lab’s frog ( Xenopus laevis ) colony (15%)

  • Organize and maintain a healthy frog colony

  • Induce egg laying by injecting frogs with hormones

  • Collect eggs for lab members’ experiments

Profile ofan Ideal Candidate

  • A Bachelor’s degree in cellular biology, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, or a related field from an accredited institution of higher education is necessary

  • Comfort working with animals is necessary.

  • Ability to perform all basic calculations related to buffer composition including molarity, dilution factor, etc., is necessary.

About Vanderbilt Benefits

Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses, and dependent children.

AboutVanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving more than 12,000 students and employing almost 7,000 faculty and staff. The university’s students, staff, and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. Vanderbilt was recently named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” and the top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area in 2018 (Forbes).

Commitmentto Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 18220 - Biochemistry

Job: Research / Lab Tech / Paraprofessional

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action

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