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Vanderbilt University Research Assistant I, Cell & Developmental Biology in Nashville, Tennessee

The Research Assistant I is part of the Gould Laboratory in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University and will be responsible for providing support for all functions of the laboratory. This position is responsible for maintaining the inventory and functioning of the laboratory as well as assisting graduate students and postdocs with research projects. Reporting directly to the principal investigator, the Research Assistant I will communicate daily with the principal investigator and members of the laboratory.

The Department of Cell and Developmental Biology is a vibrant, interdisciplinary environment for cutting-edge research from single molecules to whole organisms. The Gould laboratory studies molecular, genetic, and cellular organization, seeking insights into the fundamental biological question of cell proliferation. We are an interactive and highly collaborative group, with access to outstanding instrumentation and core facilities.

Duties and Responsibilities

The purpose of this position is to provide support for a research laboratory. The research assistant will work closely with the principle investigator to maintain the laboratory in an efficiently functioning condition.

  • Prepare and sterilize yeast and bacteria media.

  • Prepare general buffers and solutions.

  • Assist laboratory members with basic molecular biology, genetic, and biochemical experiments.

  • Clean and perform routine maintenance of laboratory equipment including water baths, freezers, and incubators.

  • Work with laboratory members to keep inventory stocked and instrumentation operational.

  • Purchase reagents and organize equipment repairs.

  • Communicate regularly and positively with departmental administrative staff on purchasing matters.

  • Supervise glass washing and sterilization. This will involve hiring and oversight of undergraduate student workers to ensure timely washing and drying.

  • Support laboratory personnel in the maintenance, collection, and distribution nationally and internationally of research reagents into and out of long-term storage.


  • Bachelor's degree in a biological science field, with some college laboratory course experience, or at least 6 months of lab experience is necessary.

  • Ability to communicate required information and keep accurate records of work performed is necessary.

  • Ability to follow directions and perform repetitive tasks with limited supervision is necessary. May request opportunities to learn new skills.

  • Excellent command of excel and word processing programs is necessary.

  • Familiarity and ease with computers and web-based usage is necessary.

  • Specific experience or education is strongly preferred.

  • Must be an effective team player with a proven ability to perform in a rigorous and organized manner, have excellent interpersonal and analytical skills, and a strong work ethic.

  • Must have the ability to prioritize tasks within assigned schedules and the flexibility to perform specific duties to meet changing research needs and schedules.

  • Physical requirements include:

  • Occasionally lift and/or carry objects weighing up to 60 pounds.

  • Frequent stoops and bends

  • Reaching, grasping reaches, and grasps with arms and hands.

  • Long periods of standing and/or sitting.

  • Work involves possible exposure to malodorous vapors, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and the presence of carcinogenic substances in the lab.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

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

Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.