Research Specialist - Neuroscience and Pharmacology (Tomchik Lab)
University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Posted in Call Centre and Customer Service

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Job Info

The Carver College of Medicine Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology (Dr. Tomchik lab) is seeking a Research Specialist. This Research Specialist will carry out research on the mechanisms of metabolic alteration in neurofibromatosis type 1, using primarily human induced pluripotent stem cells, and potentially including Drosophila as well. Our research focuses broadly on how the nervous system Research in the Tomchik lab focuses on how neuronal plasticity and metabolic alterations in genetic disorders such as neurofibromatosis type 1. Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a monogenetic disease that affects 1 in ~3000 individuals. It causes a range of symptoms, including tumor formation, increased incidence of neurocognitive symptoms, and metabolic alterations. This project is focused on the mechanisms of the metabolic alterations. We have recently discovered that loss of neurofibromin (the protein mutated in NF1) alters metabolic rate via neuronal effects (Botero et al., 2021; Nature Communications 12(1):4285), and are diving deeper into the mechanisms in human tissues. This position provides an opportunity to join a dynamic, supportive lab, working to answer fundamental questions relevant to human disease at the intersection of neuroscience and metabolism across model systems.

Duties will include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Run a wide variety of experiments independently. Present results at lab meetings and beyond. Contribute to project publication and development of new ideas.
  • Maintain human iPS cell lines, differentiating them into different cell types, and carrying out biochemical, physiological, morphological (etc.) experiments on the resulting cell lines. Perform immunohistochemistry for various markers on cell lines. Image cell lines with microscopy to analyze morphological differences across conditions.
  • Work in a cell culture facility and maintain a clean environment. Coordinate with other researchers, within the lab and across other units.
  • Perform experiments independently. Set up and operate research materials/equipment. Read and understand protocols. Arrange and plan daily activities to prepare and carry out experiments to meet overall research goals. Perform procedures assuring fidelity to protocols. Track progress of research, identify any failure points, troubleshoot, consult with others when necessary/helpful, and ensure continued progress of research to meet goals.
  • Read and review research articles. Analyze literature to develop hypotheses for discussion with other researchers and the principal investigator.
  • Adhere to safety and regulatory guidelines. Assist with ensuring that the working environment and records/documentation are compliant with applicable health and safety regulations. Collate documentation for protocol submissions (IRB, IBC, etc.) as requested.
  • Keep detailed records of experiments. Present research results verbally at lab meetings. Prepare written research results for publication. Present research results at research conferences, locally and nationally.
  • Order and maintain records of drugs/chemical agents and other supplies. Assist in the maintenance of lab equipment, monitoring lab inventory, arranging service contracts, and interfacing with technicians and vendors
  • Assist graduate students and postdocs with experiments if/when requested by the principal investigator.

Percent of Time: 100%

Staff Type: Professional & Scientific

Type of Position: Specified Term. Initial appointment is for one year. Appointment may be extended based on performance and availability of funding.

Pay Grade: 5A -

Benefits Highlights
  • Regular salaried position located in Iowa City, Iowa
  • Fringe benefit package including paid vacation; sick leave; health, dental, life and disability insurance options; and generous employer contributions into retirement plans
  • For more information about Why Iowa?, click here

Required Qualifications:
  • Requires a Master's in neuroscience or biomedical field or a minimum of 5 years of research experience in neuroscience, pharmacology, cell biology, physiology, biochemistry, or molecular biology
  • At least 3 years of experience in a research laboratory
  • Proficiency with a variety of neuroscience techniques such as animal behavior, molecular biology, histology, and confocal imaging
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, organizational skills, and interpersonal skills
  • Experience with Microsoft Office
  • Ability to work independently while being accountable and efficient with time management

Desirable Qualifications:
  • Previous experience with cell culture
  • Previous experience with human iPSCs
  • Experience with basic histology techniques such as immunohistochemistry
  • Experience with DNA techniques: DNA isolation, PCR, qPCR
  • Experience with basic protein molecular biology: western blot
  • Experience with microscopy, ideally including confocal microscopy
  • Familiarity with Matlab, Prism, Illustrator

Application Process: In order to be considered, applicants must upload a CV or resume, and cover letter (under submission relevant materials) that clearly address how they meet the listed required and desired qualifications of this position.

Job openings are posted for a minimum of 14 calendar days and may be removed from posting and filled any time after the original posting period has ended. Successful candidates will be subject to a credential and criminal background check. Professional references will be requested at a later step in the recruitment process.

For additional questions, please contact Anne Phillips at

Additional Information
  • Classification Title: Research Specialist
  • Appointment Type: Professional and Scientific
  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Pay Level: 5A
Contact Information
  • Organization: Healthcare
  • Contact Name: Anne Phillips
  • Contact Email:

This job has expired.

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