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Lead Research Specialist

University of Chicago
September 15, 2023
Chicago, IL
Job Type
Work Setting


The Weichselbaum Lab in the University of Chicago’s Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology is a diverse and vibrant lab with a long history of breakthrough translational research. Our research teams seek to better understand and reduce the process of tumor metastasis, elucidate the effects of radiation on the immune system and tumor microenvironment, and improve the anti-tumor action of cancer therapies.

Job Summary

The job leads and provides expertise to the development of programs for scientific research facilities. Uses considerable on-the-job experience to ensure compliance of research activities with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies. Works independently to write articles, reports and manuscripts, and presents research findings at meetings and/or conferences.


  • 70% of this work involves assisting with in vitro and in vivo experiments studying the effect of radiation on the immune system and tumor microenvironment using molecular biology and immunology techniques, and maintenance of mouse colonies.
  • 30% of the work will be administrative, consisting of the following: managing institutional protocols for animal use and biosafety, general laboratory organization and maintenance, purchasing and reagent preparation.
  • Provides expertise to researchers on compliance of research activities with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives and mandates.
  • Provides expertise to researchers and research support staff. Oversees activities related to data collection and analysis.
  • Leads the establishment of new laboratories and provides assistance with purchasing new laboratory equipment, ensuring efficient operation of laboratory, including overseeing maintenance and repair of laboratory equipment.
  • Improves financial, personnel, planning, compliance and other administrative aspects of research project. Collaborates with other researchers on long-range plans for research projects. Leads, investigates, modifies and applies new procedures, techniques or applications of technology. Establishes goals and operating procedures, practices, and guidelines.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


  • Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience

  • Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications


  • Master’s Degree in a related field.


  • Experience working with animal (murine) models, especially experience in maintaining and genotyping mouse colonies.
  • Knowledge of immunological techniques including flow cytometry, ELISPOT and in vitro cell culture.
  • Knowledge of molecular biology and genetics techniques.
  • Knowledge of QRT-PCR and transfection protocols.
  • Knowledge of cloning techniques and advanced microscopy.
  • Knowledge of genomic and expression sequencing techniques.
  • Experience with handling and processing samples (human and mouse) for various analyses including DNA, RNA, metabolomics, and proteomics.
  • Molecular biology/microbiology techniques.

Preferred Competencies

  • Ability and willingness to train new staff/students entering the lab.
  • Problem-solving skills, attention to detail, organizational skills (verbal and written), and ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Superb communication skills.
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