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Laboratory Specialist - Pharmacology & Toxicology


Laboratory Specialist - Pharmacology & Toxicology

  • req1985
  • Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23284
  • Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology is actively recruiting for a full time lab specialist to perform and develop in vitro assays to assess the molecular, biochemical and cellular mechanisms of action of psychoactive drugs. This role would efficiently, accurately, and according to laboratory protocols, conduct studies on animal tissue (brain and spinal cord) and cultured cell lines, including various in vitro assays. Procedures include, but are not limited to, radioligand binding assays, cell-based assays (with platereader readout), gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting, animal handling and injection, microscopy, PCR, DNA purification, cell transfection, spectrophotometry, immunolabeling and reagent preparation.

Exercise judgement and decision-making skills to determine appropriate procedures and timing of experiments. Document results from each experiment thoroughly and in a timely manner.
Use appropriate computer programs to aid in data analysis and presentation, including spreadsheet, graphics, and statistical/curve fitting software. Compile data for reports, identify experimental outcomes and review results with supervisor.

Maintain cultured cell lines using sterile technique. Perform DNA transfection, selection and screening of cultured cell lines as needed. Maintain mouse colonies for breeding and experimental use. Dissect and prepare tissues for use in experiments. Conduct animal handling, surgery and sacrifice in an efficient and compassionate manner in accordance with laboratory protocols.

Clean glassware and instruments daily according to lab procedures. Monitor laboratory for appropriate containment of radioactivity. Monitor stock in laboratory and order supplies when necessary. Keep logs of radioactivity, transgenic mouse colonies, cDNA constructs and cell lines.
Help train other personnel (e.g. students, postdoctoral associates, hourly employees) in the laboratory.

Required Education and Experience

Must have thorough knowledge of general laboratory procedures and terminology. Must be able to conduct multiple experiments in a temporarily overlapping manner, communicate effectively and interact positively with co-workers in the laboratory, department and university. Must have or be able to quickly and successfully complete appropriate training and certification in radiation safety, research animal use and care (rodents) and other required compliance training from VCU. Must be able to work efficiently and positively in a diverse environment

Preferred Education and Experience

Prefer master’s or bachelor’s degree in a life science program (biology, biochemistry, biopsychology, pharmacology, etc.) and at least one year of experience working in a research laboratory, performing molecular biology, cell biology and/or biochemistry techniques. Highly preferred is specific knowledge of molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry techniques.

University job code: Lab/Research Technician 1-3

ORP Eligible: No

This is a restricted position with no set end date and continued employment is dependent upon project need, availability of funding, and performance.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine is a premier academic medical center located in the heart of Richmond. Accounting for almost half of VCU’s sponsored research, the School of Medicine is internationally recognized for patient care and education. All full-time university staff are eligible for VCU’s generous benefits package that includes: competitive health benefits, paid annual and holiday leave, retirement planning and savings options, tax-deferred annuity and cash match programs, Virginia Retirement System (VRS), professional development & certifications, tuition waiver, parental leave, caregiving leave and community service leave. Learn more about VCU’s benefits here:https://hr.vcu.edu/careers-at-vcu/why-work-at-vcu/

The School of Medicine continuously strives for our workplace and learning environment to reflect the demographic and social milieu of the communities we serve. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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