Featured RNA-Seq Job – Research Assistant – Single-Cell RNA-Seq and Drop-Seq

Job LocationBoston, Massachusetts

Req ID 20070BR

Department Description: How does the brain control appetite and metabolism? What cell types, circuits, and signals underlie that control? These are some of the questions currently being addressed by a multi-disciplinary team of neuroscientists in the Lowell Lab. Using transformative technologies such as channelrhodopsin, in vivo photometry, and single-cell RNA-Seq/Drop-seq, our work is revealing the “wiring diagram” behind energy balance (see recent publications: Nature 2014, PNAS 2014, Nature Neuroscience 2015-2017, and Neuron 2016).

We are hiring a research assistant to join our ongoing team effort using single-cell RNA-Seq and Drop-seq to identify cell types that comprise and connect key brain regions (see Campbell et al., Nature Neuroscience 2017). Main duties are to collect single-cell RNA-Seq samples with flow cytometry and Drop-seq, generate cDNA libraries from single-cell samples, and sequence them with NextSeq. This position offers plenty of room for scientific growth, including opportunities to learn single-cell RNA-Seq analysis, stereotactic surgery, and mouse husbandry/genotyping. Knowledge of molecular biology and experience with its methods are preferable but not essential; attention to detail, self-motivation, and troubleshooting skills are more important.

Job Location: Boston, MA

Req ID: 20070BR

Job Summary: Under supervision of the principal investigator, conducts a variety of routine experiments using molecular, cell biology and/or biochemistry techniques. Records test results, calculates, transcribes, and analyzes data using basic statistics.

Essential Responsibilities:

  1. Conducts routine tests following established procedures, which may include assays, DNA sequencing, tissue culture, protein purification, Southern blotting, PCR analysis, electrophoresis, chromatography.
  2. Uses standard research equipment such as microscopes, incubators, autoclaves, centrifuges.
  3. Researches and collects basic study data through monitoring devices and maintains daily logs/basic records of methodologies and test results. With supervision, using databases, may summarize data and interpret results using descriptive statistics and basic hypothesis testing.
  4. May write standard operating procedures for documentation and make informal presentations of these procedures to others in the lab.
  5. Performs literature searches and library investigations as they relate to the research and/or as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Life Science or a related scientific field required.
  2. 0-1 years related work experience required.
  3. Familiarity with basic laboratory instruments and equipment, computers (databases, spreadsheets, statistics) and scientific procedures.
  4. Basic familiarity with computers. Ability to navigate at a basic level within web-based applications.


  1. Decision Making: Ability to make decisions that are based on specific instructions, standard practices and established procedures which generally require little or no supervision.
  2. Problem Solving: Ability to address problems that are routine, somewhat repetitive and generally solved by following clear directions and procedures and by identifying opportunities for process improvements.
  3. Independence of Action: Ability to follow general instructions and procedures as provided. Work is monitored by supervisor/manager.
  4. Written Communications: Ability to read, and write in English in order to understand basic safety instructions and take direction from supervisors; communicate effectively with patients, families and other medical center staff; and respond to basic questions.
  5. Oral Communications: Ability to understand spoken English in order to follow basic safety instructions and take direction from supervisors; communicate effectively in basic English with patients, families and medical center staff in response to routine questions.
  6. Knowledge: Ability to demonstrate basic knowledge of fundamental concepts, practices and procedures with the ability to use them in routine situations. Specialized knowledge not required.
  7. Team Work: Ability to interact respectfully with other employees, professional staff and/or external contacts to offer ideas, identify issues, obtain information or deliver services.
  8. Customer Service: Ability to demonstrate a positive attitude and respond to requests in a timely and respectful manner.

Physical Nature of the Job:
Light work: Exerting up to 20 pounds of force frequently to move objects. Some elements of the job are sedentary, but the employee will be required to stand for periods of time or move through out the hospital campus

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