Midwestern University Research Assistant - IL - Microbiology & Immunology in Downers Grove, Illinois



Serves as a Research Assistant in a microbiology Biosafety Level-2 (BSL-2)research laboratory. Work is performed under the direct supervision of Microbiology & Immunology department faculty members. The position reports to the Chair of the Microbiology & Immunology department. The Research Assistant will be working in labs which involve infectious agents. As a Research Assistant it will be necessary to follow established experimental protocols; assist in the development of new experimental protocols; assist with experiments; organize the laboratory; assimilate and evaluate data accurately; track ordering of equipment and supplies; and assist in research related activities. Good laboratory organizational skills and ability to work in a team environment are critical.

Specific responsibilities

  • Performs wide variety of standard research procedures with supervision. Provides technical support for procedures used in all projects. Carries out experiments and assays according to experimental design, protocols, and procedures as coordinated with and approved by the supervising faculty member
  • Assist students working in the lab
  • Trains students in laboratory safety and maintains required records
  • Maintains and updates current knowledge base of related scientific literature, suggesting changes where needed to improve efficiency, sensitivity, and specificity of assays. Provides critical comments and suggestions on experimental procedures
  • Confers with supervisor on a regular basis for assessment of progress and direction of research
  • Accurately records and maintains data, lot numbers, expiration dates, etc. Graphs and analyzes data with some supervision
  • Keeps an accurate lab notebook
  • Contributes to abstract submissions and poster preparation
  • Maintains paper work associated with the BSL-2 protocols and attends all the required biosafety training
  • Contributes to publication of research results
  • Obtains quotes, performs ordering for lab supplies and takes on the responsibility of keeping the laboratory appropriately stocked at all times
  • Is responsible for all standard maintenance of the lab
  • Aids supervisor in research related activities to include scheduling of experiments, organizing data for presentation and publication, and traveling to sites of collaboration in research projects
  • Performs a variety of assays and experimental procedures including but not limited to:
  • Propagation of mammalian cell lines using sterile/aseptic technique
  • Conducts immunological assays including, but not limited to ELISA, flow cytometry, immunoblotting, immunomicroscopy and immunohistochemistry
  • Conducts molecular biology assays, such as RT-PCR, real-time PCR, and Western blot
  • Prepares media, buffers, immunological, and biological reagents as needed
  • Maintains microbial (virus, bacteria, fungi) culture collection, sub-cultures microbes by both streak-plate and broth culture with appropriate aseptic technique
  • Performs basic biochemical assays including but not limited to PAGE, receptor isolation, chromatography
  • Safely handles, records, tracks, and disposes of all hazardous chemicals, biohazardous materials, and radioactive isotopes according to institutional guidelines
  • Records and maintains data. Manages inventory of supplies, and maintains adequate stocks - ordering supplies and equipment in anticipation of need for experiments in the immediate future
  • All of above items will require that the Research Assistant will be proficient at many basic laboratory skills to include (but not limited to) sterile technique, calculating molarity, normality, accurate measuring, weighing, accurate pipetting, calculating dilutions and dilution factors, using a computer for data collection, and use of a microscope
  • Performs additional duties as required


  • Supervisory
  • Reports to Chair of the Microbiology & Immunology Department
  • Internal
  • Has continuous contact with the department Administrative Assistant on matters of clerical, and secretarial services
  • Maintains contact with technical personnel within the Microbiology Department and other departments for technical assistance, use of other equipment and facilities, or for loan of reagents and supplies when deemed necessary
  • Works well with and supervises students on their research projects as required
  • External
  • May have limited contact with service representatives concerning equipment maintenance and with sales representatives concerning supplies and equipment


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. There are duties that require a significant degree of fine motor coordination. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and Experience

  • Education
  • Bachelor’s degree from a recognized/accredited college or university and a minimum of 0-2 years experience in Microbiology, Immunology, or other biological sciences required
  • Experience
  • Those persons with experience in flow cytometry experience and tissue culture experience will be given interview preference

* Other requirements*:

  • Must be willing to occasionally work late hours and weekends as needed
  • Must be willing to work with rodents and infectious agents

Computer Skills

Computer proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint).

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to sit. The employee is regularly required to walk, climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. The employee is frequently required to stand, use hands to handle or feel, reach with vision abilities required by this job include vision correctable to 20/20 in both eyes. The employee will regularly be required to lift/or move up to 20 pounds.

Work Environment

The work environments described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The employee will be occasionally exposed to toxic or caustic chemicals. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Midwestern University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that does not discriminate against an employee or applicant based upon race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or veterans status, in accord with 41 C.F.R. 60-1.4(a), 250.5(a), 300.5(a) and 741.5(a).

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities



Bachelors or better

Posted: September 20, 2016