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Emory Healthcare/Emory University Lead Research Specialist (1-year limited term) in Atlanta, Georgia

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Emory University is a leading research university that fosters excellence and attracts world-class talent to innovate today and prepare leaders for the future.We welcome candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of our academic community.

Dedicated to discovering causes, prevention, treatments, and cures, Yerkes National Primate Research Center (NPRC) is fighting diseases and improving human health and lives worldwide. One of seven NPRCs funded by the NIH, Yerkes conducts studies that make breakthrough discoveries possible. Learn more at

Collaborate. Innovate. Serve. These three simple words capture what we do at Yerkes to help advance science and improve the health and well-being of humans and non-human primates.


The Emory Vaccine Center within the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University is currently seeking a 1-year limited term full time Lead Research Specialist to join Dr. Mehul Suthar’s lab. We have a strong interest in studying the immune response to emerging viral infections. For many years, we have focused on mosquito-borne flaviviruses, including West Nile virus, Zika virus, Dengue virus and Yellow Fever virus, and more recently have begun work with COVID-19. We use both in vitro and in vivo model systems to dissect host factors and viral factors that regulate infection, immunity and infection outcome.

This position will involve isolating and staining PBMCs from human blood and other tissues, performing tissue culture, basic molecular biology techniques (qRT-PCR, RNA isolation, Western blotting, cloning, etc…), mouse colony management, maintaining and ordering laboratory supplies, analyzing data, and preparing reports. Currently, this position will directly involve supporting ongoing COVID-19-related research efforts.

The ideal candidate should be motivated, dependable, detail-oriented, have a positive attitude and passion research. The Research Specialist will be a team player who is willing to learn on the job and collaborate with lab members and center members. The Lead Research Specialist will work to ensure the highest quality of laboratory research support, and has good communication skills with co-workers, the management team, PI’s, research staff, students, and other support services. This position will report directly to Dr. Suthar.


  • Under minimal supervision, performs a variety of specialized and complex research and laboratory tests and procedures.

  • Assists in isolating primary cells from human tissue and processing of human blood samples.

  • Performs routine and specialized duties associated with animal husbandry, including breeding, weaning pups, genotyping, and record keeping.

  • Other duties include laboratory maintenance activities such as ordering of supplies, media preparation, and maintaining tissue culture.

  • Under general supervision, performs molecular biology techniques, including qRT-PCR, RNA isolation, Western blotting, and cloning.

  • Uses independent judgment in applying or adapting scientific techniques.

  • May assist in protocol design.

  • Investigates and proposes alternative experimental procedures for consideration by a principal investigator.

  • Assists in planning and scheduling research procedures.

  • Analyzes and interprets results of studies.

  • Demonstrates and trains others in the proper use/operation of laboratory techniques and equipment.

  • Calibrates, troubleshoots and performs routine repair and maintenance of equipment.

  • Reviews literature for related research developments and techniques and compiles findings.

  • Monitors laboratory processes to maintain quality assurance standards

  • Records results of studies, compiles and analyzes data and prepares charts and graphs.

  • Monitors the handling, storage and disposal of hazardous substances.

  • Performs related responsibilities as required.


  • Bachelor's degree in a scientific field and two years of research experience,OR

  • Equivalent combination of experience, education, and training


  • Excellent interpersonal and written and verbal communication skills.

  • Due to timing of project, previous laboratory experience is desired that includes mouse handling and research experience.

  • Knowledge of basic molecular biology techniques is also needed for this position.

  • Good written and oral communication skills. Some background in immunology.

  • Basic computer skills related to data analysis and presentation.

  • Preferred background in working with human tissues, processing human blood, especially work related to PBMC isolation and CPT tubes.

  • Ability to problem solve and proactively improve lab procedures is particularly important.

  • BSL-3 experience is preferred but not required.


  • Employees in this classification may be required to work with, take specific precautions against and/or be immunized against potentially hazardous agents.

  • Work environment involves some exposure to hazards or physical risks, which require following basic safety precautions

  • Work is normally performed in a typical laboratory environment

  • Work will include staining and processing Human and Non-Human Primate blood and tissues and coordinating longitudinal studies on experiments involving large quantities of animals or humans.


Individual will have access to Emory research resources including the ability to attend seminars, journal clubs, and planning meetings.

Depending on interest and skills of the research specialist, opportunities for engagement in independent research projects are available.

Authorship opportunities are available.

Individual can gain training in BSL-3 and ABSL-3 labs.


Yerkes NPRC in conjunction with Emory University conducts pre-employment screening for all positions which may include an INA and criminal background check, verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses, and certifications, drug screening, and health assessment. Employment is contingent upon a clear background screening.

NOTE: Position tasks are generally required to be performed in-person at an Emory University location. Remote work from home day options may be granted at department discretion. Emory reserves the right to change remote work status with notice to employee.

Emory Supports a Diverse and Inclusive Culture

Emory University is dedicated to providing equal opportunities and equal access to all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and veteran's status. Emory University does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment on the basis of any factor stated above or prohibited under applicable law. Students, faculty, and staff are assured of participation in University programs and in the use of facilities without such discrimination. Emory University complies with Executive Order 11246, as amended, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veteran's Readjustment Assistance Act, and applicable executive orders, federal and state regulations regarding nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. Emory University is committed to achieving a diverse workforce through application of its affirmative action, equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policy in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training. Inquiries regarding this policy should be directed to the Emory University Department of Equity and Inclusion, 201 Dowman Drive, Administration Building, Atlanta, GA 30322. Telephone: 404-727-9867 (V) | 404-712-2049 (TDD).

Emory University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact the Department of Accessibility Services at 404-727-9877 (V) | 404-712-2049 (TDD). Please note that one week advance notice is preferred.

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Job Number 69698

Job Type Regular Full-Time

Division Yerkes National Primate Resear

Department YRK: Emory Vaccine Center

This position may involve the following Health and Safety issues: Potential exposure to hazardous chemicals., Working with animals., Working with human blood, body fluids, tissues, or other potentially infectious materials., Working with nonhuman primates (nhp), nhp tissue, body fluids or equipment contaminated by nhp.

Job Category Laboratory

Location : Name Emory Campus-Clifton Corridor

Campus Location (For Posting) : Location US-GA-Atlanta