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Research Technician - Vance Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
United States, California, Berkeley
September 22, 2022
Primary Work Address: 2033 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, CA, 94720-3140 Current HHMI Employees, click here to apply via your Workday account.

We are currently looking for a proactive, detail-oriented Research Technicianto work in the lab ofDr. Russell Vance at the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California. The Vance lab is interested in understanding how the immune system detects the presence of infectious microbes. They use all the tools of modern molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics to dissect the fundamental mechanisms that provide host defense. They are also working to understand the mechanisms by which pathogens evade host immunity and cause disease. For more information about the Vance lab, please visit

The ideal candidate is a professional, collegial individual who will enjoy working with mice, can work well independently and as part of a larger team, and is looking to grow professionally while supporting multiple projects in a medium-sized collaborative academic laboratory. The chosen candidate will be responsible for the overall maintenance of a large colony of genetically unique mice and will be expected to work independently for genotyping, weaning, and managing the setup of new breeding pairs necessary to maintain the colony and provide experimental animals for various researchers in the lab with minimal supervision. This role will work closely with other lab members to help facilitate research into the immune response to infectious pathogens and will have the opportunity to contribute to research publications.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Perform daily checks of every cage in the mouse colony to monitor health and presence of new litters; coordinate with and train undergraduate lab helpers to assist with these checks and general colony maintenance.

  • Address any necessary health issues with the colony and take appropriate action in a timely manner.

  • Perform PCR genotyping assays on the colony.

  • Establish new breeding pairs of mice (or euthanize as needed) to fulfill experimental needs of the laboratory.

  • Read and adhere to all relevant protocols, assist with drafting animal protocol amendments and renewals, and ensure mouse health and safety by adhering to all regulatory bodies' standards for mouse maintenance.

  • Assist with immunological experiments involving mice, including but not limited to: infections of mice, euthanasia of mice, harvesting of organs, isolation of samples, and analysis of samples.

  • Coordinate with lab members to help provide necessary mice for experiments.

  • Keep accurate and up-to-date records of every mouse in an online database.

  • Schedule transfers of mice between facilities and order new mice to use in the colony as needed.

  • Keep animal procedure room clean and organized.



  • A bachelor's degree in the biomedical or health sciences is strongly preferred.


  • Previous hands-on laboratory experience along with a solid understanding of molecular biology techniques (PCR, genotyping, etc.) is preferred. Significant laboratory experience obtained during undergraduate studies is acceptable and will be considered.

  • Previous hands-on experience with utilizing basic lab skills (making solutions, sterile technique, etc.) is preferred.

  • Training will be provided, but previous experience working with mice would be a plus.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge and understanding of mouse husbandry, genetics, and immunology.

  • Superior verbal and written communication skills.

  • Superior organizational skills with meticulous attention to detail.

  • Superior prioritization skills and time management skills.

  • Strong sense of initiative, self-motivation, and capacity for creative problem solving.

  • Proficient computer skills (comfort with PC or Mac, Microsoft Office Suite, etc.).

  • Ability and willingness to learn new techniques and skills.

  • Ability and willingness to work with mice, viral and bacterial preparations, and radioisotopes.

  • Ability and willingness to have a flexible schedule to accommodate infrequent night and weekend work as experimental needs arise.

  • Ability to interact positively with all levels of staff.

  • Ability to work efficiently and be adaptable to changing priorities.

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet). Work may involve possible exposure to malodorous vapors, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of carcinogenic substances.

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job's principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word "may," the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are "essential functions" of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our site to learn more.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer
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