Medical Research Assistant

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Updated: September 21, 2018
Job ID: 213937
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Location: Yokosuka, Japan

Join the HJF Team!

HJF is seeking a Medical Research Assistant to support the Operational Infectious Diseases Department located at the Naval Health Research Center at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan. Provides routine and non-routine research and laboratory support for the Operational Infectious Diseases directorate to enhance operating and laboratory efficiency; exercises independent judgment in the resolution of laboratory problems; executes data and specimen collection, data management, and coordinates documents and shipments.


  1. Serves as the representative for the Naval Health Research center at their assigned military treatment facility or recruit training center. This includes the ability to interact with military staff, doctors, and other professionals and build professional and trusting relationships as related to study protocols.
  2. Initiate and promote febrile respiratory illness (FRI) surveillance in the hospital, on ships, military training facilities, and in deployed troops.
  3. Trains shipboard personnel to identify potential subjects who meet the case definition for FRI and to obtain throat, nasal swab, nasopharyngeal swab, and nasal wash specimens.
  4. Monitors the medical clinic to identify subjects who meet the case definition for ongoing studies.
  5. Obtains informed consent from study participants.
  6. Completes a short data sheet for each specimen.
  7. Obtains (nasal/oral/nasopharyngeal) swabs or other appropriate specimens from subjects.
  8. Label and store specimens according to proper standard operating procedures. 
  9. Complete study paperwork with legible handwriting.
  10. Provides weekly reporting of surveillance data.
  11. May use new pharmaceutical devices to test specimens for clinical trials.
  12. Responsible for knowing the proper international shipping procedures of diagnostic specimens.
  13. Reads, understands and follows all SOPs and study protocols.     
  14. Performs administrative duties to include, but not limited to, copying, labeling, and filing.
  15. Performs and/or assist in the coordination of maintenance on equipment.
  16. Contributes to the team effort by accomplishing related duties as needed.  

Laboratory duties:

  1. Performs basic laboratory procedures as instructed by a supervisor to include, but not limited to pipetting, making aliquots, real time PCR and reporting results.
  2. Performs required quality control procedures and fills out designated worksheet.
  3. Maintains an accurate inventory of samples and controls.
  4. Maintains an accurate inventory of lab supplies and places orders when necessary.
  5. Maintains policies and procedures for CAP accreditation.
  6. Maintains organization and housekeeping of the laboratory.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Advanced knowledge of respiratory disease definitions.
  • Skill in use of word processing, spreadsheet, graphic, email, and database software.
  • Ability to follow a standard operating procedure.
  • Ability to plan and prioritize work.
  • Ability to distinguish colors.
  • Ability to make a presentation (informed consent) to individuals and groups.
  • Ability to be a self-starter and work independently.
  • Ability to interface with investigators, research staff, and study participants.
  • Ability to travel to ships and other clinics.
  • Knowledge of basic laboratory, and safety procedures.
  • Knowledge of standard laboratory equipment.
  • Ability to perform continuous and sometimes long periods of repetitive work.
  • Skill in use of aseptic techniques.
  • Ability to perform basic scientific calculations/algebra.
  • Ability to correctly transcribe laboratory results.
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently.

Minimum Education/Training Requirements: This position requires the equivalent of a college degree with 0-2 year’s related experience.  Experience in molecular methods, bacteriology and/or virology is desired.

Physical Capabilities: Must be able to read reports, labels and use computer, must be able to hear well enough to communicate with coworkers, standing, walking, sitting and must be able to write, type, and use phone system.  Candidate may be required to wear a face mask while interacting with patients and/or specimens and must be able to pass a respirator fit test.  In order for the face mask to effectively protect the user, facial hair must be clean shaven.  Candidate is required to pass annual screening for Tuberculosis.

Work Environment: Office/clinical working conditions in a military setting. Handle hazardous materials. Possible exposure to infection from disease-bearing specimens; regularly exposed to the risk of blood-borne diseases; must comply with applicable safety procedures.

Security Clearance: It is a condition of employment with the Naval Health Research Center that you undergo a favorable National Agency Check with Local Agency and Credit Checks (NACLC) investigation which will include being fingerprinted.  If a favorable NACLC is not received, your employment with HJF would terminate.

HJF is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Any qualifications to be considered as equivalents, in lieu of stated minimums, require the prior approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.