Research Assistant

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Updated: January 8, 2019
Job ID: 214437
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Location: Rockville, MD, United States

Join the HJF Team!

HJF is seeking a Research Assistant to support the efforts of the Specimen Processing Laboratory and Biorepository, for the Department of Laboratory Diagnostics and Monitoring (DLDM), within the US Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) located in Rockville, Maryland. HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to MHRP.

The incumbent’s primary responsibility will be receipt, accession, data entry, processing, archival storage, distribution and/or shipment of biospecimens for clinical research, sponsored clinical trials, non-clinical research, and clinical testing. The incumbent will perform standardized procedures in strict accordance with laboratory Standard Operating Procedures, Good Clinical Laboratory Practices (GCLP), and accrediting agencies to include the College of American Pathologist (CAP) and DOD Clinical Laboratory Improvement Program (CLIP).


  1. Receives and accessions biospecimens to include, but not limited to, whole blood, blood products, cells, tissue, swabs from clinical trial sites; inventories samples, and documents the receipt of the samples in accordance with standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  2. Visually inspects specimens for quality and documentation for data accuracy, follows specimen rejection criteria, communicates with external sites to resolve discrepancies, and enters data into electronic specimen tracking systems, e.g., Freezerworks, LDMS, Global Trace.
  3. Performs biospecimen processing to include, but not limited to high volume PBMC processing, e.g. leukopak, processing for serum, plasma, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) for functional and other studies.
  4. Performs specimen handling for long term archival storage, retrieval, inventory, and disposal activities; prepares aliquots and/or specimens and related data for shipment/transfer to outside laboratories, collaborators, and investigators/Institutions.
  5. Properly packages and ships samples to laboratories/collaborators as required per Internal Air Transportation Association (IATA) standards.
  6. Performs preventative, routine daily, weekly, monthly, annual maintenance on laboratory equipment as required.
  7. Maintains inventory of common laboratory supplies.
  8. Conducts specimen processing and all laboratory activities in compliance with GCLP, CAP, and CLIP standards.
  9. Responsible for developing, implementing, maintaining and validating SOPs as required.
  10. Maintains and promotes a clean, safe work environment. Wears appropriate personal protective equipment as designated by laboratory and Biorepository areas.
  11. Responsible for performing assigned tasks in accordance with all applicable safety regulations and instructions.
  12. Performs all other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Knowledge of laboratory terminology and safe work practices. Ability to follow standard operating procedures, work in a team environment; excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Minimum Education/Training Requirements: BS in science field.

Minimum Experience: 0 - 2 years laboratory experience preferred.

Physical Capabilities: Job performance requires ability to move around and between several laboratory areas. The individual must be able to work in a laminar flow hood for handling of infectious agents and flow cytometry applications. Fine motor coordination in manipulation of laboratory materials is essential. The individual must be able to stand and/or sit for lengthy periods to include, but not limited to, processing of specimens, operation of instrumentation, and data analysis at a computer terminal.

Licenses, Certification or Registration: Not required. IATA Safe Shipper Certification is a plus.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls: The incumbent will report to the Laboratory Manager of the Specimen Processing Laboratory/BioRepository, Department of Laboratory Diagnostics and Monitoring, US Military HIV Research Program.

Work Environment: Laboratory and Biorepository. The incumbent will handle biospecimens, bio-hazardous materials, and potentially infectious human specimens to include, but not limited to, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Herpes, HTLV, syphilis infected material. The incumbent will be expected to practice safe handling of infectious materials and hazardous chemicals.

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.