Research Assistant

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Updated: May 2, 2019
Job ID: 214666
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Location: Bethesda, MD, United States

Join the HJF Team!

HJF is seeking a Research Assistant for the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Lab within the Department of Pharmacology located at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland. HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to the Department of Pharmacology.

The incumbent will conduct research and/or development of research projects using behavioral tests relevant to depression, motivation and analgesia. The candidate will provide laboratory and technical support to senior technical/professional staff. 


  1. The employee will work under the supervision of Dr. Irwin Lucki and Dr. Caroline Browne on translational preclinical research projects related to depression, motivation and analgesia.
  2. Performs laboratory research projects, including collection and organization of data.  Makes detailed observations about experiments and accurately records all experiments performed under the supervision of the head of the laboratory.
  3. Maintains supplies in the laboratory, performs equipment maintenance, assists with ordering supplies, and other general laboratory duties including organization and inventory. 
  4. In vivo animal work will include behavioral testing and maintenance of the in house mouse colony.
  5. Bench work will include stereotaxic surgery, immunohistochemistry, enzyme linked immunosorbance assays, RNA/DNA isolation and western blot protein analysis. 
  6. Assists in the preparation of technical reports, summaries, and protocols.
  7. Maintains clear and accurate laboratory records, inventories and logbooks.
  8. Performs data entry for research projects and maintains databases.
  9. Provides basic data analysis and interpretation.
  10. Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Ability to follow detailed instructions and meet deadlines; good communication and analytical skills. Knowledge of standard laboratory techniques; experience in molecular biology techniques, including pipetting, making buffers and solutions, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), gel electrophoresis, and nucleic acid extraction. Previous experience in stereotaxic surgery and behavioral testing is desirable.

Minimum Education/Training Requirements: Bachelor's degree in scientific discipline.

Minimum Experience: 0 - 2 years directly related research experience.

Physical Capabilities:  Requires long periods of sitting and standing; handling of various chemicals and animals

Required Licenses, Certification or Registration:  Must be able to obtain necessary clearances to work at USUHS.

Work Environment:  Laboratory environment; may require working evenings and weekends; may involve working with biohazardous materials and laboratory animals.

Background: Eligibility to obtain a Common Access Card (CAC); eligibility to obtain and hold a Public Trust background.

Employment with HJF is contingent upon successful completion of a background check, which may include, but is not limited to, contacting your professional references, verification of previous employment, addresses, education, and credentials, a criminal background check, drug screening, and a department of motor vehicle (DMV) check.  

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.