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Research Assistant

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Research Assistant
Detroit, MI, United States
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Research Assistant


We are searching for an experienced Research Assistant at our Detroit campus location.

Wayne State University is a premier, public, urban research university located in the heart of Detroit where students from all backgrounds are offered a rich, high quality education. Our deep rooted commitment to excellence, collaboration, integrity, diversity and inclusion creates exceptional educational opportunities preparing students for success in a diverse, global society.


Essential Functions (Job Duties):

Under the direction of the Principal Investigator, provide scientific and technical assistance to
complete laboratory based, clinical or population science research.  May assist in writing research protocols and in manuscript preparation.  Design and perform research protocols independently or as directed through training in more difficult or specialized procedures to meet the needs of the research protocol.

Perform laboratory based scientific techniques or clinical/population science (human subjects) research.  Design and perform experiments, recruit participants for studies by developing surveys and interviewing candidates.  Participate in implementing research objectives, ensuring compliance with all legal, regulatory and protocol guidelines.  Assist staff with experiments/research protocols as required. Communicate with principal investigator and Postdoctoral scholars/fellows on the status of research.

Collect and log laboratory results, clinical outcomes and/or survey data.  Evaluate and perform data analysis using graphs, charts or tables to highlight the key points of the research results collected in accordance with the research protocols as stipulated. Proofread and edit research data and documents to ensure accuracy.

Assist principal investigator with writing methods and summarizing/organizing data  to be used in preparing and presenting presentations for professional, scientific and academic conferences and submittal to academic and scholarly peer-reviewed journals. 

Maintain the laboratory work areas including routine maintenance on laboratory equipment as required.  Order and organize required research supplies and records.  Maintain cleanliness and organization of work station.

Perform other related duties as assigned.


Unique Duties:

1. Use immunoblotting to determine the levels of selected proteins in tissue from humans and small animals. 2. Isolate DNA from fecal samples (human and small animal), quantify DNA, carry out PCR analysis of DNA and prepare library for sequencing. 3. Use automated, robotic instrumentation to prepare samples for 16S rRNA gene sequencing. 4. Perform qPCR for quantification of bacterial load in fecal samples from treated mice 5. Inject small animals with agents designed to modify the gut microbiome (e.g., antibiotics) and use sterile techniques to carry out experiments using germ-free mice. 6. Use universal precautions in working with human fecal samples and carry out fecal microbiota transplantation into mouse recipients. 7. Test small animals in behavioral tests for assessing CNS disorders to include anxiety, depression, cognition and general activity/arousal. 8. Upload DNA sequencing data onto the WSU high performance computing grid and analyze large DNA sequence data sets for status of the gut microbiome using mothur, R and PAST. 9. Carry out microbiota diversity analysis and use LEfSe and PICRUSt2 to assess bacterial biomarkers and metabolomics, respectfully.



Bachelor's degree

Bachelor’s degree in a related field of study, preferred. Requires advanced knowledge
predominantly intellectual in character in a field of science or learning acquired by a prolonged
course of specialized intellectual instruction.  
Entry level (less that a year of job-related experience)

Experience performing basic research techniques or interacting with human subjects, preferred. 

Ability to work independently.  Ability to analyze, summarize and interpret research findings and
data in reports and spreadsheets and communicate results. Knowledge of scientific integrity
principles. Excellent time management and organization skills.  Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and demonstrated ability to work with others in a collaborative environment.  Microsoft office software skills.


Preferred Qualifications:

1. BS degree in Biology 2. MS degree in Basic Medical Sciences 3. Minimum 2 years experience working with small animals (e.g., mice, rats, guinea pigs) to include injections, dissection of tissue for analysis and use of behavioral assays for CNS disorders 4. Minimum 2 years experience with SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis, Western blotting, ELISA, and bacterial culturing and plating. 5. Minimum 2 years experience with 16S rRNA gene sequencing DNA library construction and quality control, robotic DNA extraction and quantification, and use of sterile technique. 6. Minimum 2 years experience in the use of PCR, qPCR, primer design, and acrylamide gel electrophoresis of DNA amplicons 7. Minimum 5 peer reviewed publications



H06 - School of Medicine


Primary Department:

H0613 - Psychiatry


Job Type: Full Time


Job Category: Research


Funding/Salary Information:

          Compensation Type: Annual Salary

          Hourly Rate:

          Salary Minimum:

          Salary Hire Maximum:


Working Conditions:

Typical work environment may include a laboratory and/ or office environment. May require working non-standard business hours including evenings and weekends. May be required to travel to scientific conferences.


Job Openings: 1


Reposted Position: No

Reposted Reason: None (New Requisition)

Prior Posting/Requisition Number:


Background Check Requirements:

University policy requires certain persons who are offered employment to undergo a background check, including a criminal history check, before starting work.  If you are offered employment, the University will inform you if a background check is required.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

Wayne State University provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. WSU encourages applications from women, people of color, and other underrepresented people. Wayne State is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

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Wayne State University requires all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions.
Learn more at: WSU Covid-19 Website

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer including Disabled/Vets

Wayne State University
Human Resources * 5700 Cass Avenue * Suite 3638 AAB
Detroit, MI * 48202

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