Research Specialist 2, Immunology and Adjuvant Development

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2023


PME Esser-Kahn Lab

About the Department

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME; https://pme.uchicago.edu/) was established in May 2019 and evolved from the Institute for Molecular Engineering, which was founded in 2011. The PME integrates science and engineering to address global challenges from the molecular level up. The PME’s rigorous academic and research programs are made possible through the University of Chicago’s unique partnership with Argonne National Laboratory. The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is the first new school at the University of Chicago in three decades and the first school in the nation dedicated to molecular engineering. In the next phase of growth as a School, the PME will continue to expand its team of world-class faculty researchers and empower students from diverse backgrounds to collaborate with faculty in cutting-edge facilities. The PME aims to bring solutions for urgent societal problems to the forefront, while training the next generation of scientific leaders and entrepreneurs.

Job Summary

The Esser-Kahn Research Lab is seeking an experienced Research Specialist with a background and interest in vaccine developments. The ideal candidate will work collaboratively with the Principal Investigator, Postdoctoral Researchers, and students of the research lab. The candidate will also be responsible for supporting all aspects of the lab research projects and research facilities, including developing experimental approaches to formulations and administration of vaccines focused on immune activation pathways to create safer, more effective vaccines.


  • Develops, designs, and conducts research projects according to plan including collecting, analyzing, and maintaining data and/or specimens.
  • Contributes original ideas and concepts to solve complex technical problems, and explores new areas of applications in pursuit of innovative technological solutions to unmet market needs through an interdisciplinary approach.
  • Stays abreast of the latest developments of comprehensive knowledge in the relevant research areas. Effectively articulates ideas; participates and/or coordinates in developing grant proposals.
  • Independently interprets research data, develops conclusions, and communicates the findings to stakeholders through effective oral and written communication.
  • Publishes scholarly papers in peer-reviewed journals and gives presentations at scientific meetings.
  • Effectively interacts and communicates with an integrated team of researchers from a broad range of disciplines.
  • Supports data collection and analytical needs of research projects. Conducts literature reviews and helps write reports and manuscripts. Ensures project compliance with different policies, procedures, directives, and mandates.
  • Takes responsibility for the following non-laboratory duties: transcribing and coding data; developing data collection instruments; presenting research; and recruiting and scheduling research subjects. Acquires higher-level skills and knowledge in the process.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree or above in a field relevant to the research being conducted, such as biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, or related fields.


  • A minimum of two years of significant relevant research experience, however on-the-job training will be available.
  • Working in higher education, academic, or industrial research environments.
  • Conducting research experiments of cell culture, western-blot, PCR, Flowcytometry, and mouse xenograft implantation.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in techniques across multiple fields, including molecular and cellular biology (DNA/RNA isolation, PCRs, gene expression, immunostaining, protein blotting, cell culture, developing disease models in mice, etc.).

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Basic computer proficiency including computer programs and standard laboratory equipment.
  • Knowledge of relevant scientific fields.
  • Research techniques or methods for stem cell biology, stem cell differentiation technology, and cancer research.
  • Knowledge of regulatory policies and procedures.

Preferred Competencies

  • Demonstrated problem-solving, organization, analytical, and coordination skills including attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to read and comprehend scientific and technical literature, and methods to stay abreast of developments in the field.
  • Work independently and as a part of a team and interact with a diverse workforce.
  • Excellent time management skills and handle multiple, concurrent tasks within deadlines with minimal supervision.
  • Prioritize urgent tasks while ensuring established deadlines are met.
  • Flexible and adaptable to changes in workflow and procedures.
  • Work independently and collaborate with other lab personnel.
  • Familiarity with cell culture, animal models of immunological experimentation, and general methods of immune experimentation including but not limited to: flow cytometry, western-blot, cell separation and isolation, Ficoll gradient separation, and statistical analytical methods. Experience with animals is a plus.

Working Conditions

  • Laboratory environment.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

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Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

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