Research Specialist

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2024


PSD Chemistry: Faculty Support

About the Department

Krishnan Laboratory is at the forefront of applying DNA nanotechnology for targeting small molecules specifically to diseased cells with organelle-level precision. Currently, our lab is developing high-accuracy, DNA-based probes for diagnostic applications that target nucleic acid-loaded exosomes in circulation. While you are here, your project will involve developing this diagnostic, optimizing exosome isolation from blood, and developing a workflow for diagnosing or sub-typing a specific chronic inflammation state as observed in neurodegenerative disease /cancer/cardiac diseases, etc.

Job Summary

The Research Specialist will be responsible for the maintenance of a zebrafish aquarium facility and its zebrafish stocks as well as a C. elegans facility and its worm strains. The Krishnan lab takes advantage of both zebrafish and worms as model systems. They are powerful models for a variety of genetic, molecular, imaging, developmental, and cellular approaches. The Research Technologist position, also, requires proficiencies in cell culture, mouse husbandry, and mouse care. The Krishnan lab utilizes mice (in vivo) and cells (in vitro) as disease model systems.

The role’s responsibilities are to also provide general technical support including ordering and tracking supplies, maintaining equipment, and basic molecular, embryology, and histology approaches allowing for opportunities to become involved in ongoing research projects in the lab. This position provides technical support activities related to scientific research projects. Ensures compliance of research activities with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives, and mandates.


  • Manages key mouse strains for the lab.

  • Cares for and raises zebrafish for daily embryo production and stock maintenance.

  • Genotypes fish stocks and mouse strains.

  • Trains incoming scientists in C. elegans, zebrafish, and mouse experimental techniques.

  • Training of incoming scientists in mouse handling, tagging, and ear and mouse tail collection.

  • Training of incoming scientists in fish feeding, mating, and anesthetic usage, sterile techniques used for C. elegans and cell culture.

  • Regular water-quality checks and facility maintenance for an aquarium.

  • Sets up regular pairwise mating between fish and embryo collection.

  • Orders consumables; maintains stocks of standard solutions, bacterial-culture and media plates, chemicals, glassware, etc.

  • Sets up and maintains lab databases.

  • Organizes and washes/autoclaves laboratory glassware.

  • Coordinates general laboratory organization.

  • Provides research support for key research projects.

  • Coordinates mycoplasma testing for cell contamination checks and updates the database.

  • Characterizing DNA nanodevices and assaying their uptake efficacy in cell culture.

  • Maintaining key cell culture lines e.g., J774s for common lab’s use.

  • Coordinates with collaborators to acquire new beneficial strains for the lab.

  • Analyzes and maintains data and/or specimens. Conducts literature reviews. Assists with preparation of reports, manuscripts and other documents.

  • Installs, sets up, and performs experiments; interacting with students and other laboratory staff under the direction of the principal investigator.

  • 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 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree.


  • Embryology and/or molecular biology.

  • Experience with imaging.

  • Generating zebrafish CRISPR Knockouts.

  • Experience with injections of the zebrafish at the one-cell stage to microscopic organs (optic tectum, muscle, and heart) up to 7 DPF.

  • Experience with DNA nanodevice construction and characterization.

  • Experience characterizing novel mouse strains.

  • Liq. N2 handling for storage and maintenance of cell and worm strains.

  • Experience with C. elegans picking, staging, and microinjection.

  • Experience with a sterile technique for cell culture and C. elegans plates.

  • Immunohistochemistry.

Preferred Competencies

  • Ability to maintain stocks of standard bacterial cultures and standard media plates.

  • Creating, maintaining, and reorganizing lab and facility databases.

  • Handling mouse care, husbandry, and manipulation.

  • Ordering and account management.

  • Ability to use Analytical Software: Snapgene & Image J.

  • Zebrafish deyolking, mounting, and microdissection.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

  • References (preferred)

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

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

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.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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