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Vanderbilt University Research Technician - McMahon Lab in Nashville, Tennessee

Job Description

Neurobiology lab is seeking motivated Research Technician to support ongoing NIH-funded research in a diverse and energetic lab environment. Experience with general lab procedures and documentation is preferred. Skills in mouse handling and genotyping or an interest in learning is also desirable. The Research Technician is part of the McMahon laboratory in the Department of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University and is an integral member of our research team responsible for maintaining laboratory supplies and an orderly laboratory environment, preparation of reagents, and providing research support for laboratory personnel. This position requires attention to detail, accuracy in reagent preparation, good analytical, organizational and communication skills. Reporting directly to Dr. Doug McMahon, the principle investigator, the Research Technician will work with other laboratory members to apply cellular, molecular, genetic and behavioral approaches to understanding fundamental mechanisms of circadian photoperiod influence on depression and motivated behaviors (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Perturbations in circadian clock function and sleep contribute to a number of human diseases, including neuropsychiatric disorders, metabolic disease and obesity, and cancer.

The Department of Biological Sciences has an excellent staff to facilitate issue resolution involving personnel, financial management, supply and equipment orders proposal submission, and infrastructure. The faculty in the department carry out diverse research projects and often collaborate with other members within the department and in nearby departments. This department covers a broad spectrum of biology, from molecules and cells to tissues and organisms to populations and ecosystems. Award-winning faculty and graduate students teach and carry out research in Biochemistry, Structural Biology and Biophysics, Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Computational Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Ecology, Developmental Biology, and Neurobiology.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Behavioral experiments in mice measuring circadian rhythms and sleep

  • Tissue culture of brain slices or dispersed brain cells

  • Mouse care and genetic crosses to produce genotypes of interest

  • Fluorescence and bioluminescence microscopy and use of ImageJ to quantify imaging data.

  • Preparation of laboratory stocks, buffer reagents and media

  • Ordering reagents through the university procurement system

  • Cleaning of laboratory glassware and reusable plasticware

  • Adherence to University safety protocols

  • Maintenance of laboratory equipment

  • Maintenance of laboratory stocks and inventory

  • Presentation of research at laboratory meetings

  • Maintenance of electronic records and hard copies of data

  • Assistance with training of new laboratory members as skillset advances.

  • Other duties as assigned


  • A Bachelors degree with a major in Biological Sciences, Chemistry or related discipline

  • Attention to detail is required

  • Accuracy in reagent preparation is required

  • Analytical, organizational and communication skills are required

  • Ability to work on a collaborative team is required

  • Previous experience working in a lab is preferred

Supervisory Relationships

This position may have supervisory responsibility as skills develop and new researchers join the laboratory. This position reports functionally to Dr. Doug McMahon and administratively to the departmental Administrative Manager.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification