The Research Assistant in the Center for Structural Biology (CSB) Cryo-Electron Microscopy Facility at Vanderbilt University's School of Medicine is a key individual contributor responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient operation of instrumentation, setting standard operating procedures, and training and assisting users. This position requires coordination with other Staff Scientists in the Facility, including the Co-Directors, to ensure optimal operational efficiency. This position reports directly to the Co-Directors of the CSB Cryo-EM Facility.
The Vanderbilt Center for Structural Biology is a multi-disciplinary, trans-institutional center based in the Basic Sciences of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. The CSB was the core part of a major initiative started in the year 2000 to significantly upgrade the capabilities in Structural Biology at Vanderbilt by bringing additional faculty, state-of-the-art instrumentation, and programs to campus. The CSB was developed to promote the broad use of structural biology approaches in all life science research and to provide a focal point that bridges medicine and biology to math, chemistry, and physics. The Center runs the Molecular Biophysics Training Program which encompasses a network of ~150 faculty, students, postdocs and staff. The CSB provides Vanderbilt investigators access to all available tools (including Crystallography, NMR Spectroscopy, Computational Biology, Electron Microscopy and Fluorescence Spectroscopy - mini cores) necessary to solve fundamental structural problems in medicine and biology. The CSB promotes an environment of collaboration among investigators from a range of departments in both the College of Arts and Science and the School of Medicine.
The Center for Structural Biology Cryo-EM Facility at Vanderbilt University is seeking a full-time Research Assistant to join the team . The Cryo-EM Facility aims to advance knowledge in biomedical science through high-resolution imaging and image analysis of biomolecular assemblies. The Facility's mandate is to enable state-of-the-art molecular electron microscopy experiments for all Vanderbilt investigators with biomedical research needs. The Facility houses 4 electron microscopes, including a Titan Krios G4 with Falcon3 and BioQuantum K3 direct electron detectors. The environment is highly collaborative, working with structural biologists, cell biologists , engineers, and other University facilities with expanded electron microscopy equipment, including a Thermo Scientific Helios Nanolab G3 CX FIB-SEM with a Quorum PP3010 cryo system . This environment provides the opportunity for a motivated individual to participate in and contribute significantly to a stimulating professional research and teaching environment at the cutting edge of structural biology. There are opportunities for further specialization as the facility expands from our current work with cryo-EM and in situ cryo-ET, to include new technologies and instruments such as correlative light and electron microscopy and Micro-ED applications. The position will be tailored to the needs of the facility and the successful applicant's previous experience and interests.
Facility equipment includes:
100kV Morgagni with 1k x 1k CCD
200kV TF20 with 4k x 4k CCD
300kV Polara with Gatan K2 Summit direct electron detector
Titan Krios G4 with Thermo Scientific Falcon3 and Gatan K3 direct electron detectors, with Gatan BioQuantum energy filter
Vitrobot MK4 and MK2
Other associated equipment
Duties and Responsibilities
Operation and Maintenance
Assist Co-Directors in daily operations and management.
Maintain facility instrumentation.
Participate in methods development and optimization.
Collaborate with users to assist in data collection and data processing, as needed, to facilitate projects.
Trains new users on sample preparation, instrument operation, and data processing.
Serve as technical resource between user and instrumentation.
Advise users on experimental strategy.
Participates in user meetings to maintain effective scientific environment.
Bachelor's degree in structural biology, biology, biochemistry, or related field is necessary.
MS or PhD in structural biology, biology, biochemistry, or related field is preferred.
Research laboratory experience is necessary.
Excellent communication, writing, and interpersonal skills are necessary.
Experience working as part of a multi-disciplinary team of collaborators is necessary.
Experience in training others to operate instrumentation is preferred.
Experience in an electron microscopy laboratory and with single particle and tomography workflows (specimen preparation, data acquisition, and computational analysis) are preferred.
In-depth knowledge of electron microscope hardware is preferred.
Working knowledge of Linux operating system, scripting, and programming is preferred.
Knowledge of image processing algorithms and proficiency in the use of common image processing packages is preferred.
Applicants of all backgrounds who have a strong interest in becoming a cryo-EM expert will be considered.
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.
Internal Number: 10000916
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.