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Research Specialist - Neuroscience and Pharmacology (Tomchik Lab) at The University of Iowa

Research Specialist - Neuroscience and Pharmacology (Tomchik Lab)

The University of Iowa Iowa City, IA Full-Time

The Carver College of Medicine Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology (Dr. Tomchik lab) is seeking a Research Specialist. This Research Specialist will assist in research that focuses on dissecting the mechanisms of learning and memory, neuronal plasticity, and how these are disrupted in genetic disorders such as neurofibromatosis type 1.  The Tomchik lab focuses on neuronal circuit and metabolic contributions to disease.  This research involves the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as well as human induced pluripotent stem cells, to uncover the genetic, neuronal circuit, and systemic mechanisms of neuronal function in normal conditions and disease models.

Key Areas of Responsibility:

Research:  Function as a specialist/technical expert in a specific discipline(s).  Investigate and perform critical analysis of current literature to develop novel approaches to research either independently or in conjunction with other investigators. 

Experiment, Investigations, Evaluations:  Develop and implement research plan either independently or in conjunction with other investigators.  Conduct complex research in a specialized discipline.  Develop, troubleshoot, and formulate protocols and hypotheses in a specialized field/discipline.

Collect, Analyze and Summarize Data; Prepare Reports; Contribute to Manuscripts, Publications: Contribute at a high level to the lab/research project as evidenced by documented recognition in publications as an author or for technical assistance.  May independently write papers, manuscripts, grant applications, and publish.  Develop new methodologies and techniques related to the area of research.  Develop the statistical analysis plan and oversee its implementation.  Perform complex statistical analysis of data using advanced statistical methods and tools.  Perform qualitative date analysis and summarize results.  Present at local and national meetings. 

Administrative and Project Management:  Oversee many of the administrative functions, including but not limited to writing and amending protocols, making decisions regarding the acquisition of equipment, software, and supplies, being responsible for the safety programs, and managing staff.  Communicate directly with any external stakeholders (funders, partners, etc.) as to progress, reporting requirements, and timetables.

Facilities and Equipment Management:  Proactively determine needs of the lab and/or facilities.  Gather and determine specifications for highly specialized equipment and procure lab equipment.  Determine software needs for projects.      

Supervision/Staffing:  Develop training procedures for basic and high-level lab techniques and protocols.  Develop evaluation tools for measuring the outcomes of training, staff development, and staff performance.  Hire staff and evaluate performance to assure compliance with UI policies and procedures.  

Our mission is to inspire and educate world class health care providers and scientists for the people of Iowa and our global community.  Researchers in the College's over 280 laboratories are served by state-of-the-art core research facilities and research support facilities. Much of the research conducted is interdisciplinary and collaborations are fostered and coordinated through major research centers, institutes, and programs. Many faculty members are internationally renowned for their research. Two faculty members are Howard Hughes Institute Investigators, 12 are members of the Institute of Medicine and two are members of the National Academy of Sciences.

Position Summary:

  • Perform Drosophila and/or human iPSC experiments independently. This includes but is not limited to brain histology, immunoblotting, microscopy, behavioral, biochemical, and physiological experiments in Drosophila and/or human iPSCs
  • Run a wide variety of experiments independently. Present results at lab meetings and beyond. Contribute to project publication and development of new ideas
  • Assist with maintaining Drosophila stocks: preparing food, flipping flies, and shipping
  • Keep detailed inventory of lab reagents
  • Order and maintain records of drugs/chemical agents and other supplies
  • Assist in the maintenance of lab equipment, monitoring lab inventory, arranging service contracts, and interfacing with technicians and vendors
  • Assist graduate students and postdocs with experiments

Percent of Time: 100%

Staff Type: Professional & Scientific

Type of Position: Specified Term. Initial appointment is for one year. Appointment may be extended based on performance and availability of funding.

Pay Grade: 5A -  [ Link removed ] - Click here to apply to Research Specialist - Neuroscience and Pharmacology (Tomchik Lab)

Benefits Highlights:

  • Regular salaried position located in Iowa City, Iowa
  • Fringe benefit package including paid vacation; sick leave; health, dental, life and disability insurance options; and generous employer contributions into retirement plans

Required Qualifications:

  • Requires a Master’s in neuroscience or biomedical field or a minimum of 5 years of research experience in neuroscience, pharmacology, cell biology, physiology, biochemistry, or molecular biology
  • At least 3 years of experience in a research laboratory
  • Proficiency with a variety of neuroscience techniques such as animal behavior, molecular biology, histology, and confocal imaging
  • Demonstrated excellent written and verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to work autonomously, problem solve and effectively manage own time/workload to meet project goals with minimal oversight

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Previous experience with Drosophila or human iPSCs
  • Experience with Matlab, Prism, Illustrator

Application Process: In order to be considered, applicants must upload a CV or resume, and cover letter (under submission relevant materials) that clearly address how they meet the listed required and desired qualifications of this position.

Job openings are posted for a minimum of 14 calendar days and may be removed from posting and filled any time after the original posting period has ended. Successful candidates will be subject to a credential and criminal background check. Professional references will be requested at a later step in the recruitment process.

For additional questions, please contact Anne Phillips at [ Email address blocked ] - Click here to apply to Research Specialist - Neuroscience and Pharmacology (Tomchik Lab).

Additional Information

  • Classification Title: Research Specialist
  • Appointment Type: SEIU
  • Schedule: Full-time


  • Pay Level: 52
  • Starting Salary Maximum: tiffanyrperkins

Contact Information

Equal opportunity/affirmative action employer

The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance or accommodations with the application or interview process may contact University Human Resources/Faculty and Staff Disability Services,

(319) 335-2660
or [ Link removed ] - Click here to apply to Research Specialist - Neuroscience and Pharmacology (Tomchik Lab).  For jobs in UI Health care, please contact UI Health care Leave & Disability Administration at

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