Research Associate in Cell Biology & Anatomy University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine Canada

Research Associate, Cell Biology & Anatomy, Cumming School of Medicine


Job ID: 16796

Updated: November 6, 2018

Location: Foothills Campus


Position Overview

The Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy in the Cumming School of Medicine invites applications for a Research Associate. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 3 years (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.


This position reports to the Principal Investigator.


The Research Associate will plan, organize, and conduct experiments to analyze protein-protein interactions at the molecular to physiological levels of the calcium- and voltage-gated ion channels underlying an intrinsic neuronal inhibitory response. Molecular and protein biochemical work includes subcloning, site-directed mutagenesis, real-time mRNA quantification, designing and constructing fluorophore-tagged proteins to assess FRET in live cells and neuronal preparations.  


The Research Associate's primary purpose is to design and conduct experiments to test the underlying basis of a slow afterhyperpolarization (sAHP) in CA1 hippocampal pyramidal cells in rodent brain. They will lead experimental tests that range from molecular biology through protein biochemistry, imaging at the light and super resolution levels, and biophysics of ion channel activities recorded in cultured cells or intact brain tissue slices using patch clamp recording techniques. This position works closely with the Principal Investigator in areas of experimental protocol development, developing research projects and proposals, supervision of trainees in the lab, contribute to and assist in submitting research grant proposals.


Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Plan, organize, and conduct experiments to analyze protein-protein interactions at the molecular to physiological levels of the calcium- and voltage-gated ion channels underlying an intrinsic neuronal inhibitory response

  • Manage, maintain, and operate electrophysiological recording setup

  • Responsible for the design of new mutant DNA constructs for imaging using FRET and STORM-TIRF super resolution imaging

  • Maintain tsA-201 cell cultures and transfection of cDNA constructs or shRNA

  • Responsible for patch clamp recordings from hippocampal cell cultures or in vitro tissue slice preparations from rat or mouse brains to calculate ion channel conductance and voltage-inactivation profiles using Boltzmann equations

  • Carry out pharmacological tests on neural tissue, including calculation of IC50, EC50, and Hill coefficients

  • Lead experimental tests as required

  • Program in Matlab, Fiji and LAMA software to analyze data collected through STORM imaging

  • Involved in day-to-day training and advising of laboratory members and trainees

  • Participate directly in design and development of scientific manuscripts and national and international grant applications

  • Present research findings in published manuscripts and presentations at national and international meetings

  • Responsible for presentations and in producing figures for publication using Adobe-based programs

  • Produce initial drafts of manuscripts for publication and appropriate scientific journals

  • Under limited supervision and direction, develop and implement original experiments

  • Assign, coordinate and review the technical work of student trainees

  • Works closely with the Principal Investigator in areas of experimental protocol development

  • Trains and supervises other staff, students, and Faculty in the operation of equipment and laboratory protocols

  • Establishes and maintains effective, productive relationships with staff, peers, immediate supervisor and senior management and with the campus community

  • Manages own time effectively and ensures immediate reports to manager is kept informed of activities, and progress of work


Qualifications / Requirements:

  • PhD degree in calcium-dependent control of ion channels in cardiac and brain tissue required

  • Minimum 4 - 5 years of post-doctoral experience in the area of ion channel electrophysiology related to generation of the sAHP in CA1 hippocampal pyramidal cells required

  • Minimum 7-10 years of technical experience and completion of post-secondary education in cellular and molecular neuroscience and biophysics required

  • Established record of publishing in the field of calcium and potassium channel interactions with accessory proteins to regulate neuronal excitability

  • Ability to carry out Matlab programming for electrophysiology and imaging experiments, and FIJI and LAMA analysis of images collected through STORM-TIRF microscopy

  • Ability to provide technical support for other team members through advice on technical aspects of electrophysiology, molecular biology and fluorescent imaging

  • Demonstrated research experience in the area of ion channel physiology is critical

  • Preparation of publication quality figures for publication using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator programs

  • Interact with other members of the team and conduct literature reviews

  • Extensive knowledge of theory and practical application of electrophysiologial and immunocytochemical procedures and techniques to assess protein-protein interactions

  • Understanding of safety codes and standards related to wet lab research

  • Experience with various pharmacological agents and toxins against neural receptors and channel

  • WHIMS Certification, Biosafety certification


Application Deadline:  December 14, 2018


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.  In this connection, at the time of your application, please answer the following question: are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada? (Yes/No).


We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.


Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Technical Job Family, Phase II.  (Salary range $31.81 - $46.05/hour) 


To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website. For more information about the Cumming School of Medicine visit Careers in the Cumming School of Medicine.


Business address: 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary AB T2N 1N4


Contact information: hrhire @


About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit


The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

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