Research Associate, Biological Sciences
University of Calgary, Department of Biological Sciences

Position Overview

The Department of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science invites applications for a Research Associate . This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 7 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

The Research Associate will report to the Principal Investigator. The research is part of an industry-sponsored contract requiring the timely completion of specific experimental objectives. The Research Associate will be expected to work full-time hours (35 hours per week). Flexibility in working hours is desired as evening and weekend work may be required depending on the nature of the research underway.

The primary purpose of this position is to work on a project aimed at optimizing the de novo production of high-value plant metabolites in microorganisms through a combination of (i) novel gene discovery, (ii) substitution with empirically superior gene variants, (iii) rational evolution of recalcitrant enzymes, and (iv) protein fusions to mimic native pathway architecture. The Research Associate will be responsible for (i) the construction of microbial expression vectors, (ii) the construction of recombinant microbial strains, and (iii) the testing of engineered enzymes in recombinant microorganisms strains using molecular, biochemical and chemical analysis. The individual will utilize selected laboratory equipment and various reagents typically found in a metabolic biochemistry and synthetic biology laboratory.


Position Description

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


  • Design and construct microbial expression vectors
  • Design and construct recombinant microbial strains
  • Conduct the molecular, biochemical and chemical analysis of recombinant microbial strains
  • Work both collaboratively and independently, as defined by the Principal Investigator, on laboratory experiments, data analysis and data interpretation as needed
  • Conduct on-line literature searches as necessary to support scientific research activities
  • Interact with other members of the team and provide technical support and offer advice on technical lab issues as needed

Reporting & Publications

  • Maintain lab notebook by tracking results and findings in accurate and timely manner
  • Provide up-to-date information on past, present and future laboratory experiments as required by the sponsor of the contracted research
  • Participate in lab meetings on an as required basis reporting on progress made, issues arising and results obtained

Safety and Environment

  • Ensure the safe and reliable operation, and proper use of all laboratory equipment
  • Ensure that supervisor is kept informed of activities, findings, and progress of work
  • Perform other duties, as assigned by Research Supervisor

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in molecular biology and/or biochemistry required
  • Postdoctoral research experience in molecular biology and/or biochemistry preferred
  • Demonstrated experience in accurate record keeping and reporting of research findings
  • Strong analytical, organizational, time-management and problem-solving skills
  • Strong communication skills (written and oral) and team work capabilities, while at the same time being able to work independently as may be required
  • Willingness to perform any administrative and other duties associated with the research project, of an occasional nature, which may be assigned by Research Supervisor
  • Experience in using the suite of Microsoft Office programs (or equivalent)
  • Experience in literature searching, including libraries, web sites and other media

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