Research Assistant I/II

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine

Bar Harbor, ME

Job posting number: #7070533 (Ref:JAX27988)

Posted: October 2, 2020

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description


The Laboratory of Dr. Kristen O’Connell is seeking a highly organized and skilled Research Assistant I/II. The O’Connell Lab focuses on the impact of genetic and environmental factors on hypothalamic circuits regulating energy balance and related behaviors, particularly with regard to diseases such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. The successful candidate for this position will be primarily be responsible for performing intracranial surgeries, including the placement of chronic brain implants, and assisting with mouse neurobehavioral phenotyping, including optogenetics and in vivo imaging of neuronal activity. This role requires a high level of self-motivation and organization, along with the ability and willingness to acquire new skills. The candidate must be capable of working independently as well as in a team environment.


  • RA I:
    • Conducts tests, experiments, and/or procedures following standard or detailed protocol; identifies and documents variations that may affect the validity of the experiment.
    • Data collection and analysis. Performs quality control, monitors data for accuracy, uploads data to database system within agreed upon timelines with supervisor.
    • Validate and conduct studies based upon standard experimental protocols within the agreed upon timelines with supervisor/technical manager. Ensure functionality and maintenance of instrumentation.
    • Records all information, daily, in an official laboratory notebook
  • RA II:
    • Identifies problems, troubleshoots and analyzes variations observed and reported in regular testing protocols; modifies, refines or adapts techniques and procedures; modifies and/or adjusts quality control measures.
    • Monitors documentation of results; reviews and recognizes documentation which may lead to modification and adaptation of research methodologies; may collaborate with others.
    • Plans and monitors resources needed to operate the laboratory; maintains inventory control; coordinates space, field, equipment and/or facilities; may monitor expenditures.
    • Leads exchange of research information through demonstration and instruction.
    • Assists in grant writing and proposal development.
    • Conducts multiple experiments and is responsible for maintenance of equipment used in those experiments. Is organized, responsible and reports results clearly and efficiently to supervisor.
    • Records all information, daily, in an official laboratory notebook


  • RA I:
    • Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences or related discipline OR 1-3 years of related experience.
  • RA II:
    • Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences or related discipline OR 3 – 6 years of directly related experience in a Laboratory setting.
  • Both levels:
    • Mouse handling and husbandry skills preferred. Must be able to handle mice and perform minor surgeries on mice after being trained and certified.
    • Prior experience with mouse survival surgery preferred.
    • Fundamental computer skills, including familiarity with Excel and Word.
    • Ability to clearly and concisely communicate information verbally and in written form.
    • Strong attention to detail is required.
    • Must be a strong team-player and posses excellent listening skills.
    • Ability to work flexible shifts (evening/week-end/holiday)

About Us

The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with more than 2,300 employees. Headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine, it has a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in Augusta, Maine, a genomic medicine institute in Farmington, Connecticut, and facilities in Ellsworth, Maine, Sacramento, California, and Shanghai, China. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.

The Jackson Laboratory's 43-acre scenic Bar Harbor campus is nestled between the Gulf of Maine and the mountains of Acadia National Park. Some of the best hiking and biking in the world (over 50 square miles of mountains, lakes, views, and dramatic coastline) is accessible from our campus. We are one mile from downtown Bar Harbor, which offers a vibrant downtown district with a plethora of restaurants, shops, museums, and galleries.

JAX employees work in a collaborative, value-driven, and team-based environment where the focus is on advancing science and improving patients’ lives. Researchers apply genetics to increase the understanding of human disease and advance treatments and cures for cancer, neurological and immune disorders, diabetes, aging, and heart disease. JAX was voted among the top 15 “Best Places to Work in Academia” in the United States in a poll conducted by The Scientist magazine!


Our Values:

INTEGRITY - Courage and commitment to do what is right

PEOPLE - Inspiring our people to enhance the health of all

ONE TEAM - Unified by our promise to transform medicine and science

EXCELLENCE - Achieving world-class results

INNOVATION - Leading with discovery and creative solutions

STEWARDSHIP - Caring for and enhancing the resources entrusted to us


What do we have to offer?

JAX offers a dynamic and supportive work environment, competitive salaries, and a comprehensive benefits package, including a medical plan, outstanding retirement plan, generous paid time off, and tuition reimbursement including an MBA program. Our campus offers a fitness center with an award-winning wellness program, an onsite full service cafeteria, and a fully operational primary care facility available to employees and their families.


Most importantly, every position contributes to JAX’s mission of discovering precise genomic solutions for human disease and empowering the global biomedical community in our shared quest to improve human health.


Employment will require successful completion of references, background check, and a pre-employment physical.

The Jackson Laboratory provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, age, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition, gender, sexual orientation, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, national origin, veteran status, and other classifications protected by applicable state and local non-discrimination laws.

Learn more about career opportunities at JAX:




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