CAM Senior Research Technologist

Job ID #: 
Job Summary: 

The Center for Advanced Microscopy is seeking to hire a confocal microscopy technologist.  This individual would be responsible for supporting and maintaining our confocal laser scanning microscopes.  This includes training scientists to independently use the confocal microscopes located within the Nikon Imaging Center at Northwestern University (one of 3 nationwide).  This individual must have significant microscopy experience, and also be able to help facility users with experimental planning and troubleshooting.  Additionally, the ideal candidate will also have an understanding of optics and microscopy operation to aid in troubleshooting, as well as experience managing shared instrumentation.  Additional duties include weekly microscope cleaning, maintenance and interaction with service personnel.  

This position conducts complex experimental research in a research lab, functioning as a specialist or technical expert.  The incumbent may manage one or more phase(s) of a major project(s) or all activities of a small project.  This person may ensure overall lab compliance with all associated rules and regulations.

  • Acting as a technical expert or specialist in a particular field within a research lab, establishes and optimizes protocols and coordinates conduct of multiple complex experiments.
  • Reviews results and revises protocols as necessary to ensure that project objectives are attained.
  • Using an expert level of skill, completes the following activities:
    • Molecular Biology:
      • DNA, RNA, Protein isolation, purification and expression  
      • Southern, Northern, Western blotting
      • PCR, RT-PCR
      • Plasmid preparation
      • Cloning, mapping and sequencing of DNA
      • Recombinant virus production and purification
    • Cellular Biology:
      • Cell culture, cell isolation
      • Functional studies
      • Transfection
    • Histology:
      • Tissue fixation/processing: embedding, preparation of blocks and sectioning, staining
      • Immunohistochemistry
    • Microscopy    Immunology:
      • Flow cytometry
      • ELISA, Elispot assay
      • Cytokine assay
      • Antibody production and purification
    • Animal:
      • Husbandry
      • Breeding  and screening transgenic mice
      • Dissections
      • Blood collection
      • Surgical procedures
      • Database management of colony
    • Other (please specify):
      • Confocal microscopy
      • Fluorescent microscopy


  • Oversees and manages lab databases which may include ensuring that experiments are observed and that data is collected and entered correctly.
  • Reviews and analyzes data.
  • Creates computer models, graphs, reports and summaries for use in publications, professional journals, and grant applications.  


  • Oversees repair and maintenance of all lab equipment.
  • Ensures that lab supplies are ready and available when necessary.


  • Trains and directs residents and/or fellows.

Performs other duties as assigned.

Job Qualifications: 

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in a scientific major or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience and 5 years' lab/bench or other relevant experience required; OR
  • Successful completion of a full course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a master's or higher degree in a scientific major or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience and 3 years' lab/bench or other relevant experience.

Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)

  • Significant experience with confocal laser scanning microscopy.
Skills and Abilities Required: 

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

A thorough understanding of microscopy.  Extensive experience with fluorescent sample preparation and imaging.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

Experience on a Nikon system using NIS Elements is a plus.  Experience managing a shared instrument either in a core facility or a departmental shared piece of equipment. Experience imaging a large variety of samples is also desirable.