Portland VA Research Foundation
  • 17-Sep-2020 to 16-Dec-2020 (PST)
  • Sunwen Chou
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time

Health, Dental, Vision, ER Life & AD&D, 401k

Job Title: Research Assistant

Department: VA Research Service


Assist in research on genetic alterations related to antiviral drug resistance in human cytomegalovirus. Characterize the viral mutations responsible for a drug-resistant phenotype and associated changes in growth and biological function of the virus.


  • Perform viral and cell culture using aseptic techniques.
  • Analysis of viral growth by microscopy and enzyme assays.
  • Viral DNA, RNA and protein extraction, purification and analysis. 
  • Construction of recombinant viral strains containing designated mutations. 
  • Assays for viral drug susceptibility, antigen and gene expression.
  • Participate in laboratory and biosafety training and maintain safe laboratory practices. 
  • Accurate and timely data entry and maintenance of laboratory records and electronic databases.


As defined above, with further elaboration as follows:

  • Quality control activities including continuous review and modification of experimental techniques, laboratory records, specimen archives, and databases.
  • Timely acquisition and preparation of starting materials for laboratory research, including reagents, cultures, glassware and plasticware.
  • Operation and maintenance of specialized equipment including microscopes, centrifuges, spectrophotometers, balances, digital cameras and computers.
  • Informed interpretation of experimental data and planning for subsequent experiments.


Ability to perform essential job duties with or without reasonable accommodation and without posing a direct threat to safety or health of employee or others. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Bachelor's (University) degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry or microbiology and research laboratory with documented experience in cell culture sterile technique, molecular cloning, genetics and proteomics. Ability to operate standard molecular biology equipment.


Ability to read and interpret English language technical documents without difficulty, such as safety regulations, operating and maintenance instructions, research papers and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and make accurate entries in laboratory notebooks and databases. Efficient English verbal communication and understanding of experimental plans, procedures, observations and results.


Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute serial dilutions, mean, median, standard deviation, rate, ratio, and percent, and to draw and interpret line charts. Understanding of the meaning of units of concentration such as nanomolar and micromolar, their essential distinction and interconversion.


Job absolutely requires specialized computer skills which will be in constant use. Must be adept at using various applications including database, spreadsheet, word processing, and e-mail.  Adept at using Microsoft office suite including Excel and Access. Awareness of network specific requirements for use of multi-user databases.


Ability to apply common sense in situations involving safety and integrity of persons, environment, materials and data, commensurate with the required level of education and research experience. Sufficient understanding to carry out instructions competently, when furnished in written, oral, or diagram form at a level of detail expected for those with the required educational and technical background. Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The employee is frequently required to walk, and regularly required to sit and stand; use fingers to finger, handle or feel; reach with hands or arms; and occasionally required to climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl.
  • The employee is frequently required to talk and hear.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet. While performing the duties of this job the employee may occasionally work near moving mechanical parts, and work with toxic or caustic chemicals

Apply online at http://www.pvarf.org and include a CV and cover letter explaining your interest in the position. Cover letter should include description of recent work history as it relates to the specific responsibilities in the job announcement.

Portland VA Research Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to status as a protected veteran or a qualified individual with a disability, or other protected status, such as race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or age.








Portland VA Research Foundation
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