TECHNICAL RESEARCH ASSISTANT I / 40 HOURS / DAY / BWH - CHRONIC DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGY 8/30/2016

Brigham & Women's Hospital(BWH) Boston, MA

Company
Brigham & Women's Hospital(BWH)
Job Classification
Full Time
Company Ref #
3023979
AJE Ref #
576017803
Location
Boston, MA
Experience
Entry Level (0 - 2 years)
Job Type
Regular
Education
Bachelors Degree

JOB DESCRIPTION

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GENERAL SUMMARY/OVERVIEW STATEMENT:

The Channing Division of Network Medicine is a research division within the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Womens Hospital (BWH). The Channing mission is: To use an integrated, network-based, systems biology-driven approach to define the etiology of complex diseases, to reclassify complex diseases based on systems pathobiological mechanisms, and to develop new treatments and preventative strategies based on these new disease classifications using systems pharmacology approaches. To these aims, one of the three units of the Channing, the Chronic Disease Epidemiology unit, includes several of the largest, most intensively studied, longitudinal cohorts in the world, including the Nurses Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, Growing Up Today Study, and the Physicians Health Study.

We are currently recruiting for an Entry-level position to perform lab and office duties associated with the BWH/Harvard Cohorts Biorepository. Under the supervision of the Senior Lab Manager: retrieve and pipette frozen blood products from liquid nitrogen storage tanks to send to collaborating labs for analysis, assist with data entry, data management, and data cleaning, process human blood, hair, nail, saliva, stool, semen, tissue and urine samples received daily by mail, store specimens in liquid nitrogen for future analysis, maintain detailed specimen records and update computer database daily, consolidate freezers to optimize and create more space in the freezer farm, monitor liquid nitrogen storage facility and respond to freezer and oxygen sensor alarms, and assist in the upkeep, cleaning and maintenance of all freezers.

PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

1.Consolidation: Update the inventory of vials in the freezer farm. Consolidate samples in boxes and racks to optimize freezer space. Update forms to reflect accurate records. Coordinate with lead RA and Lab Manager for task assignments, update progress and planning. Conduct periodic quality control checks to ensure vials were properly updated in LIMS/UNIX system.
2.Collections: Process and store blood, hair, saliva, semen, stool, tissue, toenails, and urine samples, from NHSI and NHSII, HPFS, PHS, the Mens and/or Womens Lifestyle Validation Studies (MLVS and WLVS) and/or the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS), Mind Body Study (MBS) and possibly other cohorts, which includes opening and checking incoming packages for completeness, logging packages into computer data files and logbooks, centrifuging and aliquoting samples, generating labels and storing samples in liquid nitrogen freezers. Perform Quality Control (QC) checks of samples stored to confirm accuracy.
3.Production and Distribution: Participates in the preparation of samples, drawn from two (BWH and HSPH) banks of specimens for biochemical analyses. This includes computer generation of necessary files, creation of shipping lists and labels using appropriate software programs, labeling of tubes and shipping boxes, removal of samples from freezers (involves lifting 19-25 lb. racks), thawing and aliquoting of samples to be sent to collaborating laboratories, as well as, creation of subaliquots in appropriate volumes, careful check of contents of boxes against shipping lists, updating of computer and hardcopy files of work accomplished, and shipment of samples to collaborating laboratories via Federal Express.
4.Tissue: Employee will obtain consent from study participants to collect/use their pathology specimens, make sample requests from hospital pathology/radiology departments, and work directly with pathologists and study personnel in research laboratories. This individual will also maintain the database (LIMS) and tracking system (UNIX) with information on participant responses, hospital responses, collection status, and sample use. The RA will maintain files of correspondences and participant records. Responsibilities include selecting surgical accession numbers based on medical record assessment, generating letters, mailing letters, and interacting with the participants and hospital pathology/radiology departments via phone or fax. Also responsible for maintenance of letter/phone/fax correspondences in the UNIX-based tracking system.
5.Freezer/Farm Care and Maintenance: Assists in monitoring liquid nitrogen freezers, which includes measuring liquid Nitrogen levels and temperature, weekly cleaning of freezers, annual defrosting freezers as routine care, organizing, arranging and moving freezers, transferring contents of freezers during emergency situations, and replacing Dewars (moving heavy liquid nitrogen tanks). Also, assists in monitoring -80C mechanical freezers for thermal accuracy and weekly confirmation of properly functioning alarm systems. Responds promptly and efficiently to any and all freezer alarm situation and contacts the Project Manager/Lab Manager, and when necessary communicates with facilities maintenance personnel and Harvard Operations staff.
6.Other general activities such as answering phone, general lab maintenance, cleaning, organization, and special projects.

QUALIFICATIONS:

-Work requires bachelors degree, preferably in life sciences.
- Candidate must have experience with: careful laboratory techniques, strict attention to detail, and accuracy with study data and numeric identification numbers: excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills.
- Ability to lift 25-pound freezer racks is essential.
- Familiarity and comfort using computer is necessary.

SKILLS/ABILITIES/COMPETENCIES REQUIRED:

1.Display sound independent judgment, accept responsibility for designated assignments, and meet deadlines efficiently.
2.Position requires excellent organizational skills in order to formulate, implement, and monitor a number of interrelated tasks.
3.Careful laboratory technique.
4.The ability to pay strict attention to detail on a continuous basis to ensure that research results are valid and error-free.
5.Ability to strictly adhere to laboratory SOPs, directions from supervisors, and complex institutional guidelines.
6.A high degree of computer literacy is essential, in order to learn and utilize database management, UNIX, LIMS and other specialized software to implement work on the existing computer systems.
7.Excellent interpersonal and writing skills are necessary, in order to communicate and interact effectively with individuals from various fields of expertise and various levels of experiences, as well as, with study subjects, administrative, and technical staff.
8.Must be able to lift heavy racks and push heavy nitrogen tanks.
9.Ability to work well independently or as part of a team.

WORKING CONDITIONS:

The work takes place in laboratory and freezer farm settings. Liquid nitrogen freezers are located in a separate rooms/buildings, controlled for air ventilation. Work may be scheduled in similar lab at affiliated institution (HSPH). Occasional trips to area hospitals are required to meet with collaborating investigators and to deliver samples, and infrequently, weekend or evening work may be required to process blood samples.

HOSPITAL WIDE RESPONSIBILITIES:

Works within legal, regulatory, accreditation and ethical practice standards relevant to the position and as established by BWH/Partners, follows safe practices required for the position, complies with appropriate BWH and Partners policies and procedures, fulfills any training required by BWH and/or Partners, as appropriate, brings potential matters of non-compliance to the attention of the supervisor or other appropriate hospital staff.

Brigham and Womens Hospital is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin,