Research Technician-Wheeler, Cotman & MacDonald Labs

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The Wheeler, Cotman and MacDonald laboratories seeks a research technician to work with investigators and other laboratory staff to perform laboratory-based research aimed at delineating genetic variants involved in the onset and progression of inherited brain disorders (Huntington’s disease, Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, Parkinson Disease, ALS). The research specifically involves lines of mice that have mutations in the Huntington’s disease, Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, Parkinson disease and ALS genes and lines of mice with mutations in other genes that modify the disease processes. The Wheeler, Cotman and MacDonald labs maintain and do genetic studies with these mutant lines of mice with the goal of characterizing the genetic basis of these brain diseases, in order to translate these discoveries to improvements in clinical care and public health. We are seeking a highly motivated individual to join our team of talented and intellectually diverse researchers in a collaborative research environment.


•             Prepares basic solutions and performs base-level procedures as assigned (i.e. – pipetting, cell and tissue culture, etc.)

•             Maintains laboratory notebook

•             Understands and applies basic scientific techniques

•             Conducts analysis of results and may begin interpretation of results

•             Sets up and prepares routine experiments as directed

•             Prepares lab reagents, chemicals, instruments and equipment

•             May perform independent literature searches

•             Assists with organizing materials for publication or presentation

•             Maintains and orders supplies


A Research Technician II performs the duties of a Research Technician I (above) and may also:

•             Execute protocols of non-routine experiments

•             Assist the PI(s) with determining the most suitable methodology

•             Perform basic design and modification of protocols

•             Calculate, transcribe and analyze data

•             Prepare and present reports

•             Organize and summarize acquired data, using scientific and statistical techniques.

•             Organize and/or draft material for the preparation of research papers, manuscripts and other documents for publication and/or presentation.

•             Participate in the design of experiments or field work.

•             Independently conduct breeding experiments (mating, culling, weaning, tagging) with mutant lines of mice.

•             Perform general health inspection of mice and maintain findings in records

•             Perform standard molecular biological techniques, including PCR, DNA extraction, genotyping, Southern blotting and qPCR.

•             Run quality control assays and other sample preparation techniques on samples in preparation of downstream genetic analysis.

•             Design primers/assays for breeding study projects.

•             Perform tracking of mice and pedigrees, in tracking databases

•             Analyze results of breeding experiments, classes of genotype and recording in databases.

•             Contribute to troubleshooting mouse breeding experiments and developing new laboratory processes and technologies.

•             Interface with MGH animal facility staff on a regular basis.

•             Attend and participate in lab meetings, including preparing reports and presenting progress.

•             Assist in preparation of manuscripts, poster presentations, and project reports.

•             Assist in preparation and submission of regulatory materials (e.g. SRAC IACCUC

•             protocols).

•             Work to streamline lab processes.

•             Maintain log of laboratory inventory, supplies, equipment, and computers mouse studies.



    • Ability to work independently and as a team member
    • Good communication skills
    • Computer literacy
    • Working knowledge of clinical research protocols
    • Ability to perform multiple tasks independently


    The Research Technician II should also possess:

    • Analytical skills and the ability to resolve technical problems
    • Ability to interpret acceptability of data results
    • Working knowledge of data management programs
    • Demonstrated competence in research techniques and methodologies
    • Proficiency in handling mice.
    • Proficiency in mouse genetic research is a plus.
    • Proficiency in molecular biology techniques and previous experience with PCR, genotyping, and/or DNA extraction a plus.
    • Ability to handle a variety of tasks amid shifting priorities.
    • Strong analytical skills with a high degree of initiative.
    • Creative and highly motivated individual with strong organizational and management skills

  • B.Sc. in Biology, Genetics, Neuroscience or related discipline


  • New graduates with some lab experience (via course work, internships, etc.) or those without any prior research experience will be considered for the Research Technician I position outlined above. 
  • Those with a minimum of 1 year of directly related work experience will be considered for a Research Technician II position. 


  • A Research Technician II may serve as a team leader to lab assistants and Research Technician I’s.
Apply online here: