Assistant Research Specialist – Skala Lab

The Organization

As an independent research organization, the Morgridge Institute for Research explores uncharted scientific territory to discover tomorrow’s cures. In affiliation with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we support researchers who take a fearless approach to advancing human health in emerging fields such as regenerative biology, metabolism, virology and medical engineering. Through public programming, we work to inspire scientific curiosity in everyday life.

The Opportunity:

The Morgridge Institute for Research seeks an assistant research specialist to support research projects and day-to-day operations of the Skala Lab. The Skala lab collaborates with UW-Madison Biomedical Engineering to develop new methods to understand and combat cancer using photonics-based technologies, and is particularly interested in developing personalized cancer treatment strategies and more effective cancer therapies. The Research Specialist will be responsible for independently conducting imaging experiments, performing quantitative image analysis, maintaining cell lines, and completing animal work. She or he will complete all work while following biosafety, animal, and human subjects research regulations and guidelines.

Primary Responsibilities

    • Perform imaging experiments and quantitative image analysis.
    • Maintain cell and organoid cultures.
    • Conduct animal procedures.
    • Maintain the cell culture lab, lab equipment, and organize lab inventory.
    • Keep up to date with training per safety and protocol requirements.
    • Clearly communicate research progress results to project stakeholders
    • Prepare weekly overviews of work completed and planned. Give updates, including outlining progress and setbacks, and solicit feedback in regular meetings.
    • Contribute ideas and feedback to other researcher’s projects in regular meetings.
    • Utilize expertise to assist or lead other projects within the laboratory as appropriate.
    • Form and contribute to collaborations with other labs. Maintain relationships with collaborators and hold oneself to professional standards.
    • Other miscellaneous duties as required.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each primary 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 primary duties.

Education and Experience:

  • Minimum bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, computer science, physics, biology, or related discipline.
  • Experience with laboratory research, microscopy, image analysis, and training in mammalian cell culture is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:

  • Experience in programming, e.g. MatLab, Python, R, micromanager, C, C++, Labview.
  • Experience in cell culture.
  • Strong background in biology and engineering.
  • Ability to perform reproducible quantitative imaging experiments.
  • Working knowledge of quantitative analysis.
  • Ability to leverage previous experiences to learn and develop new skills.
  • Ability to take initiative and independently evaluate project options.
  • Ability to handle multiple assignments concurrently while working independently and effectively under deadlines.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a dynamic research team.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong organization skills and attention to detail.

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