Research Specialist – Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center, DNA – Urbana-Champaign, IL

Research Specialist – Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center, DNA

The Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center is seeking a Research Specialist to contribute to the continued development and efficient operations of the DNA Sequencing Facility.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit

Main Duties and Responsibilities are:

  • Library Construction – Conduct bench construction of Next-generation DNA and RNA libraries, including genomic DNA libraries with both enzymatic and sonicating techniques, strand-specific RNA libraries, small RNA libraries, ChlP-Seq libraries, Exome Capture, Mate-pair, Bisulfite conversion, SMRTbell and Oxford Nanopore libraries; includes all molecular biology techniques utilized within these protocols, such as column purification, 1St strand synthesis, 2nd strand synthesis, DNA end repair, A-tailing, adaptor ligation, circularization, PCR, and PCR cleanup. New library protocols as they emerge.
  • Construct libraries utilizing the robotic platforms Eppendorf epMotion.
  • Extract DNA and RNA from source material.
  • Perform DNA and RNA agarose gel electrophoresis on manual gel systems, eGel systems, and Blue-Pippin systems.
  • Quantitate DNA and RNA on Qubit and Spectramax spectrophotomers.
  • Run DNA and RNA on Bioanalyer or AATI fragment analyzer
  • Analyze and interpret QC results from gel electrophoresis, quantitation, and quality validation (bioanalyzer and AATl) systems.
  • Set up and analyze quantitative PCR on constructed libraries
  • Denature 2nM diluted libraries in preparation for next-generation sequencing platforms.
  • Set up flowcells in preparation for next-generation sequencing platforms.
  • Post-Wash and maintain the DNA sequencing platforms.
  • Run set-up on the DNA Sequencing platforms.
  • Prime sequencing systems prior to sequencing runs.
  • Set up reagents and load next-generation sequencing platforms.
  • Properly dispose of all waste from next-generation sequencing platforms and contact DRS for waste disposal as needed.
  • Program robotic platforms with new protocols as they emerge, maintaining an ongoing knowledge and expertise for teaching and training purpose.
  • Keep abreast of emerging development and testing of new bench protocols.
  • Construct libraries with the 10x Genomics system, including libraries for denovo assembly and for single-cell applications.
  • Represent CBC as assigned on various internal and external committees. Minimal overnight travel may be required. Perform additional responsibilities as
    needed to enhance the mission and goals of the CBC.

Education: Master’s degree in Molecular Biology or related field is required, PH.D. with laboratory research experience included in degree achievement preferred.

Experience Required: Minimum one year genomic laboratory benchwork experience. General laboratory skills and experience in the following areas: Set up and troubleshooting of PCR and reverse transcription reactions; Agarose gel electrophoresis; proper DNA/RNA handling; qPCR; and/or hazardous waste handling. Pipetting. Molecular Biology protocols. Knowledge and application of construction of next-generation sequencing libraries and set-up of these libraries on the sequencers.

Preferred experience: Familiarity with LINUX/UNIX command line operations. Exposure to LIMs system. Inventory management experience. DNA/RNA extraction. Robotic platforms. AATl/Bioanalyzer/Qubit/Nanodrop. Next-generation library construction (genomic DNA, RNASeq, ChlPSeq, small RNA, mate-pair).
Equipment maintenance. Design and validation of adaptors and primers.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Microsoft office proficiency (Excel,Word). Effective communication, organization, personal relations, problem solving, and decision-making skills, along with an attention to detail. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively with a professional demeanor in a fast-paced work environment with multiple and changing priorities. Ability to work effectively both as a team member/leader and independently, with minimal supervision.

Salary/Appointment: Commensurate with education and experience. The proposed starting date will be as soon as possible. This position is a 100% twelve-month professional appointment.

To apply for this position, please create your candidate profile at and upload your cover letter, resume, and names/contact information for three references by November 29, 2019. Full consideration will be given to complete applications received by the closing date.

For additional information, contact: Dr. Alvaro Hernandez, Director of DNA Services
Phone: 217-244-3480, Email: [email protected]

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.


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