Vanderbilt University Research Assistant I - Pharmacology in Nashville, Tennessee

Research Assistant I - Pharmacology (Job Number: 1800408)


About the Position:

A Research Assistant I is needed to assistant with molecular biology experimentation which will include basic techniques with DNA, RNA, and proteins. As a Research Assistant I, you will be working with animals including behavioral testing, husbandry, and breeding. There will also be some work involved in bioinformatics.

About the Department:

Our interest is in understanding the biochemical mechanisms underlying learning and memory. One of the major advances in neurobiology in the last century was the formulation of the general theory that changes in synaptic connections between neurons underlie information storage in the CNS. From our perspective, one powerful offshoot of this general theory is that it allows a reductionist approach, this is, that by studying the mechanisms of long-lasting synaptic plasticity in vitro we can generate insights into the mechanisms of learning and memory in vivo. Using this rationale, for the last decade the laboratory has been investigating the biochemical mechanisms subserving the induction and maintenance of long-term potentiation in the hippocampus. In broad terms, our future scientific goal is to capitalize upon our recent insights into the signal transduction mechanisms operating in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. More information about the lab can be found at: .

About Vanderbilt University:

Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 located a little more than a mile from downtown Nashville, TN. The university’s students, faculty, staff and visitors frequently cite Nashville as one of the perks of Vanderbilt. VU is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something that is bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform isolation, purification and analyses of biomolecules

  • Manage mouse colony, genotyping, and dissections

  • Assist in animal behavioral assessments and data analyses

  • Order lab supplies, ship reagents to collaborators

  • Organize the common lab space

  • Assist with lab cleanup

  • Ability to record details from data

  • Analyze data


  • Degree in biology or related field

  • Experience working with animals preferred

  • Experience with PCR and western blots

  • Excellent written and verbal communication

  • Ability to work in a team setting

  • Ability to be a team player

  • Attention to detail

  • Time management

  • Dependable


In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, VU offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview at

Success Factors:

  • Acceptance of Feedback – Ability to take constructive criticism with grace, and make improvements without taking it personally or holding grudges. When wrong, owns it – freely admits mistakes.

  • Helpful Nature – Offers to help lighten the load for others in times of need. Volunteers rather than waiting to be asked. Understands that almost no one works in a silo, and will need the help of others to do their job well, and that by helping others first, they will likely reciprocate.

  • Integrity – Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.

  • Teamwork – Values teamwork and co-workers; make them feel valuable and important by acknowledging what they do. Doesn’t expect from others effort that one is unwilling to do themselves. Find ways to complement other’s strong suits.

  • Honest and Transparent – Doesn’t have hidden agendas. Doesn’t play people against each other. Is authentic and forthright.

  • Autonomous – Self-managing; self-motivated. Manages time, activities and outcomes well so that progress stays on track.

Job requires a Bachelors degree.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 18360 - Pharmacology

Job: Research / Lab Tech / Paraprofessional