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Research Assistant Technician


The Research Assistant oversees the technical functioning of the imaging core and flow cytometry core lab on a day-to-day basis, and provides technical expertise, advises on the design of experiments, the development and revision of research protocols and provides interpretation and analysis of research to investigators utilizing various confocal microscopes, wide-field microscopes and flow cytometry instruments to facilitate their research studies.

The Research Assistant interacts and reports directly to the Diabetes Research Lead, Childhood Disease Lead and operationally to the Core Technologies Manager. The incumbent works closely with other members of the research team and staff located at the Child and Family Research Institute.

Please apply for this position on the UBC careers website: All applications accepted through the UBC website will be considered.


The UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Surgery educates students at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels, and pursues research to make innovative advancements in knowledge and practice to improve health. The Department consists of more than 400 physicians, surgeons, scientists and educators and over 70 administrative, research and technical staff in nine divisions distributed across British Columbia. Specialty training programs are offered in Cardiac Surgery, General Surgery, Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology, Pediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Radiation Oncology, Thoracic Surgery and Vascular Surgery. The Department is also home to the Branch for International Surgery (BIS) and the Centre of Excellence for Simulation Education & Innovation (CESEI).

Reports to the Diabetes Research Lead, Childhood Disease Lead and operationally to the Core Technologies Manager at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Work is performed in an environment in which there is constant change and multiple technical failures due to the complexity of the systems and research projects.

  • Develops new techniques, research protocols and applications for the researchers using optical microscopy and flow cytometry.
  • Provides expert advice in the area of optical imaging, with an emphasis on microscopy and image analysis and in the area of flow cytometry, with an emphasis on multi-colour panel design, experimental design and data analysis.
  • Provides substantial and direct intellectual contributions at various stages of research projects and provides advice on experimental designs.
  • Develops standard operating procedures and specialized techniques for equipment usage and training. Tests and reports on new techniques and technologies including an assessment of their applications to the researchers and an evaluation of whether the time and/or financial investment required for their implementation is recommended.
  • Trains and assists researchers on the use of microscopes and flow cytometry instruments, related equipment and software and their applications in research projects.
  • Provides technical consultation, advise and instruction to researchers in carrying out pilot experiments or designing experiments.
  • Operates various microscopes and flow cytometers, including but not limited to Leica SP5, Leica SP8, Leica SP8x, FACSAria II, Astrios, Fortessa, CytoFLEX and other instruments.
  • Develops, organizes and delivers training events such as workshops, seminars and including the preparation of training materials.
  • Continually updates relevant skills in flow cytometry and microscopy and provides corresponding educations to researchers and students in the core facility.
  • Maintains, calibrates, trouble shoots laboratory equipment on a regular schedule and deals with critical system failures in a timely manner ensuring that optical microscopy systems, computer analysis workstations, and support equipment are fully functional and available to researchers.
  • Assist researchers in visualizing live animals under anesthesia or undergoing surgery using live imaging microscope.
  • Performs basic laboratory equipment repair as needed.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

  • University degree in relevant discipline or completion of a technical program and a minimum 5 years of related experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. PhD in Science or Engineering, Immunology, Cell Biology or an equivalent combination of training and experience in a related field is preferred.
  • Experience managing a flow cytometry or imaging core facility providing access to multiple instruments, technologies and services, as well as expert consultation to scientific or clinical investigators.
  • Experience in the assembly, maintenance, calibration and trouble-shooting multiple instrumentations in flow cytometry or imaging.
  • Ability to contribute to the improvement of performance metrics of researchers, clinicians and institutional core facilities.
  • Expertise in data analysis software is a preferred and with super-resolution and/or other novel technologies preferred.
  • Experience with standard fluorescence, laser scanning confocal microscopes, and super-resolution systems.
  • Experience in user consultation and training researchers and students in flow cytometry or imaging. Experience with supporting researchers in image processing and analysis.
  • Experience in Leica LAS, Image Pro 6.2, ImageJ (FIJI), FACSDiva, FlowJo, FCSExpress, CytExpert, and Summit preferred. Experience with cellular models and live-cell imaging essential.
  • Theoretical knowledge, practical knowledge and research applications of flow cytometry and optical microscopy.
  • Knowledge of working with research animals preferred.
  • Ability to develop new research protocols, applications and outcomes.
  • Ability to carry out complex analyses, solve complex problems, and develop new processing methods with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to contribute to the improvement of performance metrics of researchers, clinicians and institutional core facilities.
  • Ability to deal with a diversity of people in a calm, courteous, and effective manner.
  • Ability to effectively use Microsoft Office at an intermediate level (e.g., MS Excel, Powerpoint, Access).
  • Ability to multi-task and deal with multiple simultaneous priorities effectively and efficiently.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.

Open Date: April 5, 2018
Close Date: June 5, 2018
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Attachment: N/A

Our vision is to advance the impact of cytometry in meeting current and emerging challenges in the life, biomedical, and physical sciences.

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