Careers at Virginia Tech

Research Assistant

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Work type: Staff
Senior management: Vice President for Research
Department: Fralin Biomedical Res. Institute
Location: Washington, DC
Categories: Research / Scientific

Job Description

The Mulvaney Lab located in Washington, DC focuses on studying and therapeutically targeting enzyme-substrate interactions in cancer. We are seeking a research assistant (lab technician) who is creative, enthusiastic, and motivated for the Mulvaney lab at the Children’s National Research and Innovation Center. The lab’s work focuses on signaling pathways in pediatric and adult cancers—with a particular emphasis on therapeutically targeting enzyme vulnerabilities. Available projects include structurally and biochemically identifying mechanisms of substrate recruitment to methyltransferases, such as PRMT5, and CRISPR screening for combination drug treatments for various tumor types.

This position requires demonstrated prior lab experience and successful completion of undergraduate coursework in molecular biology and biochemistry. The research assistant will be responsible for performing tissue culture and basic molecular and biochemical lab techniques (PCR, immunoprecipitations, western blots) and will have the opportunity to learn early drug development, proteomics, and genomic screening approaches. Additional duties include managing lab stocks, attending and participating in lab meeting and journal club, and maintaining a well-kept lab notebook. Training will be provided for all aspects of the position. RAs will contribute to interesting projects and have the opportunity to publish their work. This is an excellent position for candidates interested in pursuing medical or graduate school in the future. Preference will be given to candidates with upper level undergraduate or master's courses in the areas of genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, or immunology.

The lab is primarily affiliated with the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute (FBRI) Cancer Research Center DC of Virginia Tech and jointly we are members of the Children’s National Hospital Cancer and Immunobiology research center. Members of the lab have access to patient samples, core facilities, and seminars from both the Carilion School of Medicine and Children’s National. More about the lab can be found on the website or by contacting Dr. Mulvaney (

Required application materials: Cover Letter, CV/Resume, and a list of at least two references.
Expected start date is Summer 2024.

Required Qualifications

• Demonstrated prior research experience
• Self-motivated and passionate about biochemical and cancer research
• Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
• Demonstrated organizational skills and attention to detail
• Demonstrated ability and desire to succeed in a fast-paced research environment with multiple concurrent duties
• Excellent communication skills

Preferred Qualifications

• Degree or coursework in biology, biochemistry, genetics, cellular biology, bioengineering or bioinformatics
• Upper level undergraduate or master’s courses in at least 2 of the following subjects: genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, or immunology
• Experience with tissue culture, western blots, or protein purification
• Proficiency with data analysis and visualization in R

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The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.


About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Brittany Shelton at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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