Research Technician I – McElrath Lab – Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center – Seattle, WA


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At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Careers Start Here.

At Fred Hutch, we believe that the innovation, collaboration, and rigor that result from diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission of eliminating cancer and related diseases. We seek employees who bring different and innovative ways of seeing the world and solving problems. Fred Hutch is in pursuit of becoming an antiracist organization. We are committed to ensuring that all candidates hired share our commitment to diversity, antiracism, and inclusion.

This research opportunity is with the McElrath Lab within the Vaccine & Infectious Disease Division. The Research Technician I will work under the direction of a Staff Scientist and use discretion and judgment in performance of duties in support of human mucosal immunology studies relevant to HIV-1 prevention. In particular, they will assist in developing and implementing mucosal explant models and immunohistochemistry techniques for evaluating immune responses. They will be responsible for processing various mucosal specimens from study participants, performing a variety downstream assays and molecular and cellular biology techniques. They may also be involved in COVID-19 related research, where similar laboratory techniques are utilized. The technician will interact closely with clinical staff (e.g. from the FHCRC HIV vaccine Trials Unit and/or other clinics) and laboratory staff to coordinate specimen collection, transport and both upstream and downstream sample processing. They may also be responsible for transfer and processing of additional mucosal specimens from the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) and other hospitals. They will assist in the development and maintenance of laboratory quality control (QC) methods and records, which may require adherence to GCLP (Good Clinical Lab Practice) standards.


  • Coordinate specimen collection and transport with the Seattle VTU and laboratory staff.
  • Coordinate sample shipping/receiving with collaborating laboratories.
  • Responsible for the processing of cervicovaginal tissue specimens.
  • Perform ex vivo infectivity assays on mucosal tissue.
  • Perform luminescence reporter assays to measure HIV infection.
  • Be available to process additional mucosal specimens as needed.
  • Perform microdissection and manipulation of mucosal tissue.
  • Perform and assist in developing immunohistochemistry assays on mucosal tissues.
  • Perform whole slide imaging microscopy and other imaging/microscopy techniques as needed
  • Perform and assist in developing ELISAs, MSD and related assays to measure mucosal analytes (e.g. antibodies).
  • Perform and assist in developing and/or optimizing new assays and specimen processing methods as needed.
  • Prepare single cell suspension from mucosal specimens, such as cytobrushes and biopsies.
  • Perform DNA and RNA isolations, RT-PCR and multiplex PCR
  • May prepare and cryopreserve PBMC and/or isolate specific leukocyte populations from whole blood and other specimens
  • May prepare stocks of HIV isolates by transient transfection.
  • May perform and assist in developing qPCR and/or digital droplet PCR assay (e.g. for detecting HIV-1 infection).
  • May perform immunophenotyping and/or functional profiling on single cell suspensions (e.g. by flow cytometry).
  • Independently collect and analyze data.
  • Maintain records for experiments and quality control for the laboratory.
  • Operate and carry out basic maintenance and QC of laboratory equipment.
  • Prepare and maintain reagents, stocks, and cultures necessary to perform work.
  • Order and maintain laboratory supplies.
  • Other duties as directed by supervisor, including conducting literature reviews to assist in determining most suitable methods to be used in research, collect, analyze and assist in preparation of data for oral and written presentations.


  • BA/BS degree in a biological science and some laboratory research experience in immunology, microbiology, molecular biology or similar field.
  • Some laboratory experience outside of school labs/coursework is required.
  • Specific hands-on experience with cellular immunologic assays, tissue culture, micro-dissection, molecular biology, immunohistochemistry and microscopy are desirable.
  • Great attention to details and ability to efficiently manage time and experiments.
  • To be successful in this position, the technician must have scientific curiosity, a high level of self-motivation, the ability to take instruction and correction and to follow directions, good organizational skills, the ability to work and think independently, but also someone who is a team player and wants to stay at least two years.
  • Show initiative and be willing to take up new laboratory skills, and communicate well with other members of the research team.
  • Must be willing to work with biohazardous/infectious agents (e.g., blood-borne pathogens, including HIV-1), including human tissues under carefully controlled conditions.
  • Strong skills in data collection and laboratory record keeping are mandatory.
  • Computer skills and experience with statistical analysis and data presentation are desirable.
  • Must be flexible and willing to work some evenings and weekends.

  • A cover letter is strongly encouraged.

Fred Hutch has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirement, with exceptions only for approved medical or religious accommodations.

As a condition of employment, newly hired employees must provide proof of vaccination or initiate the accommodations process before their first day of employment.

statement describing your commitment and contributions toward greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism in your career or that will be made through your work at Fred Hutch is requested of all finalists.

Our Commitment to Diversity: We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Employer. We are committed to cultivating a workplace in which diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, age, disability (physical or mental), marital or veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, or membership in any other legally protected class. We are an Affirmative Action employer. We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds to apply and desire priority referrals of protected veterans. If due to a disability you need assistance/and or a reasonable accommodation during the application or recruiting process, please send a request to our Employee Services Center at [email protected] or by calling 206-667-4700.

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