Assistant Researcher (technician) position in evolutionary virology

University of Kansas

  • Lab Technician
Job Type/Arrangement:
  • Full Time

Assistant Researcher position in the Unckless Lab at the University of Kansas

The Unckless Lab in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas, seeks an assistant researcher with interests and experience in molecular biology, invertebrate immunity and evolutionary virology. The successful candidate will work with a research group that addresses the broad themes of host-pathogen interaction and genetic conflict. Specifically, the assistant researcher would assist with an NSF-funded study of the genetics of a large DNA virus. The work would involve cloning the virus into a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC), performing genetic manipulations of the virus, and optimizing cell culture conditions for optimal viral replication. Work will include cell culture, molecular cloning, viral genome sequencing, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and microscopy. The position consists of an initial 2-yr appointment beginning in fall 2021. The applicant should be extremely organized, work well with others, have a willingness to learn, and be able to participate at many levels in the laboratory.

Job Description:

50% Cloning a DNA virus into a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). Experiments to isolate high molecular weight viral DNA, manipulate plasmid vectors, clone the virus and screen for recombinants. Eventually, this would include genetic manipulation of the virus. These experiments require considerable molecular biology and cell culture work.

20% Optimizing conditions for viral growth in cell culture. Develop new cell lines from relevant species and tissues. Experiment with different media, temperatures, nutrients, etc. and perform assays to measure viral replication and growth.

20% Work on an independent research project. If interested, the assistant researcher can initiate their own research project related to the theme of host/virus interaction if agreed upon with the PI.

10% Experiments in live Drosophila. Infect Drosophila with the DNA virus and measure mortality, viral titer, host gene expression, etc.

Required Qualifications:

B.S. in Biology or closely related field.

Experience with molecular biological techniques as evidenced by application materials.

Preferred Qualifications:

Experience with cell culture (insect or otherwise).

Experience working with Drosophila.

Experience with molecular cloning.

Experience with next-generation sequencing library preparation.

A complete online application includes a CV, cover letter and contact information for two reference letters.

For more details including required and preferred qualifications and directions about how to apply, please visit Application deadline is August 31, 2021. If you have any inquiries about the position, please contact Rob Unckless (

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).

Education Requirement:
BS in biology or related field
Required Skills & Areas of Study:
  • molecular virology
  • molecular cell biology
  • viral evolution
Lawrence, KS
Molecular Biosciences
4055 Haworth Hall
1200 Sunnyside Avenue
Rob Unckless,