Job Information

University of Utah Sr Laboratory Specialist in Salt Lake City, Utah


Open Date 04/14/2022

Requisition Number PRN30176B

Job Title Sr Laboratory Specialist

Working Title Sr Laboratory Specialist

Job Grade E

FLSA Code Administrative

Patient Sensitive Job Code? No

Standard Hours per Week 40 hours

Full Time or Part Time? Full Time

Shift Day

Work Schedule Summary

Full time.

VP Area President


Location Campus

City Salt Lake City, UT

Type of Recruitment External Posting

Pay Rate Range 45,000 to 72,000

Close Date

Open Until Filled Yes

Job Summary

The Varley Lab in the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute seeks a Senior Lab Specialist to contribute to their translational breast cancer research. The Varley Lab uses cutting edge genomics techniques to characterize the epigenetic defects that occur in breast cancer, and develops novel biomarker tests and therapeutics strategies that improve patient care. The Senior Lab Specialist will help design and execute large studies that involve:

· methylated circulating tumor DNA blood tests for early detection of breast cancer

· single-cell analysis of gene expression, chromatin accessibility, and DNA methylation in patient specimens to identify pathways that cause metastasis

· drug and CRISPR screening using patient derived organoids

The lab provides an energetic, fast-paced, interactive environment for scientists working toward a great cause:

Each member of the Varley Lab has a unique background and life experience. We believe that maximizing diversity fuels the success of our organization. In your cover letter or during your interview, we invite you to share how your background, beliefs, and experience prepare you to work in an environment that values diversity and is committed to equity and inclusion. Learn more about HCI’s commitments at


The Lab Specialist will design and perform experiments and manage lab operations. This entails regular planning discussions with Dr. Varley; performing technical procedures in a research laboratory under minimal supervision; recording protocols, observations and measurements in a laboratory notebook; and reporting results.

Primary responsibilities of this position include:

1. DNA , RNA and protein isolation from human tissue and blood plasma

2. Molecular biology assays including multiplexed PCR and next-generation sequencing library construction

3. Human tissue culture including cell lines and patient derived organoids, drug treatments, lentiviral transduction, and cell proliferation assays

4. General laboratory organization including specimen tracking, ordering supplies, and maintaining lab safety protocols and documentation

5. Maintaining cleanrooms and equipment

This job description is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to the job.

Work Environment and Level of Frequency that may be required:

Nearly Continuously: Office environment.

Often: Infectious disease, oils ( there is air or skin exposure to oils or other cutting fluids ), hazards ( includes a variety of physical conditions, such as proximity to moving mechanical parts, moving vehicles, electrical current, working on scaffolding and high places, or exposure to chemicals ).

Physical Requirements and Level of Frequency that may be required

Nearly Continuously: Hearing, listening, talking.

Often: Repetitive hand motion (such as typing), walking, standing, sitting.

Seldom: Bending, reaching overhead.

Huntsman Cancer Institute ( HCI ) is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to hiring individuals whose merit and experience promote a diverse, inclusive, anti-racist workforce and culture.

Each employee has a unique background and life experience. We believe that maximizing diversity fuels the success of our organization. In your cover letter or during your interview, we invite you to share how your background, beliefs, and experience will prepare you to be effective in working in an environment that values diversity and is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Learn more about HCI’s commitments at and/or contact HCI’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate scientific discipline or equivalency, plus four years of related full-time laboratory experience required. Demonstrated human relations and effective communication skills also required.

Applicants must demonstrate the potential ability to perform the essential functions of the job as outlined in the position description.


1. Skilled in the use of laboratory equipment

2. Knowledge of laboratory techniques, calculations, equipment, terminology, materials and substances

3. Prior experience performing human cell culture

4. Knowledge of the molecular biology underlying PCR

5. Strong organizational skills and attention to detail

6. The ability to independently gain new skills and solve problems

7. Effective communication skills and fluency in written and spoken English

8. Willingness to complete training and certification in biohazard safety and animal care

1. Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry or related field, plus 2 or more years of related experience

2. Prior experience performing next-generation sequencing library construction

3. Prior experience with molecular assay development and trouble-shooting

4. Knowledge of mechanisms of gene regulation and epigenetics

5. Prior experience managing large research projects

Type Benefited Staff

Special Instructions Summary

Additional Information

The University of Utah values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically underrepresented students.

Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities.

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate based upon race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, or protected veteran’s status. The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates, as required by Title IX and 34 CFR part 106. The requirement not to discriminate in education programs or activities extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, to the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, or both.

To request a reasonable accommodation for a disability or if you or someone you know has experienced discrimination or sexual misconduct including sexual harassment, you may contact the Director/Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action:

Director/ Title IX Coordinator

Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action ( OEO /AA)

135 Park Building

Salt Lake City, UT 84112


Online reports may be submitted at

For more information:

To inquire about this posting, email: ( or call 801-581-2300.

The University is a participating employer with Utah Retirement Systems (“URS”). Eligible new hires with prior URS service, may elect to enroll in URS if they make the election before they become eligible for retirement (usually the first day of work). Contact Human Resources at (801) 581-7447 for information. Individuals who previously retired and are receiving monthly retirement benefits from URS are subject to URS’ post-retirement rules and restrictions. Please contact Utah Retirement Systems at (801) 366-7770 or (800) 695-4877 or University Human Resource Management at (801) 581-7447 if you have questions regarding the post-retirement rules.

This position may require the successful completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen.