Research Tech III - Gnotobiotic Core

Duke Nursing | Durham, NC, United States

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Posted Date 6/08/2021

School of Medicine:

Established in 1930, Duke University School of Medicine is the youngest of the nation’s top medical schools. Ranked tenth among its peers, the School takes pride in being an inclusive community of outstanding learners, investigators, clinicians, and staff where traditional barriers are low, interdisciplinary collaboration is embraced, and great ideas accelerate translation of fundamental scientific discoveries to improve humanhealth locally and around the globe.

Comprised of 2,400 faculty physicians and researchers, the Duke University School of Medicine along with the Duke University School of Nursing and Duke University Health System create Duke Health. Duke Health is a world-class health care network. Founded in 1998 to provide efficient, responsive care, the health system offers a full network of health services and encompasses Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Primary Care, Private Diagnostic Clinic, Duke Home and Hospice, Duke Health and Wellness, and multiple affiliations.

Job Summary

Perform a variety of technical duties involved in basic through advanced gnotobiotic colony management.

Special Conditions of Employment

Working Schedule

  • Must be able to work a flexible working schedule based on workload and deadlines.
  • Must be able to work assigned standard schedules, including (but not limited to) Mon-Fri, Wed-Sun and Tue-Sat shifts.
  • Must be able to work on rotating on call duties after hours and on weekends.

Occupational Health and Safety

As a safeguard for the employee and the animals, the technician may be subject to vaccines, tests, physical examinations prior to working with specific animals or animal populations as required by research needs, including, but not limited to:

  • TB testing and clearance;
  • Hepatitis B (proof of immunization and/or vaccination);
  • Rabies (proof of immunization and/or vaccination);
  • Tetanus (current vaccination less than 10 years);
  • Measles (proof of immunization and/or vaccination);
  • Periodic physical examinations including respiratory fit tests);
  • Other vaccines or testing as required by EOHW standards.

Hazard Exposure

The animal facility has a variety of environmental conditions. Specifically, employees may be exposed to potentially hazardous noise, dust, chemicals, extreme heat, and animal waste products. The duration of exposure of any of the above is dependent on assigned duties. Some aspects of this position may expose the incumbent to potentially zoonotic and other biohazardous agents. Appropriate protective clothing and equipment may be required and will be provided when required, accompanied by appropriate training.

Work Performed

  • Oversees isolator production. Performs specialized experimental procedures on rodents housed in isolators and ensures all gnotobiotic isolators and entrance/exit rooms are maintained in a clean and orderly fashion for breeding programs and defined experimental systems.
  • Maintains the integrity of the animals, the isolators, and packing room(s) by ensuring proper breeding procedures are followed and appropriate colony levels are maintained for optimum production in compliance with all bio-security procedures. Performs breeding, weaning and euthanasia in isolators.
  • Performs a variety of complex procedures requiring technical expertise such as venipuncture of varying sites on rodent species, drug administration, surgical assistance, anesthesia monitoring, post-operative care, health assessment, and injections.
  • Maintains and monitors the health, production and physical environment of investigator animals and notifies supervisor of variances.
  • Maintains isolator breeding records including foundation charts and reports of all colony levels, number of new births, litters weaned, weanling disposition, retirement, number of animals shipped, and animals euthanized for all strains in each isolator.
  • Performs basic gnotobiotic tasks such as room cleaning/stocking and preparing/sterlizing supplies.
  • Evaluates and interprets collected data and prepares reports and analyses setting foth progress, adverse trends, and appropriate recommendations or conclusions.
  • Supervises the receipt of incoming animals and administers all animal orders shipped from the isolators and packing room. Manages animal transfers between isolators, into isolator cages and conventional housing.
  • Maintains inventory of materials, supplies, and equipment such as instruments, microscopes, incubators, freezers, etc. for performance of gnotobiotic operations; monitors any necessary repairs.
  • Performs quality assurance and environmental sampling procedures to monitor the proper functioning of isolators and the microbiological status.
  • Performs the duties of husbandry staff or research technicians as needed.
  • Performs all job-related duties in accordance with company safety procedures; ensures adherence to regulatory requirements, departmental SOPs, policies, practices, and IACUC protocols.
  • Provides techinical guidance, instructions, and consultation to faculty, research students, and staff members as required. Develops training materials for gnotobiotic core employees and assists with the training of technical personnel as the Gnotobiotic Core expands.
  • Collaborates with Principal Investigators on special projects or studies.
  • Consults with principal investigators and their laboratory staff to plan diagnostic testing needed for experimental schedules and to discuss animal health concerns and sample collection requirements.
  • Communicates animal availability, product information, and delivery schedules to potential customers.
  • Resolves basic and moderately complex problems, investigator complaints, internal inquiries, and issues regarding animal orders.
  • Assists the manager of the Gnotobiotic Core to achieve needs of research projects and the efficient use of facilities and technical abilities; identifies and implements techniques to improve productivity, increase efficiency and reduce cost.
  • Makes recommendations to Director of Veterinary Services, Manager of Gnotobiotic Core, and participate in meetings regarding gnotobiotic services.
  • Communicates with DLAR administrative staff to properly bill researchers for services.
  • Reviews work of lower level laboratory personnel within designated areas and assists in training new personnel.
  • Performs on-call requirements as assigned which include weekend and holiday rotations.
  • Performs all basic through advanced Breeding Core Colony Management tasks upon request.
  • Maintains inventory of animals, ensures mouse order fulfillment and does forecasting for PIs.
  • Performs on-call requirements as assigned which include weekend and holiday rotations.


  • Conducts and helps maintain training program for DLAR and scientific staff.
  • Participates in outreach with research laboratories through brown bag seminars, Mouse IACUC Workshops, and others as needed.

Budget and Recharges

  • Performs responsible tracking and submission of service requests invoices and recharges to the gnotobiotic core manager and other parties.

Record Keeping

  • Maintains appropriate documentations for all duties in accordance with all applicable departmental, institutional, local, state and federal laws, regulations, policies, guidelines and SOPs, and based on contemporary professional standards.

Professional Conduct and Behavior

  • Demonstrates professional conduct and behavior at all times when performing job duties and rendering services to the scientific community, especially as they relate to customer service, attendance and punctuality, respectful demeanor and interactions, professional language and communications, appropriate effort and initiative, accountability and integrity, boundary maintenance and confidentiality, emotional self-regulation and responsiveness to feedback.
  • Maintains professional standards and adheres to all federal, state and university regulations and policies regarding the use of animals in research while when performing job duties.
  • Fosters teamwork and collegiality between the various groups of DLAR and scientific community.


  • Performs other related duties incidental to the work described herein as assigned by the supervisor based on operational needs.


Possesses the ability to multi-task, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and organizational skills. Pays attention to detail. Possesses working knowledge of computer software (MS Word, MS Excel and database). Is self-motivated. Projects a positive attitude. Identifies and solves problems. Follows-up. Works well with internal and external customers and colleagues.

Work generally requires a bachelor's degree in botany, biology, zoology, psychology or other directly related scientific field.
Work requires two years of research experience.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

Healthcare & Public Health | Research and Development

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