Oregon Health & Science University

Cryo-EM Microscopist 1 through 4

Job Locations US-OR-Portland
Requisition ID
Position Category
Position Type
Regular Full-Time
Job Type
Research Administration
Salary Range
Commensurate with experience
HR Mission
Drug Testable

Department Overview

OHSU is currently seeking to hire a Cryo-EM Microscopist who is talented, motivated and highly interactive to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team at the Pacific Northwest Center for Cryo-EM (PNCC) a joint collaboration between Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).  The PNCC is a national facility serving and training researchers in the entire US. The Center, includes four 300 KeV Cryo Transmission EMs (TEM) and one 200 KeV Cryo-TEM. These Cryo-TEMs are outfitted with Falcon III or IV, post GIF K3 or standalone K3 and volta phase plate technologies. This center also has all standard equipment for sample preparation and a recently acquired Vitrojet. 

The following is a short list of some of the job duties and services the successful candidate will be responsible for depending on the level of experience the candidate brings to the role.

Function/Duties of Position

The successful candidate will assist in the day-to-day running of the facility, which includes general laboratory maintenance, providing end user training, assisting junior staff and setting up large-data set acquisition for single particle and tomography Cryo-EM projects. This role will be able to provide essential research-related services utilizing Cryo-EM expertise and development of new services provided by the PNCC. Senior candidates are required to have an exceptional command of knowledge in Cryo-EM with a preference for research experience in structural biology or tomography. 

All candidates for this position will have experience working with electron microscopes, have knowledge of instrumentation and techniques used in structural biology, and basic knowledge of computer software for data generation and record keeping. Ideally, candidates will have a high level of professional expertise through familiarity with current scientific literature and have experience developing new workflows, protocols, as well as training and supporting novice users. This position requires the ability to work both independently and within a team, it is also important candidates have strong communication skills with the ability to prioritize multiple tasks, projects, and competing deadlines to accomplish research goals.

General LAB Support:

All Cryo-EM Microscopist (Levels 1 through 4):

  • Prioritize and identify daily work activities to achieve objectives of the PNCC.
  • Maintain detailed records and standardized protocols for training, and of experimental procedures, data collection and analysis methods. Maintain an accurate and detailed laboratory record of all experiments performed for PNCC projects.
  • Assist in supporting the daily function of the PNCC.

Senior Cryo-EM Microscopists (Levels 3 and 4):

  • Perform monthly full alignments on Cryo-TEMs owned by PNCC, troubleshoot issues and communicate with field service engineers.
  • Monitoring supplies and maintaining all laboratory equipment, under the supervision of the PNCC Directors.

Compliance & Safety Functions:

All Cryo-EM Microscopists (Levels 1 through 4):

  • Maintain laboratory compliance documentation for biological, chemical and radiological work, adhering to EHS requirements, ensure compliance with all safety regulations.
  • Be familiar with lab safety infrastructure, monitor and report safety considerations as required.  

Senior Cryo-EM Microscopists (Levels 3 and 4):

  • Interact with biosafety, chemical safety, and safety officers on behalf of the PNCC, collaborating to ensure research capabilities are maximized while risks are minimized

Provision of Services:

Cryo-EM Microscopist 1:

  • Freeze samples using center equipment under supervision.
  • Screen grids and identify high quality samples for data acquisition following the advice of a senior Cryo-EM Microscopist.
  • Set up SPA and tomography data acquisition under the supervision of a senior Cryo-EM Microscopist.

Cryo-EM Microscopist (Microscopist Levels 2 through 4):

  • Providing training to PNCC users and new PNCC personnel on lab practices and protocols, including sample preparation, microscope operation and automated data acquisition.
  • Set up microscope for data acquisition in SPA and tomography.

Senior Cryo-EM Microscopists (Levels 3 and 4):

  • Oversee and mentor junior staff members and provide them with assistance during sample preparation and data collection.
  • Interact with Co-Directors on projects or tasks, while integrating capabilities of work team members.
  • Help PI and Co-Directors with curriculum development and workshop planning.
  • Test newly acquired instrumentation at the center and provide feedback to center Co-Directors and vendor.
  • Develop unique & appropriate EM protocols for sample preparation, data acquisition and computational data analysis for user/customer specific research needs.
  • Assists PNCC Directors in preparation of technical reports

This position will perform work in a laboratory setting, with potential risk of exposure to chemicals and gases (liquid nitrogen). The successful candidate will follow safety regulations, lab compliance protocols, and have the ability to wear personal protective equipment when necessary. Additional safety training will be required to work with cell lines/infectious bacteria or viruses and working within a BSL-2 environment.


This position is located in the Robertson Life Science Building on OHSU’s South Waterfront campus; work hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm with occasional evening and weekend work as needed.

Required Qualifications

Note: Degrees should be in a closely related field

Microscopist 1:

  • Bachelor degree with 1 year of relevant work experience, OR
  • Master’s Degree
  • Demonstrated experience in wet lab activities.

Microscopist 2:

  • Bachelor degree with 5 years of relevant work experience, OR
  • Master’s Degree with 3 years of relevant work experience, OR
  • Doctoral degree in the biological sciences (Biochemistry or Biophysics)

Microscopist 3:

  • Bachelor’s degree with 7 years of relevant work experience, OR
  • Master’s Degree with 5 years of relevant work experience, OR
  • Doctoral degree in the biological sciences (Biochemistry or Biophysics) with 3 years of relevant work experience

Microscopist 4:

  • Bachelor degree with 9 years of relevant work experience, OR
  • Master’s Degree with 7 years of relevant work experience, OR
  • Doctoral degree in the biological sciences (Biochemistry or Biophysics) with 5 years of relevant work experience

Preferred Qualifications

Microscopist 2-4:

  • Previous experience using FEI Titan Krios, Arctica or Glacios microscope, phase plate and direct electron detectors.

Microscopist 3-4

  • Demonstrated experience collecting CryoEM datasets for SPA and tomography projects (SerialEM and/or EPU).
  • Demonstrated experience in developing Cryo sample preparation and sample optimization.
  • Demonstrated experience in image analysis methodologies (SPA and Tomography).
  • Demonstrated ability to perform full column alignments and software installation/upgrades.
  • Experience in mentoring junior staff.
  • IT related activities.

Microscopist 4:

  • Demonstrated experience managing and maintaining high end Cryo electron microscopes in a service center or in the industry on a similar job.

Additional Details

Please be sure to upload a cover letter and CV/resume, and 3 professional references who can speak to your experiences and abilities.

OHSU offers a generous benefits package that includes:

  • Vacation - up to 208 hours per year pending length of service for full-time employees
  • Sick Leave - 64 hours per year for full-time employees
  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • Comprehensive medical, dental & vision care plans. Covered 100% for full-time employees and 88% for dependents
  • $25K of term life insurance provided at no cost to the employee
  • Retirement: Choose between pension plan or employee matching voluntary savings plan
  • Substantial Tri-met and C-Tran discounts
  • Tuition Reimbursement 
  • OHSU is a non-profit organization, so we qualify for the Public Loan Forgiveness Program
  • Innovative Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Employee Discounts

All are welcome

Oregon Health & Science University values a diverse and culturally competent workforce. We are proud of our commitment to being an equal opportunity, affirmative action organization that does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any protected class status, including disability status and protected veteran status. Individuals with diverse backgrounds and those who promote diversity and a culture of inclusion are encouraged to apply. To request reasonable accommodation contact the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148 or aaeo@ohsu.edu.

As an organization devoted to the health and well-being of people in Oregon and beyond, OHSU requires its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


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