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

We are seeking talented, motivated and interactive individuals to work as part of  a multidisciplinary 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 cryoTEM. These cryoTEMs 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. 


Based on their specific responsibilities and skills, the successful candidate will assist in the day-to-day running of the facility, general laboratory maintenance, providing end user training, assist junior staff and set up large-data set acquisition for single particle and tomography cryoEM projects. Candidates 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. 

Function/Duties of Position

General LAB Support:

All cryoEM Microscopist categories (Microscopist 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 cryoEM microscopists (Microscopist 3 and 4):

  • Perform monthly full alignments on cryoTEMs 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 cryoEM Microscopist categories (Microscopist 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 cryoEM microscopists (Microscopist 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:

cryoEM 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 cryoEM microscopist .

  • Set up SPA and tomography data acquisition under the supervision of a senior cryoEM microscopist.


cryoEM Microscopist categories (Microscopist 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 cryoEM microscopists (Microscopist 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


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

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 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

Microscopist 1:

  • Demonstrated experience in wet lab activities.

  • Basic electron microscopy knowledge.


Microscopist 2-4

  • Demonstrated experience utilizing transmission electron microscopes.

  • Working knowledge of instrumentation and techniques used in structural biology.

  • Demonstrated ability to learn new and innovative procedures quickly. 

  • Demonstrated knowledge of basic computer software for data generation and record keeping.

  • Ability to follow lab safety regulations and lab compliance protocols

Microscopist 1-4:

  • Maintain a high level of professional expertise through familiarity with current scientific literature.

  • Very well organized, dependable and efficient multi-tasker with strong time management skills

  • Excellent communication skills with strong ability to organize, document and analyze research data.

Preferred Qualifications

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).

Microscopist 4:

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


Microscopist 2-4:

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

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a team member to accomplish research goals.

Microscopist 3-4:

  • Demonstrated ability to perform full column alignments and software installation/upgrades.

  • Experience in mentoring junior staff.

  • IT related activities.


Additional Details

For consideration, upload cover letter and CV/resume, along with 3 professional references who can speak to your experiences and abilities.


Working conditions:

This position is located at RLSB on OHSU’s south waterfront campus; work hours are 8am – 5pm with occasional evening and weekend work as needed. Additional safety training will be required to work with infectious bacteria or viruses/ working with in a BSL-2 environment.


Physical demands & equipment usage:

Ability to work at a microscope or computer for up to 8 hours at a time, with breaks. Ability to use and maintain microscopy and sample vitrification equipment. The worker is required to have close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading. Ability to perform repetitive manual manipulations (gripping, grasping, fingering, pinching, etc.) Ability to move about campus in a timely manner in support of the research and mission goals of the PNCC. Ability to communicate complex ideas to users and co-workers. Personal protective equipment must be worn as required. (Gloves, eyewear, lab coat, etc.).

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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