Durham, North Carolina

This Position is Fully Grant Funded

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.








The Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) continues to lead cutting edge vaccine research against infectious diseases that impact global health. Basic science discoveries made using a variety of human and pathogen-derived proteins designed, expressed, and purified by the highly collaborative DHVI have contributed to the identification of vaccine and therapeutic candidates currently being produced in Good Manufacturing Practice facilities for early phase clinical trials.


The Saunders laboratory aims to understand the immunology of HIV-1 antibodies and the molecular biology of their interaction with HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycoprotein. Our overall goal is to develop protective antibody-based vaccines; therefore, the laboratory has two sections –  immunogen design and antibody repertoire analysis. Proteins derived from HIV envelope are designed and expressed as candidate vaccine immunogens for preclinical trials. Additionally, the proteins are used to probe B cells in humans and rhesus macaques in an effort to identify antibody responses stimulated by these immunogens. Lastly, we use in vitro assays to functionally characterize the identified antibodies. Thus, our overall efforts are aimed at designing an effective HIV vaccine to halt the AIDS pandemic.


We are seeking a motivated and hardworking Research Technician II to support our vaccine development research. The primary responsibilities will include the production of HIV envelopes and nanoparticles, and recombinant antibodies.



  • Apply aseptic cell culture techniques to express candidate HIV vaccine immunogens in eukaryotic cells through transient transfection
  • Perform the following experimental activities:
    • Large scale antibody, HIV-1 envelope and nanoparticle, and host protein production and purification
    • Analysis of recombinant antibodies and HIV-1 envelopes using biochemical and immunological techniques, such as FPLC, SDS-PAGE, Western blots, ELISA, and biolayer interferometry
    • Molecular biology assays such as PCR, site-directed mutagenesis, DNA preparation
    • Sanger sequencing of plasmid DNA
    • HIV-1 envelope and antibody sequence analysis
    • Biotinylation and fluorescent labeling of recombinant proteins
    • Flow cytometry analysis of fluorescent proteins
  • Perform routine lab maintenance, cleaning, organizing, and restocking supplies
    • Includes keeping lab equipment, chemicals, reagents, and supplies in excellent order, and managing protein inventories
  • Understand and comply with all safety standards and procedures to ensure a safe working environment for all laboratory staff
  • Closely follow all standard operating procedures
  • Compile, analyze, document, and draw tentative conclusions from experimental results
  • Confer with the principal investigator/manager to review work assignments and develop plans for research experiments
  • Track work and compliantly order materials and reagents associated with numerous projects under multiple grants
  • Collaborate with other staff and perform other duties as requested by the Principal Investigator or senior lab staff


Required Qualifications at this Level

  • Education/Training: Work generally requires a bachelor's degree in biology or other directly related scientific field.
  • Experience: None required beyond above education/training requirement.


Preferred Education, Skills, & Experience Requirements

  • Some previous lab experience is highly desired
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and within a team, and to troubleshoot and resolve problems, is required
  • Must have excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Must be detail-oriented and well organized


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.


Durham, North Carolina

As a world-class academic and health care system, Duke Health strives to transform medicine and health locally and globally through innovative scientific research, rapid translation of breakthrough discoveries, educating future clinical and scientific leaders, advocating and practicing evidence-based medicine to improve community health, and leading efforts to eliminate health inequalities.

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