Seeking Technician for Flow Cytometry Core

February 5, 2018

Flow Cytometrist (Technician B)

Flow cytometry is a cell analysis technique essential to an array of biomedical research disciplines. This powerful laser-based method facilitates the characterization of cell populations in a heterogeneous sample based on up to 30 parameters through extremely sensitive fluorescence measurements. Cell sorting, an extension of flow cytometry, permits not only the identification of cell populations but also their purification. Cells isolated in this way are viable and can be used for any downstream assay. 

The Columbia Stem Cell Initiative (CSCI) Flow Cytometry core facility is a shared instrument resource that provides the Columbia community access to high-end, state-of-the-art flow cytometry instrumentation and services. CSCI Flow Cytometry currently maintains three cell sorters and two cell analyzers, which are utilized by researchers in stem cell biology, immunology, cancer biology, and neuroscience. The core facility is also home to a Luminex-200 multiplexed assay system, a Fluidigm BioMark microfluidics genome analyzer, and an Applied Biosciences QuantStudio qPCR machine. 

We are currently seeking a motivated candidate to join the CSCI's growing team as a Flow Cytometrist (Technician B). This is an exciting opportunity to be a part of a critical research resource, acquire expertise in extremely technically complex instrumentation, and be a part of cutting-edge science at Columbia University Medical Center by interacting with researchers from a wide range of research fields. Although previous experience with flow cytometry instrumentation is preferred, it is not required. We will provide thorough training for the right candidate who demonstrates motivation, eagerness, and an aptitude for learning. This is an opportunity to join and develop career skills in a growing field. 

Primary Responsibilities: 

  • Perform flow cytometer and cell sorter daily setup, calibration, and routine maintenance 
  • Operate the cell sorters for Columbia University researchers' experiments 
  • Train users on cell sorting and cell analysis equipment 
  • Perform routine instrument troubleshooting, intervention, and reporting 
  • Communicate with instrument manufacturers for coordination of timely repairs 
  • Assist with the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training materials 
  • Participate in research and development projects as time permits 
  • Maintain and perform user training on equipment such as Luminex-200, BioMark, QuantStudio instruments and others as the facility grows 

Please note that this position may require some flexibility of working hours, including occasional required overtime and occasional opportunity to earn comp time.  

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in a cell biology, molecular biology, or biochemistry OR Bachelor's degree in another field with relevant coursework, laboratory experience, and a demonstrated understanding of the fundamental concepts of biological sciences. 
  • Independent and critical thinking skills. Successful instrument troubleshooting, which is a major component of this position, requires employing a logical workflow, based on knowledge of flow cytometry principles and instrument components, to discover root causes and resolve issues. 
  • Aptitude for constant learning and development, especially with regard to complex instrumentation and technology. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to adapt. This position requires constant interaction with a large user base of varying experience, so patience, willingness to teach, and ability to resolve conflicts in an assertive, professional, and effective manner is critical for success. 
  • Solid computer skills. Ability to adapt to and learn new software packages. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of the principles of flow cytometry 
  • Experience performing flow cytometry assays 
  • Prior experience with flow cytometry instrumentation, especially Becton Dickinson FACSDiva-driven instrumentation 
  • Knowledge of flow cytometry data analysis packages, using FlowJo and FCSExpress 
  • Desktop support or other professional computer skills  

Please include an updated CV and cover letter with the application on the Columbia University application site.