WUCCI Careers

The Washington University Center for Cellular Imaging (WUCCI) is always on the lookout for talented microscopists interested in deciphering how cellular structure dictates physiological function. For undergraduate research opportunities, either during the semester, or over the summer holidays, please send a one-page summary of your interest in the mission of the WUCCI along with a resume in PDF format to the Scientific Director via email.

Current Open Positions

Research Specialist - Electron Microscopy - Position No: 35418


POSITION SUMMARY: The Electron Microscopy Specialist works with other EM staff under the supervision of the Director in operation of the electron microscopy component of the Center for Cellular Imaging (http://wucci.wustl.edu/)

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE: Masters degree in a related field with 7 years of experience in a related laboratory setting or equivalent combination of relevant education and work experience totaling 10 years.

POSITION DETAILS: This position if full-time and works approximately 40 hours per week and is benefits eligible

APPLY ON-LINE: Please apply for position 36574 at the WUSTL Careers page


1. User Training

  • Provide advanced level instruction and work direction to University laboratory staff on Center instrumentation and procedures used in the various electron microscopy methods supported by the Center.
  • Train facility users in the appropriate use of data analysis packages and methods, micrograph production, and quantification of data.
  • Train laboratory staff on different experimental techniques used in the Center.
  • Develop reference tools for lab staff including handouts.
  • Provide advanced level instruction on an individual level with undergraduate students, graduate students, post-docs, and collaborators on Center equipment and procedures for electron microscopes (e.g. alignment of scope, specimen preparation), ultramicrotomes, computer-aided serial sectioning and reconstruction programs.

2. EM Services

  • Work with researchers on the design, preparation, execution and analysis of electron microscopy experiments for both TEM, SEM, cryo-TEM techniques. 
  • Acquire and process biological specimens using perfusion, tissue extraction, sectioning, and chemical fixation techniques. 
  • Carry out immunocytochemical labeling of tissues and cell cultures using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies by pre-embedding and post-embedding methods. 
  • Prepare specimens using cryogenic techniques such as slam freezing and freeze fracture for the preservation of cellular ultrastructure and membrane morphology. 
  • Keep up with technical advances in specimen preparation by reading primary literature and microscopy web sites. 
  • Reconstruct electron microscopy data sets (serial sections, tomograms etc). 
  • Responsible for basic image analysis, e.g. image averaging, filtering, alignment, quantitative analysis. 

3. Research Design & Participation

  • Specialist will also assist with image processing and data analysis. 
  • Design, and carry out experiments involving collection and processing of tissues and tissue culture cells and their analysis by electron microscopy. 
  • Provide innovative contributions to the design and construction of experiments for multiple research projects, obtain data, and analyze light and electron micrographs. 
  • Perform all applicable basic and advanced techniques in electron microscopy including transmission EM, chemical fixation and staining, ultracryomicrotomy, and carbon and metal coating of films and specimens at high level of expertise. 
  • Modify and perform experiments involving immunoperoxidase and immunogold localization of specific proteins. 
  • Participate in the collection and analysis of images and application of protocols for quantification of data. 
  • Keep informed of new developments in electron microscopy in the fields of molecular and cell biology. 
  • Collect micrographs and other data for journal articles using photographic and digital imaging procedures.

4. EM Equipment Maintenance

  • Maintain stocks of reagents for methods involving tissue culture, antibody reagents, buffers, etc. 
  • Maintain a monthly freezer inventory of primary and secondary antibodies, seras, toxins and dyes. 
  • Defrost and keep general used antibodies stocked. 
  • Aliquot new antibodies assign freezer rack and box; enter new antibodies into the database. 
  • Keep database of scientific Center records. 
  • Perform general maintenance of facilities electron microscopes and sample preparation equipment. 
  • Liaise with manufacturers with regard to instrument preventative maintenance. 
  • Ensure assigned areas, and various pieces of equipment are clean and prepared. 
  • Keep a log sheet for controlled substances, check usage of controlled substances regularly and order supplies as needed. 
  • Use scheduling software to prepare monthly invoices for facility user recharges and track of equipment usage to prepare monthly status reports for Director.
  • Maintain records of equipment usage and report maintenance issues of equipment. 
  • Ensure Center is in compliance with EH&S protocols and procedures. 

5. Data Collection & Presentation

  • Prepare data for publication; grant applications, posters and other presentations using digital facilities. 
  • Present data at department or University meetings. 
  • Prepare images/movies for presentations. 
  • Assist in preparation of manuscripts, grants, progress reports and annual protocols. 
  • Prepare publication quality micrographs and plates. 
  • Maintain electronic lab notebook, including experimental design, time, methods, materials and results.