Research Associate

May 13 2024
Expected expiry date: June 11 2024
Industries Education, Training
Categories Medical research,
Vancouver, BC • Full time

Please apply for this position via the UBC careers posting: 

At UBC, we believe that attracting and sustaining a diverse workforce is key to the successful pursuit of excellence in research, innovation, and learning for all faculty, staff and students. Our commitment to employment equity helps achieve inclusion and fairness, brings rich diversity to UBC as a workplace, and creates the necessary conditions for a rewarding career.



The Research Associate is responsible for conducting research, leading research projects, and interacting with and advising collaborators as part of the Lynn Lab at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR). The incumbent will design and lead projects and advise trainees regarding project progress.


The incumbent will join faculty, students, and staff engaged in innovative, leading edge research, education and community service on university and hospital campuses across BC.  Together, we aim to create knowledge and advance learning that will make a vital contribution to the health of individuals and communities, locally, nationally and internationally. 



The UBC Faculty of Medicine Department of Surgery educates students at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels, and pursues research to make innovative advancements in knowledge and practice to improve health.  The Department consists of more than 600 physicians, surgeons, scientists and educators and over 70 administrative, research and technical staff, distributed across British Columbia. There are nine divisions in the following specialties: Cardiac Surgery, General Surgery, Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology, Pediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Radiation Oncology, Thoracic Surgery and Vascular Surgery. The Department is also home to the Branch for Global Surgical Care (BGSC).


The Research Associate reports directly to the Principal Investigator, Dr. Francis Lynn.  The incumbent liaises with other academic and industry collaborators,  Research Technicians and trainees in the Lynn lab and in the Core Facilities at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute as well as members of the UBC Department of Surgery. The Research Associate supports, trains and provides functional direction to Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate students as well as other staff working in the lab.




  • Establish, implement and lead research projects, including designing and performing experiments necessary to establish new methods for improved differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into pancreatic fates including high-throughput systems.
  • Establish, implement and lead research projects, including designing and performing experiments necessary to scaling up differentiation protocols.
  • Establish, implement and lead research projects, including designing and performing experiments necessary for cell-based modeling of pancreatic development and diseases.
  • Collaborate on the design, writing and preparation of grant proposals.
  • Coordinate new infrastructure purchase, delivery and installation; organize calendaring systems for shared infrastructure.
  • Manage grant proposal progress, including completing milestone reporting and managing budgets.
  • Manage the development and improvement of Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Design research methodology including questions and approaches for new research directions; critically review the literature on a regular basis.
  • Direct the organization and maintenance of research data and samples; analysis and coordinate presentations of complex data in meetings, conferences and publications.
  • Liaise with other academic and industrial collaborators to report on the project, the milestones and collection of data.
  • Liaise with the Research Ethics Board to write applications, obtain approval for multiple projects, and oversee compliance with approved protocols.
  • Advise technical staff and faculty members on experimental techniques, design, analysis, and standard operating procedures.
  • Train undergraduate and graduate students in performing experiments and provide direction with associated tasks.
  • Perform daily human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell culture experiments including culturing, expanding, freezing and differentiation.
  • Perform genetic analyses on RNA and DNA samples obtained from human pluripotent stem cells and derivatives.
  • Perform flow cytometry and fluorescence activated cell sorting on labelled human pluripotent stem cells and derivatives.
  • Develop new protocols for modeling and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells.
  • Maintain and monitor infrastructure required for efficient pluripotent stem cell culturing and scale up.
  • Performs other responsibilities, as required.



The position is based in a laboratory at the translational research building at BCCHR.



The incumbent may have access to confidential data.  The quality of work performed will determine the success of future projects and funding.  Exercising poor judgment and lack of appropriate consultation with research team members and supervisors can adversely affect the viability and validity of research projects or programs, and may compromise the UBC Division’s and Department’s ability to secure grant-based funding for future research projects.



The Research Associate reports directly to the Principal Investigator, Dr. Francis Lynn.  



No formal supervision, however the incumbent will train and act as a resource for faculty, staff, and students on specific techniques, procedures and processes.



The following qualifications, skills and knowledge, are required:

  • PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, or relevant discipline plus a minimum of five years’ related experience is required. 
  • Up-to-date experience in research performing relevant techniques (human pluripotent stem cell culture, human pluripotent stem cell differentiation and organoid formation, human iPSCs generation and analyses, isolating, culturing and analyzing pancreatic islet cells) and knowledge of various stem cell differentiation techniques.
  • At least three years’ experience working with human pluripotent stem cells and different approached for pancreatic cell differentiation.
  • Ability to collaborate on the design, writing and preparation of grant proposals, including grant budgeting and financial management and progress reporting.
  • Ability to present research findings at conferences and other events.
  • Ability to train and aid students in drafting research and review papers, and poster and oral presentations.
  • Engage with internal stakeholders (ex: other faculty members at UBC) and external partners (ex: faculty members outside of UBC, funders, industry).
  • Excellent organization skills, along with an outstanding level of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Computer experience required (word processing, spreadsheet and data analysis software preferred).
  • Ability to exercise tact, discretion and confidentiality. 
  • Ability to work both independently and in harmony with others within a team environment.  
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize work to meet deadlines. 
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including additional hours on weekends, evenings and early mornings, as required by pluripotent cells.
  • Willingness to respect diverse perspectives, including perspectives in conflict with one’s own.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to enhancing one’s own awareness, knowledge, and skills related to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
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