VUMC Job - 37142299 | CareerArc
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Company: VUMC
Location: Nashville, TN
Career Level: Entry Level
Industries: Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Biotech


Research Assistant III
Diabetes and Endocrinology

Perform under minimal supervision a wide variety of complex tasks requiring practical understanding of scientific techniques and advanced knowledge of scientific theory.

Pancreatic islets are highly specialized mini-organs that regulate blood glucose by secreting insulin, glucagon, and other hormones in response to physiologic stimuli such as glucose. A deficiency or a dysfunction of the insulin-producing β cells of the islet is critical to the development of all forms of diabetes. The Powers & Brissova group is working to understand and reverse β cell and islet abnormalities and dysfunction in diabetes. In our projects, we are studying the pathogenesis of human diabetes by conducting, translating, and integrating studies about the human pancreas and islet biology. Our research team of scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, medical students, undergraduate students, and research assistants has interdisciplinary collaborations with vascular biologists, developmental biologists, biomedical engineers, chemists, and bioinformaticians at Vanderbilt and around the world. We are part of the NIH-funded Human Islet Research Network (HIRN). More information is available at our website.

Department Summary:

The Division has over 20 faculty and over 50 staff members, who participate in a wide-range of clinical programs and clinical and basic science research. Training the next generation of physicians and scientists is a major part of our mission and involves an Endocrinology Training Program and a Medical Student Research Program.

The Division provides in-patient and out-patient care at two hospitals, Vanderbilt University Hospital and the Nashville Veterans Administration Hospital. We strive for excellence in patient care, and this has been recognized by our ranking as one of the best programs in Diabetes and Endocrinology by the US News and World Report.

Investigators in the Division conduct biomedical research ranging from laboratory-based to clinical investigation to outcomes and quality research. Research in the Division is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, the Research Service of the Veterans Association as well as private foundations and pharmaceutical companies.

View how Vanderbilt Health employees celebrate the difference they make every day:



Discover Vanderbilt University Medical Center:

Located in Nashville, Tennessee, and operating at a global crossroads of teaching, discovery and patient care, VUMC is a community of individuals who come to work each day with the simple aim of changing the world. It is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity — of culture, thinking, learning and leading — is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something that is bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt's mission is to advance health and wellness through preeminent programs in patient care, education, and research.

VUMC Recent Accomplishments

Because we are committed to providing the best in patient care, education and research, we are proud of our recent accomplishments:


·      US News & World Report: #1 Adult Hospital in Tennessee and metropolitan Nashville, named to the Best Hospitals Honor Roll of the top 20 adult hospitals, 10 nationally ranked adult specialty programs, with 3 specialties rated in the top 10 nationally, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt named as one of the Best Children's Hospital in the nation, with 10 out of 10 pediatric specialties nationally ranked.

·      Healthcare's Most Wired: Among the nation's 100 “most-wired” hospitals and health systems for its efforts in innovative medical technology.

·      Becker's Hospital Review: named as one of the “100 Great Hospitals in America”, in the roster of 100 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Oncology Programs and to its list of the 100 Hospitals with Great Heart Programs.

·      The Leapfrog Group: One of only 10 children's hospitals in the to be named at Leapfrog Top Hospital.

·      American Association for the Advancement of Science: The School of Medicine has 112 elected fellows

·      Magnet Recognition Program: Received our third consecutive Magnet designations.

·      National Academy of Medicine: 22 members, elected by their peers in recognition of outstanding achievement

·      Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index: 6th year in a row that Vanderbilt University Medical Center was a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality. 




  • Under minimal supervision, plan, conduct and evaluate experiments and assays of varying complexity.
  • Plan and coordinate experiments in conjunction with Principal Investigator (PI).
  • Understand and follow experimental protocols (may include animal handling, tissue culture, etc.)
  • Record, compile, interpret, and communicate data/results.
  • Follow University safety protocols (may include use of combustibles, radioactivity, toxic material, and/or carcinogens)
  • Perform calculations involving molarity, % solutions, and serial dilutions.
  • Prepare, operate and troubleshoot equipment in experimental procedures.
  • Recommend equipment and supplies needed for research projects.
  • Read and follow all equipment manuals.
  • Maintain and repair equipment according to manufacturer and university guidelines.
  • Ensure laboratory is prepared for experiments.
  • Maintain inventories.
  • Maintain sterile conditions as required.
  • Prepare reagents.
  • Assist PI in modifying procedures and techniques.
  • Recognize problems and suggest solutions, assist in modifications.
  • Recommend improvements to established techniques and/or protocols.
  • Maintain personal knowledge of scientific trends through literature reviews, attendance at meetings, conferences and seminars.
  • Provide appropriate written/oral documentation of experiments
  • Prepare research progress reports.
  • Analyze and summarize test results.
  • Preparation and oral presentation of data as required
  • Assist in the effective operation of the laboratory.
  • Train other employees.
  • Supervise projects and/or personnel.



Bachelor's Degree (or equivalent experience) and 4 years experience



  • Physical Requirements/Strengths needed & Physical Demands:

    • Occasional: Sitting: Remaining in seated position
    • Occasional: Standing: Remaining on one's feet without moving.
    • Occasional: Walking: Moving about on foot.
    • Occasional: Lifting under 35 lbs: Raising and lowering objects under 35 lbs from one level to another
    • Occasional: Push/Pull: Exerting force to move objects away from or toward.
    • Occasional: Bending/Stooping: Trunk bending downward and forward by bending spine at waist requiring full use of lower extremities and back muscles
    • Occasional: Reaching below shoulders: Extending arms in any direction below shoulders.
    • Occasional: Handling: Seizing, holding, grasping, turning or otherwise working with hand or hands.

    • Occasional: Vision: Clarity of near vision at 20 inches or less and far vision at 20 feet or more with depth perception, peripheral vision, color vision.
    • Occasional: Noise: May include exposure to occupational noise levels which equal or exceed an 8-hr time-weighted average of 85 decibels, requiring enrollment in VUMC's Hearing Conservation Program which includes training, use of hearing protection, and periodic audiometry.
    • Continuous: Communication: Expressing or exchanging written/verbal/electronic information.

    Environmental Conditions
    • Occasional: Chemicals and Gasses: Medications, cleaning chemicals, oxygen, other medical gases used in work area.
    • Occasional: Radiation: May be exposed to occupational radiation, requiring enrollment in VUMC's Radiation Safety Program which includes training, use of personal protective equipment with lead shielding, and personal dose monitoring.

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