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University of Massachusetts Amherst Senior Research Fellow in Amherst, Massachusetts

Senior Research Fellow

Apply nowJob no:505784

Work type:Senior/Research Fellow (Amherst Only)

Location:UMass Amherst


Union:Non-Unit Exempt


About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Stephens Lab ( at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is recruiting a Senior Research Fellow. The Stephens lab is a new lab and studies the mechanical and shape properties of the cell nucleus and how these properties affect major nuclear functions such as genome organization, DNA damage, compartmentalization, and transcription. Abnormal nuclear shape has been used as diagnostic and prognostic marker for human disease such as cancer for nearly a century without understanding how these nuclear abnormal deformations occur and what their real consequences are to cell function.

The responsibilities of the Senior Research Fellow include working closely with the PI to establish mechanisms quantitatively measuring force response and nuclear morphology in an automated fashion. One goal will be to write a new program in LabView or Python to track micropipette tips and nucleus deformation to measure force response of nuclei under micromanipulation. The second goal will be to generate a machine learning algorithm for segmenting and measuring nuclei, with the capacity to discern normally and abnormally shaped nuclei. It is essential that the Senior Research Fellow be well-versed in microscopy and image analysis for both of the major goals. The Senior Research Fellow will then use these tools to perform experiments on cells using micromanipulation and microscopy to discern the mechanical role of chromatin in the nucleus and how it affects major nuclear functions.

Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Develop a new analysis program for tracking micropipette tips and nuclei strain during micromanipulation (preferably in LabView or Python)

  • Develop a pipeline for automated microscope image segmentation of nuclei using various available machine learning algorithms

  • Preparation of cells for imaging

  • Microscopy imaging and image analysis of cell samples on a daily basis

  • Secondary role in maintaining cell cultures in conjunction with the Lab Manager

Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.

  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.

  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • PhD in Biology or related field.

  • At least 5 years of post doc experience.

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Coding in Python (or other languages).

  • Well-versed in microscopy imaging and analysis.

  • Knowledge of cell culture.

  • Molecular Biology skills (DNA/RNA purification, Western blots, Immunofluorescence).

  • Educated in Physics and/or Engineering.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical lab environment.

Additional Details

  • This position is for one year with the potential of a reappointment depending on job performance and available funding.

Work Schedule

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm.

  • Hours may vary.

Salary Information

Salary will commensurate with experience.

Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit a letter of application, resume and contact information for three professional references. Apply by July 17, 2020 in order to ensure priority consideration. Search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised:Jul 8 2020Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: