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Electron Microscopy (EM) Specialist

Human Technopole
Milan (IT)
up to 40k - Tax benefits where applicable
Closing date
26 Jul 2024

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Life Science
Job Type
Research Assistant
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job Details


About the Institute

Human Technopole (HT) is an interdisciplinary life science research institute, created and supported by the Italian government, with the aim of developing innovative strategies to improve human health. HT has the mission of conducting cutting-edge research and to translate innovation into methods and tools available to the entire National scientific community. To this end, HT is opening National Facilities that will provide world-class research infrastructure in the areas of Structural Biology, Light Imaging Microscopy, Genomics, Genome Engineering, and Data Handling and Analysis, aimed at the Italian scientific community as well as internal HT research groups. In this context, the Cryo-Electron Microscopy (Cryo-EM) Unit, as part of the National Facility for Structural Biology, seeks to recruit an Electron Microscopy (EM) Specialist that will actively participate in maintaining the national facility, take part in scientific collaborations, and support internal and external users.


About the Cryo-EM Unit

The Cryo-EM Unit workflows span from sample preparation (i.e. negative stainingplunge freezinghigh-pressure freezingfreeze substitutionchemical fixationresin embedding, carbon coating and metal sputtering, cryo-ultramicrotomy, and micropatterning) to imaging techniques (i.e. TEM\STEM imaging at room and cryogenic temperatures on side-entry holder systems, widefield and confocal cryo-CLEM imaging, SEM imaging and FIB-milling, TEM\EF-TEM imaging at cryogenic temperatures on autoloader-equipped systems). Currently, the Cryo-EM Unit owns: a 300kV Thermo Scientific Titan Krios G4i TEM with Falcon 4i, Selectris X energy filter, and Volta phase-plate; a 200kV Thermo Scientific Glacios TEM with Falcon 4i, Selectris X energy filter, Volta phase-plate, and micro-ED package; a 300kV Thermo Scientific Spectra S/TEM with CETA 2 with speed enhancement, HAADF, BF and DF detectors; a 120kV Thermo Scientific Talos L120C TEM with Gatan Elsa cryo-holder and high-FOV Fischione holders; a Thermo Scientific Aquilos 2 DualBeam cryo-FIB system with EasyLift system, AutoSlice-and-View and AutoTEM modules; a Leica Thunder widefield and a Leica Stellaris confocal microscopes with white light laser equipped with cryo-stage for CLEM applications; all ancillary sample preparation equipment including plunge freezing devices, glow discharger units, plasma cleaners, carbon and metal sputter coater, high-pressure freezer, automated freeze substitution device, micropatterning device and ultramicrotome for both resin-embedded and vitrified samples. Our microscopes operate with SerialEM, Thermo Scientific EPU, Tomography, EPU-D, Velox and MAPS. Computing resources for EM-related analyses software packages are also available via VMs and HPC.


Your main activities

The activity of the EM Specialist will focus on Volume EM applications, which include chemical fixation, high-pressure freezing, freeze substitution, resin embedding, immuno-EM, CLEM, and electron tomography by TEM\STEM imaging. The EM Specialist will report directly to Head of the National Facility for Structural Biology and will work in close collaboration with other Units of the National Facility and research groups of the Structural Biology Research Centre. The EM Specialist will:

  • Actively participate in resource planning and maintenance of the Cryo-EM Unit equipment, tools and consumables;
  • Introduce, train and supervise internal and external users to sample preparation, equipment operations and provide evaluation support;
  • Interaction with Unit users to facilitate user access, to elaborate experimental protocols and project plans, to provide technical assistance during the project and feedback after delivery of results;
  • Perform experiments and provide services for non-autonomous users according to the Unit and National Facility best practices;
  • Interact and follow up with manufacturers and field service engineers in case of technical issues and malfunctions of the Unit equipment and tools;
  • Interact and follow up with the ICT and Digitisation Area, Campus Development and Facility Management Area in case of building issues and malfunctions;
  • Manage research projects whose purpose is to advance the Facility and the institute’s scientific environment;
  • Actively participate in National Facility and Unit reviews by external and internal experts;
  • Promote networks with other national and international Facilities and Units.

Job requirements

Essential Requirements

  • MSc or PhD in a relevant subject (e.g. biology or a related field of life science);
  • At least 3 years, including PhD or other training years, of hands-on experience in sample preparation for Volume EM (e.g. fixation and resin-embedding), Immuno-EM, CLEM and electron microscope imaging of biological samples;
  • Fluency in English – HT is an international research institute;

Preferred Job Requirements

  • Proven (i.e. peer-reviewed publications as well as pre-prints) expertise in structural and ultrastructural characterization and analysis of biological samples by Volume EM techniques (i.e. immuno-EM, CEMoViS, Tokuyasu, CLEM and TEM imaging);

Organizational and social skills:

  • Communication, team building and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to interact effectively with other teams and work synergistically to effectively drive projects;
  • Highly organised and meticulous work attitude;

Application instructions

Please apply by sending:

  • a CV;
  • a motivation letter in English (max 1 page long);

Any questions concerning the role and/or queries regarding the relevant terms and conditions should be addressed to (this email address should not be used to send applications).

Main benefits

  • Welfare plans.
  • Canteen service.
  • Work-life balance provisions.
  • Italian language training for foreigners.
  • Maternity leave up to 1 year and other support for new parents.
  • Counseling.
  • Flexible working hours.
  • Remote working policy.
  • Support for relocation.

Additional Information

HT offers a highly collaborative, international, and diverse work environment. The working language is English. HT will foster top quality, interdisciplinary research by promoting a vibrant environment consisting of independent research groups that attracts outstanding graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. HT scientists have full access to cutting-edge Core Facilities.

HT is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer that seeks to promote a collegial and family-friendly atmosphere and offers attractive conditions and benefits. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical and other social benefits, as well as financial support for relocation if eligible. Researchers coming to Italy for the first time, or returning after residing abroad, may benefit from income tax benefits if eligible.


Number of positions offered: 1

Contract offered: CCNL Chimico Farmaceutico, Fixed-term 3 years with possibility of renewal - Employee Level

Salary range: up to 40K, depending on the seniority of the candidate.
Tax benefits where applicable.

The position is based in Milan.


The Foundation reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to extend, suspend, modify, revoke, or cancel this job posting without giving rise to any rights or claims whatsoever in favor of the candidates; the Foundation reserves, however, the right not to proceed with the awarding of the above-described assignment due to the effect of supervening regulatory provisions and/or obstructive circumstances”.


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