St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (St. Jude)

Center for Modeling Pediatric Diseases Senior Researcher

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (St. Jude)

Memphis, TN, United States


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is recognized as one of the Best Places to Work by Glassdoor and People magazine’s 50 Companies That Care.  Our mission is to advance cures, and disease prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. We look for the best people to join our teams and provide world-class facilities, state-of-the-art technologies, and extraordinary support to ensure scientific progress and help accomplishing our mission. The Center for Modeling Pediatric Diseases (CMPD) plays a key role in providing that support. As a new initiative at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH), its mission is to serve the research community by delivering high-quality, fully-characterized, patient-derived, pluripotent cells.

Our aim is to generate these cells on our fully-automated, state of the art, robotic system. Our methodologies are based on the Nobel Prize winning work of Shinya Yamanaka, which culminated in the ability to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from terminally-differentiated human somatic cells. These iPSCs permit the derivation of both normal and disease phenotype, patient-matched cell lines, and are therefore key to developing personalized medicine approaches: iPSCs provide a vital tool to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in patient-specific responses to treatments, and in the future will form the basis of creating patient-derived, patient-matched cellular therapeutics. Since iPSCs are derived from somatic cells, they can be created without harvesting vital stem cell pools in the body. For example, CMPD is able to generate iPSCs from blood and urine, which are collected as part of routine clinical monitoring. We therefore circumvent the ethical issues encountered by working with stem cells from donated oocytes, or embryonic stem cells.

As CMPD establishes our methodologies and implements our automation we seek an exceptional and motivated individual with experience of creating, evaluating and implementing SOPs from the ground up. The transition from manual to automated requires a highly-organized, methodical, and algorithmic mindset. This role provides an exceptional opportunity to acquire expertise in developing and implementing automation programming routines. Ability to demonstrate attention to detail is key, as is a desire to work in a highly reproducible manner, by close adherence to optimized SOPs. However, an ability to innovate, and determine where evolutions can be made to improve time and cost efficiencies, in coordination with the team, is also highly desirable. Daily implementation of advanced cell culture techniques, including differentiation protocols, and the ability to undertake sophisticated characterization assays is required. There are opportunities to develop bioinformatics and data analysis skills, including running machine learning pipelines to evaluate microscope images of developing iPSC colonies. Our automation system includes the latest model instruments: Hamilton Vantage; Hamilton LabElite; Cytation 5; Cytomat (500 capacity); KingFisher Presto; BioStore III.

If you are excited by using state-of-the-art instrumentation, if you are able to take a one-off research experiment and optimize it to make it unbreakably reproducible, and would like to do for biology what Henry T Ford did for car manufacturing, then we would like to hear from you!. Some tissue culture experience coupled either with automation experience OR a very strong desire to learn automation and process development skills are fundamental.


The successful candidate will assist the CMPD Director to develop:

  1. Daily implementation of both manual and automated advanced cell culture techniques, including differentiation protocols, and the ability to undertake sophisticated characterization assays is required. Some tissue culture experience is mandatory.
  2. Processes/SOPs necessary to automate various manual stem cell workflows including but not limited to the splitting of stem cells, the purification of specific populations, freezing cells, setting up and analyzing various quality control and characterization assays, automating DNA, RNA extractions etc.
  3. Assists with the cryopreservation of bar-coded samples using an automated liquid N2 system.
  4. Manages specific, but limited, laboratory functions such as ordering, instrument maintenance etc.
  5. Demonstrates effort to increase knowledge in relevant areas of research and participates in the presentation and publication of research results.
  6. Conducts scientific projects and maintains efficient laboratory operations with minimal supervision.
  7. Performs other duties as assigned or directed in order to meet the goals and objectives of the CMPD Core and of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
  8. Keeps up to date with the relevant scientific literature.
  9. Assists with stem cell training

Minimum Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate scientific field is required


Preferred Qualifications: iPSC, process development and programming experience.

Minimum Experience

  • Two (2) years of relevant, post-degree work experience is required.•
  • No experience is required with a Master’s or PhD degree.

EEO Statement

St. Jude is an Equal Opportunity Employer


No Search Firms:

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. Please do not call or email. All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee or other representative at St. Jude via email, the internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place and approved by HR will result in no fee being paid in the event the candidate is hired by St. Jude.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.