Job Title:

Research Associate




Calgary, AB

Job Reference:

Job Opening #21655

Closing Date:

December 11, 2020

The Department of Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine invites applications for a Research Associate. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 12 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

Reporting the Principal Investigator.

This position will conduct studies aimed at understanding central and peripheral mechanisms of pain and opioid analgesia through the use behavioural, molecular and cellular techniques.  The specific project will investigate blood brain barrier and blood spinal cord barrier integrity in response to opioid treatment and in chronic pain conditions. Rodent models and cell culture models will be used to understand mechanisms and to screen potential therapeutic drugs.  Optogenetics, microscopy and calcium imaging techniques will be employed to tease apart the mechanistic actions of novel compounds.

The position will occasionally require irregular hours, depending on the research in progress.  The research may involve exposure to biohazardous materials and requires the ability to work in a research environment where animal biological samples are present.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Conduct studies aimed at understanding central and peripheral mechanisms of pain and opioid analgesia; manage mouse colonies; develop animal models for pain drug discovery; perform surgical procedures; conduct behavioural testing; and cellular imaging
  • Under the direction of the Principal Investigator, the primary responsibilities of this role are focused on conducting collaborative research aimed at understanding central and peripheral mechanisms of pain and opioid analgesia, including:
    • Developing rodent models of opioid analgesia, addiction, and neuropathic and inflammatory pain
    • Performing surgical procedures
    • Administering drugs and monitoring of animals
    • Conducting behavioral testing and document findings
    • Managing mouse colonies and genotyping
    • Cell culture and tissue processing

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • An undergraduate in behavioural neuroscience, biochemistry, or related field is required
  • A master's or higher degree is considered an asset
  • Previous experience with basic laboratory techniques and record keeping are necessary
  • Technical expertise in mouse colony management, animal surgery and handling is required
  • Experience with assessing pain and opioid withdrawal behaviours, and expertise in optogenetics and chemogenetics is required
  • Experience with cell culture and cell imaging techniques (confocal, calcium imaging) is required
  • Expertise in astrocyte and microglia biology is required
  • Excellent organizational skills combined with strong oral and written communication skills are required
  • The ability to work under indirect supervision with attention to detail, sound judgment, and good problem-solving skills are important
  • WHMIS and biosafety training and certification will be required

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Technical Job Family, Phase I. (Salary range $24.15 - $35.13/hour)

Business address: 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary AB T2N 1N4

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.  In this connection, at the time of your application, please answer the following question: are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada? (Yes/No).

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website. For more information about the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine visit Careers in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

Job Opening #21655

Contact information: hrhire @

Quote Job Reference: Job Opening #21655

Posted 2020-11-12

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