Principal, Research Associate - Histology

May 25, 2021
Science/R&D, Research
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

The ideal candidate is expected to have hands-on experience in basic histological practices including but not limited to tissue processing, sectioning, and routine staining procedures. In addition to routine histological techniques, the candidate is expected to have good understanding of a histology lab environment (e.g. day to day operations, equipment maintenance, troubleshooting) in order to work in the lab effectively. The candidate is expected to work independently under the general direction of the Executive Director (ED) of Pathology with operational training and partnership with the Histology Core Manager for execution of daily activities, in order to meet project goals and timelines with minimal supervision. Ability to analyze histology data and interpret results with the aid of the ED of Pathology, is expected. The candidate is expected to develop and optimize new histology techniques (special stains/immunohistochemistry/in situ hybridization) to support the ongoing and evolving project needs. The candidate is eager to take on new assignments and maintains professional expertise through familiarity with scientific literature and new techniques.

  • Reporting to the ED of Pathology with operational training and partnership with the Histology Core Manager for execution of daily activities, the ideal candidate will effectively employ and execute a wide array of histological assays and endpoints in order to meet project and company goals
  • Follow established protocols and focus on histological techniques including:
    • Tissue grossing, processing, and embedding across multiple mediums (e.g. paraffin, OCT for frozen tissue, etc.)
    • Tissue sectioning (will include rotary microtome, cryostat, and sliding microtome frozen sample sectioning)
    • Routine immunohistochemical (IHC) staining on paraffin and frozen tissue sections
    • Routine in-situ hybridization (ISH) staining on paraffin and frozen tissue sections
    • Employing special staining techniques (e.g. routine H&E, Masson's Trichrome) on both paraffin and frozen sections
    • Work with Histology Core Manager to maintain histology equipment/instrument operations with working knowledge of maintenance and troubleshooting.
  • The selected candidate will also work with the Histology Core Manager to develop and qualify new, innovative staining techniques
  • Execute and troubleshoot standard protocols, adapt new protocols into practice with assistance, and query literature to incorporate additional assays as needed
  • Familiarity in employing either manual or automated IHC and ISH
  • Familiarity with automated tissue processors (e.g. Leica ASP300)The ideal candidate will have
  • Experience preparation of animal specimens for histology analyses including small animal necropsy and tissue collection
  • Responsible for ordering and preparing solutions/reagents as needed and maintaining equipment under the guidance of Histology Core Manager
  • Under the guidance of Histology Core Manager, the ideal candidate will maintain laboratory organization and chemical supplies in a manner consistent with chemical hygiene, blood pathogen, and other institutional requirements for proper laboratory function and safety
  • Refer to the ED of Pathology for assistance in the performance and interpretation of complex or unusual procedures
  • Responsible for appropriately collecting/capturing information as well as data entry into Sana's electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) system
  • Good organizational skills and excellent attention to detail
  • Capable of independent as well as collaborative work
  • Excellent documentation skills
  • High degree of computer literacy


Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelors with 4-6 years, or Bachelors with masters and 1-4 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in a histology lab or HT or HTL certification with 10 years of histology lab experience preferably in a pharmaceutical industry or hospital setting
  • The candidate works on histology assignments using judgment and initiative to improve existing methodologies, understands implications of the histology work as it relates to the project goals and deadlines
  • Understanding of and experience with basic and advanced tissue-based investigative techniques for example: IHC, ISH, immunofluorescence (IF) and can troubleshoot these methods
  • Strong skill set in developing and implementing multiplexed IHC methodologies from antibody selection, staining optimization, and use of appropriate positive and negative controls
  • Familiarity with operating and capturing images from transmitted light and fluorescent microscopes
  • Effective communicator both verbally and in writing
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational and problem-solving skills required to manage multiple studies at different phases in parallel and track work and projects to meet timeline demands
  • Working safely in person on a predictable and regular in-person basis is an essential job function for this position and the Company requires that all individuals working in-person, subject to certain exceptions, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Bachelors with HT or HTL certification and 6 years of pharmaceutical industry experience as a lead histotechnician with experience in managing and operating a histology lab independently
  • Experience and familiarity with automated slide staining IHC/ISH platforms (e.g. Leica BondRx) is a plus
  • Experience and familiarity with automated imaging platforms (e.g. Leica Versa) and or confocal light microscopy is a plus
  • Knowledge regarding conduct of experimental animal safety studies for the development of pharmaceutical products
  • Experience working with in vivo scientists to teach and guide on proper necropsy and tissue collection methodologies to support histological and pathological review
  • Familiarity working with either internal or external study sites, investigators and Study Directors
  • Familiarity with incorporation of feedback from Principal Investigators (PIs) responsible for subparts of a study
  • Ability to mentor junior scientist in the lab
  • Ability to handle and manage the histology lab with minimal supervision

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The job description listed above is representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

At Sana, we believe that a diverse workforce strengthens us as a company and helps us to achieve our mission to meaningfully change the outcome of many human diseases. This belief is a pillar of our business and is critical to our success. Our goal is that Sana is the place for talented people to bring their authentic selves to work, to have a great career and to deeply, positively impact patients.

The Company is committed to providing a workplace free of discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental or sensory disability (including the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability), genetic information, actual or perceived HIV or Hepatitis C infection, medical condition (cancer or a record or history of cancer and genetic characteristics), marital status, sexual orientation, sexual preference, pregnancy (including childbirth and related medical conditions), disability, veteran status, political ideology, taking or requesting statutorily protected leave, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Core to our values, we believe there is nothing more important than the health and wellness of you and your family. We cover 100% of the cost for employee health coverage and offer generous time-off, parental leave, short and long term disability, financial wellness programs, a 401(k) Plan, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, commuter subsidy and a variety of wellness offerings to support each person individually.