Surgical Technician

Company: Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Position Type: Full Time
Work location: On-Site
Job Type: Research & Development
Degree: Bachelors
Experience: 3-5 years
Industry: Preclinical Research
Location: Ashburn, Virginia, United States

Job Description

Janelia Research Campus is a pioneering research center in Ashburn, Virginia, where scientists pursue fundamental questions in neuroscience and imaging. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) launched Janelia in 2006, establishing an intellectually distinctive environment for scientists to do creative, collaborative, hands-on work. Our integrated teams of biologists, computational scientists, and tool-builders pursue a small number of scientific questions with potential for transformative impact. We share our methods, results, and tools with the scientific community. It is a uniquely innovative and collaborative atmosphere that reflects HHMI’s reputation for excellence.


The Surgical Technician position independently performs all aspects of the Vivarium surgical services. This includes pre-, intra- and post-operative animal care for survival or acute studies, and surgically prepare animals for various surgical procedures. This position independently performs basic to intermediate technical procedures and works directly with researcher staff. This will include support for a variety of laboratory animal species, including, but not limited to mice and rats. The position will focus on ensuring the highest degree of animal care and welfare while supporting research in a dynamic team-oriented environment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform surgical procedures with and without immediate oversight of researcher or veterinarian.
  • Basic and advanced microsurgery techniques (inter-cranial viral injections, in utero electroporation, cannulations, etc.).
  • Collection of tissue samples post-operatively.
  • Multi-species surgical technical support (e.g. animal handling and restraint, aseptic surgical preparation, pre-, peri-, and post-operative observations, anesthesia, administer injections and conduct researcher procedures as directed).
  • Maintenance of the surgical suite in ready capacity including maintaining the surgical equipment, tables, vaporizers, and consumables associated with all procedures.
  • Perform advanced research specific technical support as needed. This includes, but is not limited to: technical procedures, such as cannula infusions, tail vein injections, retro-orbital Injections, intra-ocular injections, etc.
  • Ensure the care and welfare of laboratory animals is in accordance with Animal Welfare Act, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, AAALAC International requirements, and other pertinent regulations and policies.
  • Use established database systems to manage and track surgical animals on protocols.
  • Actively maintain effective lines of communication with investigators and frequently interact regarding surgical procedure requests, surgical outcomes and all other support duties.
  • Assist with receiving, stocking and maintenance of all supply inventories.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in life science or any other related field preferred.
  • LAT certified with AALAS required. LATG required within one year.
  • SRA, SRT or SRS certifications preferred.


  • Four years of experience working with vertebrate animal species, with one year of experience performing micro-surgical procedures or technical procedures under a microscope in a research environment.
  • Experience in a basic or applied science research setting preferred. This could include academic, industry, or non-profit.
  • Alternative combinations of education and experience will be considered; e.g. High School diploma and 8 years of experience working with vertebrate animal species

Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of micro-surgical instruments and techniques.
  • Basic knowledge and technical ability related to animal nursing care, husbandry, technical manipulations of various animal species, and basic surgical skills.
  • Working knowledge of The Guide and AWA regulations.
  • Knowledge of general anatomy, biology and physiology of variety of species.
  • Ability to identify changes in an animal’s behavior or health status, provide basic prescribed treatments and calculate medical doses.
  • Experience and proficiency with computers and software programs, utilizing word processing and spreadsheet programs to accurately store and retrieve data.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with the general operation of operating room equipment (e.g. anesthesia machines, monitoring equipment, etc).
  • Enthusiastic and self-motivated individual with the ability to work independently and perform with minimal supervision; ability to multitask and demonstrate good organizational skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication, written and verbal, skills to deal effectively with research scientists, laboratory technical staff, administrative staff, management, outside contractors, and vendors.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to balance multiple requests and assignments.

Physical Requirements:

The following is the minimum physical requirements:

  • Regularly required to sit, stand, move from one area to another, and reach with arms and hands.
  • Occasionally lifts, moves, and/or carries objects weighing up to 50 pounds.
  • Occasionally stoops and bends.
  • Regularly required to type at a computer.
  • Work is performed in a research animal facility where personnel are exposed to laboratory animal caging, sounds, and smells of various species including, but not limited to mice, rats, and aquatic species. Personnel may be exposed to wet, above average temperatures, and/or humid conditions, fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals, biohazard materials and risk of electrical shock.
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate and occasionally high.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our Benefits at HHMI site to learn more.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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