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Germ Free Animal Care Technician, Physiology & Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine

Job ID: 24069

Updated: October 13, 2021

Location: Foothills Campus

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Position Overview

The Department of Physiology & Pharmacology in the Cumming School of Medicine invites application for 2 Germ Free Animal Care Technicians. This Fixed Term Full-Time position is for approximately 1 year (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

This position reports to the Director.

Germ Free Animal Care Technicians perform routine tasks of moderate complexity in animal husbandry for all areas of the IMC germ-free facility.  Performance requirements must strictly follow standard operating procedures and safety standards. Some examples of duties include maintenance of isolators, isocage and experimental systems, preparation of sterile materials, and quality control.

Work hours that may include evenings or weekends.

Position Description

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

  • Under general supervision & direction of the Director of the IMC, develop and implement techniques and procedures within the guidelines of the research
  • Standard laboratory technique, including
    • Microbiological sampling techniques, testing and monitoring including making culture media, nucleic acid extraction and stains (Gram stains, etc), genotyping, PCR, qPCR, aerobic and anaerobic culturing, and other protocols as required
    • Provides basic treatment for animals under direction of Germ-free facility director or manager, including injections, blood samples, antibiotics, euthonol, controlled drug administrations, etc
    • Preparation and importation into isolators of materials required for experimental procedures
  • Standard preparation for supplies, including
    • Preparation of supply drums for autoclaving (food, bedding, water, supplies)
    • Connecting of drums to isolators
    • Keep all material stocks stocked and organized
    • Support research staff with import of research materials
  • Animal Husbandry, including
    • Provide animal care for axenic, gnotobiotic and Level II pathogen animal models for all species of laboratory animals used in research, which includes feeding, watering and changing cages following strict germ-free and safety guidelines for prevention of exposure to microbes. Ensure adherence to the legal limit of maximal number of mice per cage according to cage type
    • Monitors and assesses general animal health for axenic, gnotobiotic and Level II pathogen animal models, and reports problems to the Germ-free Director, manager or Supervisors
    • Record keeping both manual and computer based for consistency in animal health, effective use of animal models and reporting to facility management
    • Sterile import of supplies into isolators including sterilization of connecting sleeves
    • Responsible for operation and up-keep of equipment such as but not limited to isolators, laminar flow cabinets, ventilated caging systems, autoclave, spray gun, hydrolic lifts, anaesthetic delivery systems and ventilators, biosafety cabinets, under safety guidelines. Advises supervisor of any equipment problems that require maintenance or repair
    • Monitoring and maintaining of the climate parameters within the animal rooms
    • Hygiene Responsibilities: Applies, monitors and ensures the hygiene concept
    • Reporting responsibilities: Data entry and digital records for but not limited to animal husbandry, procedures and microbiology
  • General, safety, housekeeping duties, including
    • Custodial duties to maintain facility sanitation procedures (bottle washing, cage cleaning preparation, cleaning and decontamination of connection sleeves, cleaning of the rooms and floors, cleaning of showers, cleaning and autoclaving barrier shoes, preparation of barrier clothing and gear, cleaning of drums and sterilization trays, proper waste disposal, send and receive scrubs and gowns to and from washing service, receiving of goods and materials, etc)
    • Assist team in development and maintenance of SOP's
    • Work with chemicals safely and properly, e.g. dilutions, using appropriate containers and protective gear
    • Responsible for keeping skills up-to-date and taking courses that will assist in personal and professional development
    • Provide well developed and consistent technical support and animal care services to users of the Germ-free/Gnotobiotic/Level II pathogen facility and to ensure that proper procedures are followed at all times
    • Provides orientation and training to users of the facility and ensures standard operating procedures and approved animal care protocols are adhered to
    • Setting up new breeding pairs for researchers including maintaining clear records     

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • A minimum of a Bachelor Degree in Science or Animal Health Technology equivalent
  • Two years technical experience working with animal research models and technical knowledge of microbiology would be considered an asset
  • Work experience may include but is not limited to Animal research facility, Veterinary Clinic or other animal care organizations
  • In-depth knowledge of theory, procedures and skills in areas of specialized husbandry and complex technical procedures
  • Attention to detail is crucial in following procedures and standard operating procedures
  • Ability to keep accurate and detailed records is essential
  • High degree of analytical skills is required for carrying out technical procedures with a high impact of error
  • Effective communication skills are required for interacting with and providing advice on technical skills to the team staff members, researchers and other facility users, in person, on the phone and email
  • Intermediate to advanced skills in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Must be open to learning and development, and be willing to accept new challenges and assignments including participation and registration in the CALAS training program will be required or if RLAT designation, continued registration with CALAS
  • Demonstrated strong communication, team and customer service skills, and an ability to exercise judgment within established guidelines
  • Knowledge of University core business systems is desirable
  • A positive attitude and the ability to work independently and as part of a team are critical to success
  • WHMIS

Application Deadline:  October 27, 2021

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. 

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Technical Job Family, Phase I.

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 Cumming School of Medicine visit Careers in the Cummig School of Medicine.

COVIDSafe Campus Strategy

Currently, the COVIDSafe Campus Strategy requires that all university employees complete an online attestation of their vaccination status. New hires must be compliant with the COVIDSafe Campus Strategy prior to commencing in their new position. All employees must upload their proof of vaccination status through the Thrive Health Portal (https://www.ucalgary.ca/risk/emergency-management/covid-19-response/covidsafe-campus) to be released from rapid testing.

Please note that effective January 1, 2022, the University of Calgary will be requiring that all faculty and staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Candidates who are offered a position will be required to upload proof of vaccination prior to their start date through the Thrive Health Portal.  Alternatively, if you are unable to be vaccinated based on a protected ground you may submit a request for accommodation through Staff Wellness along with any supporting documentation.

 

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 ucalgary.ca.

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.

 

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