Research Assistant / Technician 5

UBC Point Grey, Vancouver
$58,896.00 (Annual)
Jul 20, 2017
Aug 19, 2017
Field of specialization
Work Function
Analyst, Research-Applied
Job Type
Full time


Responsible for the operation, troubleshooting and maintenance of a LC-MS (liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometry) system and related analytical technologies.

The Sciex Triple Quad 5500 LC-MS/MS System delivers high levels of sensitivity and robustness for even the most complex and demanding biological matrices and excels at multi-component quantitation required by environmental, targeted quantitative proteomics, clinical research, and food and beverage applications. This LC-MS/MS system combines excellent mass spectrometry with the powerful Analyst Software. Specifically the machine: is a robust, high-throughput platform for detecting analytes, metabolites, peptides, and endogenous molecules; has excellent utility for peptide quantitation (including peptide derivatives); is highly accurate and precise for quantitative analysis of drugs, chemicals, compounds, steroids, nutrients, food additives etc. This instrument is a highly evolved, cutting edge technology requiring specific, highly qualified expertise to run and to maintain, that adds significant value to basic, translational and clinical research at UBC in general and in Pharmaceutical Sciences specifically.

The incumbent analyses samples submitted by the departmental research groups and external users. Determines appropriate ionization technique for the submitted samples. Assists users on data interpretation.

Trains and supervises faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students; this requires an extensive range of experiences with mass spectrometric analyses. Instructs and assists faculty, staff, postdocs and students on the use of LC-MS and acts as a consultant for method development, trouble-shooting and data analysis.

Trains and supervises faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students in Ultracentrifugation.

Develops new methodologies for various mass spectrometric and ultracentrifugation analyses of challenging synthetic compounds and natural products.

Advises and assists Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences members as well as external users on sample analyses and instrument maintenance.


Reports to the Analytical Director. Works independently under minimal direction. Consults with the Analytical Director only on non- routine or unusual problems.


Analyses and Equipment Operation/Maintenance:

  1. Operation, troubleshooting, calibration and maintenance of UPLC-MS (Agilent UPLC, Sciex 5500 Mass Spectrometer).
  2. Instructs staff on the operation and maintenance of other LC-MS systems.
  3. Provides instruction and training in sample analysis.
  4. Maintains logbooks of all sample runs including samples and experimental conditions under which samples were run. Maintains a stock of consumable parts and repair items and informs the supervisor when additional supplies must be ordered. Maintains the instrument's data systems and associated software.
  5. Performs routine preventive maintenance on instrument support systems. Monitors and services secondary components such as pumps, cooling facilities, and computer data system.
  6. Troubleshoots and repairs analytical instruments within expertise. Alerts Facility Director upon the need for major maintenance. Maintains logbooks of instrument problems and repairs.
  7. Documents all problems and downtime of the instrument, including symptoms and solutions/modifications made during the repair process. Allow previously encountered problems to be identified more easily.
  8. Co-ordinates booking for multiple users in a reasonable time-frame for multiple projects so facility operates efficiently.
  9. Develops new specialized UHPLC/MS-MS techniques that can be validated and used internally, nationwide and internationally.
  10. Uses cutting edge LC/MS/MS/MS technologies for method development, metabolite identification and analyte quantitation in unknown samples.
  11. Performs analysis of research data that facilitates authorship on scientific papers.
  12. Provides technical consultation, advice and instruction to faculty members, researchers, and graduate and post-doctoral students in the appropriate use, selection and modification of UHPLC/MS-MS analysis for analyte quantitation from environmental and biological matrices, metabolite identification, mass determination of synthesized compounds and identification/quantification of peptides and their derivatives.


  1. Design and conducts specialized experiments for research groups when specific research project needs are not met by routine analysis. Assists research groups in data analysis and interpretation. Develops new analytical procedures for Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students and External users. Conducts developmental research towards new and/or more efficient analysis techniques and determines the use of this new techniques. Results are documented for inclusion in publications.

Training & Supervision:

  1. Trains and supervises Postdoctoral Fellows, Graduate Students, other staff and Faculty on Mass Spectrometry Unit run research projects. Supervises students using mass spectrometry software.
  2. Advises users on method selection and assists on the data interpretation.
  3. Carries out any other related duties created by the introduction of new instrumentations to the lab.
  4. Develops and maintains lab safety standards up to departmental code. Arranges proper disposal of waste solvent and chemical wastes.
  5. Maintains up-to-date chemical inventory for the lab. Tracks the use of specialty chemicals. Advises supervisor when replacement purchases are required.
  6. Coordinates with other technicians in maintaining stock and condition of all tools, electronic measuring devices, and MS reference compounds. Works with users on shared duties such as maintaining solvent cabinet sink bench, safety and cleanliness of fume hood, chemical shelf and cleaning supplies. Coordinates with other staffs on stationary supplies.\

Written Communication:

  1. Documents method development and validation and produces SOPs.
  2. Writes reports as required detailing methodology and results of sample analysis.
  3. Documents machine running time for projects as well as technical time spent on projects for users and provides written confirmation to the Director monthly for billing purposes.


Errors in judgement could lead to the reduction of service available to the Faculty research groups and UBC research community, and damage to expensive equipment, resulting in extensive financial loss and damage to the credibility of the unit and Faculty. Proper and safe operation of scientific equipment will avoid financial losses and equipment downtime. Mishandling of samples would result in loss of research data and could result in postponing submission of research papers for publication. Neglect causing damage to the instrumentation would likely require the work of specialized technicians to carry out repairs.


Works independently under minimal supervision. Position receives supervision in terms of broad direction and operational requirements from the Analytical Director.


Provides training and supervision to faculty, staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scientists, work study students, and summer students in related areas of expertise.


Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Graduation from a technical college or institute. Some position may require a graduate degree. Graduation from a technical college or institute, or a university degree, BSc in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics or similar discipline desired.

Minimum 5 years of related experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience.  Preference will be given to those with experience in analytical chemistry or MSc in Chemistry or Physics. Extensive practical and theoretical knowledge of the mass spectrometric techniques, procedures, and practices gained through a minimum of 4 years practical experience. Detailed knowledge of chromatographic techniques and general analytical chemistry.

Ability to work independently on performing MS analyses for the characterization of various synthetic compounds or natural products. Ability to instruct and communicate effectively with faculty, staff and students in explaining the analytical procedures. Ability to schedule workload to meet departmental requirements.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence.  An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged.  We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.