PCR Specialist


LOCATION: This position is located in Newport, KY, three blocks from Newport on the Levee.


  • First Shift: Monday – Friday, 7:00AM – 3:00PM
  • Flex Shift: Monday – Friday, 10:00AM – 6:00PM


The PCR Specialist is responsible for sample preparation, machine operation, and running samples for a standard PCR workflow. This person will ensure that samples are prepared according to laboratory SOPs and that the correct workflow for PCR is adhered to. This person will also be responsible for loading and operating standard PCR equipment such as extraction instruments, thermal cycling instruments, and PCR instruments.


  • Master of Science in Life Science, Pharmacology, Toxicology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, or similar analytical science field with minimum of 2 years of relevant experience;
    • OR Bachelor of Science with minimum of 5 years of relevant experience
  • Preference for candidates with experience with PCR instruments, specifically Agena, KingFisher, and Veriti
  • Preference for candidates with Robotics experience (mechanical or applications)
  • Preference for candidates with previous work with bodily fluids – such as urine, oral fluid, and blood


  • Perform sample preparation for a standard PCR workflow.
  • Pipette samples and reagents in a careful and accurate manner.
  • Load and operate standard PCR equipment, like a KingFisher Flex, a Veriti thermal cycler, and an Agena MassARRAY system.
  • Identify and troubleshoot sample preparation issues, and work in close contact with other supervisors to correct instrument issues, including any issues with the PCR workflow.
  • Determine which actions are taken and documented when significant deviations from the laboratory’s established instrument performance are identified
  • Maintain an appropriate inventory of reagents, parts, and supplies needed for continuous operation of all PCR instruments instruments; notify the appropriate person when reagents, parts, or supplies should be ordered
  • Take steps to increase efficiency and productivity with instrument processes, minimizing downtime while maintaining optimum conditions
  • Participate in installation and validation for new instruments, as well as participating in development of new processes and methods
  • Participate in meetings and a wide variety of special projects
  • Maintain appropriate certifications and records for PCR equipment, including but not limited to: centrifuges, manual and automatic pipettes, thermal cyclers, etc.
  • Effectively troubleshoot issues as they arise with the lab equipment
  • Schedule appropriate maintenance and certifications as required by CLIA and CAP
  • Train new and existing employees on proper use and maintenance of instruments and equipment
  • Encourage positive communication and interactions within the lab to increase collaboration and teamwork
  • Work closely with other supervisors to coordinate maintenance and training schedules
  • Collaborate with other supervisors on workflow and process improvement initiatives
  • Review and/or create SOPs and forms when needed
  • Review and sign off on all maintenance records weekly for lab instruments
  • Track maintenance repairs and monitor usage of consumables to stay within established budgets
  • Track and maintain data and instrument performance indicators on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis
  • Ensure adherence to all regulatory requirements
  • Ensure adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Communicate issues, as needed, with other supervisors and/or Lab Director in a timely manner
  • Schedule meetings, as needed, with supervisors and/or employees to discuss changes, updates, issues, etc.
  • Document incidents and accidents on the appropriate forms, perform remedial training, if required, to prevent further incidents/accidents
  • Develop and review various analysis reports to track efficiency and productivity


  • Proficient in sample preparation, specifically pipetting.
  • Proficient in operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting Agena MassARRAY systems
  • Proficient in operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting KingFisher Plus extraction systems
  • Proficient in operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting Veriti thermal cycling systems
  • Regular and prompt attendance
  • High level of attention to detail
  • Must be able to plan and organize his/her work, and have ability to participate in method development, validation or research with technical supervision
  • Able and willing to follow established protocols employing acceptable forensic standards of analysis and the use of judgment in searching for solutions or new applications within one’s own experience
  • Must be able to work with limited supervision where the work assignments are subject to established procedures, practices, precedents, methods, techniques, standards, and/or well-defined policies
  • Must be able to achieve superior results when work is reviewed in terms of quality, volume, timeliness, and adherence to established methods, standards and policies
  • Ability to listen, learn, and promote accountability and responsibility related to all processes
  • Must be able and willing to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when required