Tissue Bank Assistant

Queen's University - Kingston, ON (30+ days ago)

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Job Summary
Reporting to the Manager, Pathology and Tissue Bank, the Tissue Bank Assistant will support the operation of a national and international cooperative oncology tissue bank for a multicentre clinical trials group. Responsibilities include the organization, receipt, logging, storage, and distribution of biospecimens collected for national and international trials. The incumbent will conduct the initial analysis of the quality of samples received and will ensure accurate and timely entry of sample information into the Tumor Tissue Data Repository (TTDR) database. Liaising with both internal Queen’s staff and external affiliations, the Tissue Bank Assistant will organize the release of material externally for research protocols, including the assembly of biospecimen kits. The Tissue Bank Assistant will maintain clear communication with the Operations and Statistical Centre of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG), as well as participating centre staff to support the Tissue Bank.
Job Description

  • Receives and analyzes incoming tissue specimens and fluid samples, conducts initial quality assessments, based on internal guidelines and criteria.
  • Performs basic data processing to record specimen data into the Tumor Tissue Data Repository (TTDR) database, issues Tissue Bank Identification numbers to samples, and ensures samples are delivered or stored in the appropriate locations.
  • Maintains and refines the TTDR database data to ensure efficiency and effectiveness within Tissue Bank work processes.
  • Liaises and facilitates communication with other staff, departments, and external agencies and affiliations, to coordinate work and the flow of information and samples.
  • Compiles, analyzes and enters data from submitted pathology reports and information forms into the TTDR database.
  • Monitors and tracks daily freezer logs to ensure quality and integrity of biospecimen collections.
  • Identifies issues or concerns within Correlative Laboratory manuals, reports, work instructions, policies and procedures, and suggests and helps implement revisions to ensure documentation is current and reflective of the workflow.
  • Performs inventory verification of samples and supplies, identifies inconsistencies and reconciles database entries with manual inventory checks.
  • Generates listings using appropriate selection criteria for internal review and external reporting. Uses reports for trial specific sample distribution as directed by the Manager, Pathology and Tissue Bank.
  • Works with Tissue Bank Coordinator and CCTG Study Coordinators to determine appropriate kit component selection and design. Creates and reviews kits, as requested by sites for trials and ships to offsite centres as per specific work plans. Ensures inventory of kit supplies is accurate and requests resupply, as needed from the Tissue Bank Coordinator.
  • Transcribes marked areas from digital and glass slides onto tissue blocks for Tissue Microarray (TMA) construction. Enter the TMA data into the database.
  • Provides training on proper handling of hazardous materials and enforces safety requirements, processes and procedures to temporary or casual staff.
  • Undertakes additional duties as assigned, in support of the Tissue Bank.
  • Two or three year post secondary program in Office Administration or related field.
  • Previous (2-3 years minimum) medical or research office administrative with data entry experience.
  • Experience in a research environment and/or experience with biospecimen handling is considered an asset.
  • Consideration may be given to the equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Respects diversity and promotes inclusion in the workplace.
  • Strict attention to detail and accuracy: thorough when performing tasks and conscientious about attending to details.
  • Proficiency with data software and databases.
  • Excellent time management and highly effective organizational/administrative skills to deal with volume of work and conflicting priorities, ensuring deadlines are met and documentation is appropriate, organized and filed accurately.
  • Ability to work under pressure and prioritize workload effectively.
  • Proficiency with Adobe and Microsoft Office Suite (particularly Excel and Word), with an ability to create and modify spreadsheets.
  • Ability to adapt readily to the implementation of new technologies. Ability to work independently and as part of a team based structure.
  • Diplomacy, tact, and good judgement, and the ability to deal with issues in a professional and respectful manner.
  • Physical ability to lift boxes (weighing up to 10kg) multiple times per week.
  • Awareness and understanding of the ethical and regulatory guidelines such as ICH-GCP and Tri-council Policy Statement of the Ethical Conduct for research involving Humans.
  • Determine if incoming samples meet the internal guidelines and criteria for processing, if not, communicate findings to the Manger, Pathology and Tissue Bank.
  • Prioritize work and time and decide which task is the most important among several to maintain deadlines.
  • Determine the best way to analyse and present data in order to meet the needs of the Tissue Bank and outside agencies/affiliations.
  • Determine study trial kit component selection and design, with consultation with Tissue Bank Coordinator and CCTG Study Coordinators. Decide when to request resupply of kit contents.
  • Identify and bring forward issues that arise through meetings or daily interactions that need resolution or clarification by more senior staff.
  • Handle or direct incoming phone calls or inquiries from internal and external partners, in most efficient and effective manner. Provide reasonable answer or a means to find an answer. Redirect to more senior staff or other individual as required.
  • Identify problems in one's area of responsibility, decide on best method to resolve, when to escalate and seek only for unusual or complex problems.
  • Ensure trial collection is complete and up to date by liaising with trial team, Tissue Bank Coordinator, and Manager, Pathology and Tissue Bank.
  • Decide on how to deal with new information at hand. Recognize urgent requests and prioritize information that needs to be dealt with immediately.
  • Make recommendations regarding Tissue Bank procedures and protocols, suggest and help implement changes. Determine alternate methods to maximize progress and efficiency.
Employment Equity and Accessibility Statement

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
The University provides support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant's accessibility needs. Candidates requiring accommodation during the recruitment process are asked to contact Human Resources at hradmin@queensu.ca .