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Professional Research Assistant - Programmer

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date published:


Job Summary

The Mastronarde Lab in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology department at the University of Colorado Boulder encourages applications for a Professional Research Assistant - Programmer, to join our team. We develop and distribute two software packages widely used for electron microscopy, primarily in biomedical research. One is IMOD, a suite of programs for three-dimensional reconstruction, primarily by tomography, and for visualization and analysis of the resulting volumes. IMOD is a multiplatform package consisting of several graphical display programs in C++ using Qt, Etomo, a complex Java program to provide a user interface for doing 3-D reconstructions and other operations, and many command-line programs in C/C++, Fortran, and Python. The other package is SerialEM for automated acquisition of data from electron microscopes. It is the most popular program for collecting tomographic data and also heavily used to acquire images for determining molecular structures. It is written in C++ with MFC. This program requires extensive user support, much of which is handled by a person based in Vienna, Austria.

You will be part of a small team working on these programs to meet the evolving needs of the electron microscopy community.

Who We Are

David Mastronarde and co-workers develop and distribute software for acquisition, processing, and analysis of image data, primarily from electron microscopes. This work was originally done in the former Boulder Laboratory for 3-D Electron Microscopy of Cells, a national research center funded by the NIH.  Mastronarde develops SerialEM and IMOD. The co-workers currently include Sue Held, who primarily works on the Etomo user interface in IMOD, and John Heumann, who works on a third package, PEET, for averaging molecular structures in tomographic volumes.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

A main focus of the job, especially initially, will be the addition of new interface elements and new interfaces into Etomo. The job will also entail some involvement with SerialEM, which may include developing new features, providing some user support, helping to resolve bugs, or developing written or video documentation of workflows.

Depending on capabilities and interest, the job may also involve developing new visualization or image processing features within IMOD.

What We Can Offer

 Around 70k annually depending on experience.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Accomplished. Be Impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Extensive experience with Java/Swing.
  • Familiarity with C/C++
  • Ability to work with an existing code base .
  • Ability to handle multiple concurrent projects.
  • BS/BA degree
 Also helpful would be:
  • Experience with developing instrument control software.
  • Experience with Python, Visual Studio, Linux, and Windows.
  • Experience programming multiplatform software.
  • Experience with OpenGL or graphical programming.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Transcripts/Proof of Degree
During the application process, you will need to enter contact information for one reference, and we will request letters of recommendation and additional materials if needed, as the search progresses.

For full consideration, please apply by February 28 and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email:

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.