Research Assistant I - Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Dr. Xin Jin

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA, USA
  • Apr 19, 2021
Full time Biology/Biotechnology/Life Sciences

Job Description

Application Instructions:

Employment History Include your last ten (10) years of employment history, or length of your employment history if less, including all positions (even those that are not relevant to this position) and periods of unemployment. Incomplete information could disqualify you from further consideration.


The Research Assistant position performs laboratory tasks and experiments and general lab support to further the Principal Investigator (Pl) and overall lab's research goals. Responsibilities may include: routine molecular biology, histological and behavioral techniques. Performs lab maintenance (e.g., preparing and managing general lab solutions, controlled substances, and overall lab supplies. Maintains inventory of lab materials and aids in proper functioning of lab equipment.). Regularly coordinates with Salk administrative and laboratory support departments (procurement, facility services, animal resources department, environmental health and safely, human resources) for transfer of information.


(25%) Laboratory Maintenance

  • Performs routine maintenance and cleaning of instrumentation, organizes lab by restocking lab supplies, maintaining records and inventory of ordered supplies, making lab solutions, aliquotting antibodies and viruses.
  • Ensures lab cleanliness by disposes of bio-waste, cleaning behavioral chambers and surgery suites.
  • Coordinates with Research Administrative Assistant and lab members to submit requests for Facility Services to make, fix or alter lab equipment and for general lab maintenance needs (e.g., freezer thawing, water system, lights, heating/cooling, etc.)

(20%) Laboratory Administration

  • Adheres to funding allocations as directed by the lab's designated Research Accountant and the laboratory Pl.
  • In accordance with Salk procurement policies and procedures, orders lab supplies via SalkShop for general upkeep of lab and for lab members' experiments. May contact suppliers to request quotes for lab materials. Coordinates the purchase and receipt of with the Procurement.
  • Services Department. Works with lab managers in other labs to purchase shared resources and allocate funding appropriately.
  • Ensures accuracy of monthly recharges from Facility Services, cores, IT, and ensures their allocation to appropriate fund numbers.
  • In collaboration with the laboratory Research Administrative Assistant, coordinates laboratory operations and assists Pl, lab staff, trainees and students with a variety of administrative duties including but not limited to contacting HR for hiring/rehiring/onboarding/out processing paperwork, scheduling of appropriate trainings, and updating on lab member status.
  • Independently conducts weekly lab meetings to ensure communication between lab members and as a forum for group problem solving. Keeps Pl informed of issues/concerns.

(20%) Research and Safety Compliance

  • Responsible for maintaining logs and use of controlled substances and other drugs that are used by all lab members. Works directly with Salk's Research & Compliance Manager with regard to annual inspections for controlled substance use. Liaison between the Manager, Hazardous Materials and the lab for safety information, trainings and meetings.
  • Liaison for IACUC inspections. Responsible for resolving issues pertaining to nqn-compliance with Salk ARD policies or IACUC standards for lab members; point of contact to discuss and resolve Issues pertaining to the health and welfare of the lab's animals. Ensures that amendments and revisions to approved protocols are made in accordance with proscribed procedures. Works to optimize protocols by writing protocol revisions and amendments to ensure lab compliance with required standards.

(15%) Animal Colony Maintenance and use

  • Oversees mouse colonies in the lab, working with ARD and the responsible lab member to ensure that the colony size and status is appropriate for each individual researcher, so that laboratory funding conservation is proactive and consistent. Report monthly the summary result and escalates any disagreements to Pl.
  • Maintains the breeding and use of certain mouse lines and a specific colony for the benefit of the lab; ensures proper use. Completes required paperwork and works with ARD to organize and facilitate animal imports and exports external and internal to Salk, which facilitates animal transfers. Point of contact for ARD husbandry and vet services teams when issues arise in the lab surrounding animal colonies.

(15%) Research Technical support

  • Working closely with researchers from multiple laboratories and scientific backgrounds, assists lab academic research staff with experiments. Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, PCR, surgical procedures, histology, immunohistochemistry, and behavioral assays as directed by the Pl and to the extent they mostly benefit the entire lab and not specific lab members' projects. May perform surgeries

(5%) Other duties as assigned.



  • No professional experience required.
  • Demonstrated experience and application of molecular biology knowledge.
  • Demonstrated experience with general lab maintenance, including cleaning, stocking supply inventory, and ensuring the maintenance of a sterile environment.


  • Demonstrated experience and application of molecular biology knowledge preferably in biochemistry and cell culture or ability to learn via hands-on training within first 6 months of time in position.



  • Bachelor's degree in biological sciences or related field, or equivalent.



  • Theoretical knowledge of molecular biology and cell biology.
  • Ability to perform experiments and techniques with high levels of reliability and accuracy within time constraints.
  • Demonstrated ability and knowledge to analyze, interpret, report and record experimental results.
  • Skill in the operation and maintenance of various lab equipment.
  • Proficiency with common office software applications as well as software applications used for research, recording, and analysis.
  • Highly organized, effective at multitasking, adept at juggling changing priorities.
  • Proven ability to work both independently and also as part of a collaborative team.
  • Excellent written communication skills and knowledge of English language, including grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Excellent oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly, effectively, tactfully, and patiently in person, on the telephone, and in writing to a diverse group of people (including researchers, health care providers, patients, research participants, administrators, industry representatives) in the academic, scientific, medical, and commercial communities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships; interact with all levels of management and employees across multiple departments.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with both PC and MAC operating systems, standard business office equipment and commonly used software and tools, such as Microsoft Office, electronic mail, and the internet.


  • Hands on knowledge of tissue culture and molecular biology techniques.


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Must be willing to work an adjusted schedule, evenings and weekends when necessary to support research needs.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Must be willing to sign confidentiality agreement.


This position requires constant adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading reasoning, writing, and working inside. 

Application Details

Apply Here:


 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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