Sr. Staff Researcher - NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Dr. Susan Kaech

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • San Diego, 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 position (even those that are not relevant to this position) and periods of unemployment. Incomplete information could disqualify you from further consideration.


Staff Researcher performs an integral role in the lab being a senior lab leader, helping to organize and manage research projects, facilitating and carrying out key instructive roles in research projects, and writing and submitting grants in support of the PI's and lab members' funding initiatives. They serve as a vital nexus between the lab scientists and the PI, with a particular emphasis on supporting grant submissions and management of grant milestones. They will be intimately involved in maintaining lab organization with the lab coordinator, budgeting and ordering, and data storage. They will also be responsible for design and execution of experimental procedures appropriate to the goals of multiple projects and work closely with other scientists in the lab to ensure sustained productivity on grants.  They will help to organize complex collaborative projects, perform scientific literature evaluation to optimize design of experiments and research strategies. Additional duties include: protocol design and analysis of data, oral presentations, and reports of scientific results and progress and project supervision of students and/or postdocs in the lab.


(45%) Research Support

  • Make innovative contributions pertaining to laboratory experiments according to the goals of the research project.
  • Design & execute experimental procedures, including new technologies, according to the research goals, with critical evaluation of research results.
  • Collect, organize and analyze data and conduct statistical analysis.
  • Manage multiple projects including organization of lab notebooks and computer files, according to project discipline.
  • Perform confocal imaging and other spatial profiling methods.
  • Independently perform research experiments, including establishing a nanowell, microfluidic system for measuring the function, metabolic states and RNA of single cells. Work collaboratively with and train other lab members to advance this technology in multiple projects.
  • Independently establish metabolomic analyses using mass spectrometry and mass-spectrometry imaging. Work collaboratively with and train other lab members to advance this technology in multiple projects.
  • Perform DNA and RNA assays, RT-PCR, and general cellular and molecular biology techniques.
  • Isolate immune cells and perform immunophenotyping using mass or flow cytometry.
  • Provide up-dates of research progress to faculty supervisor, in verbal and written forms.
  • Conduct presentations to laboratory and collaborators.
  • Prepare documents and supporting materials, including charts and graphs, for professional scientific conferences and publications in scientific journals.
  • Examine and interpret scientific literature, content of web sites, and other scientific resources to maintain cutting edge research studies.

(50%) Grant, Data and Manuscript Preparation and Submissions

  •  Assist with grant submissions in collaboration with PI: (1) outlining Aims and Research strategies, (2) preparation of budgets and administrative sections, (3) preparation of figures for grants and (4) independently writing various grant sections.
  • Assist with submission of annual grant progress reports.
  • Assist PI with the overall administration of team or mutli-PI grants- PRE-AWARD- assisting with grant submissions, coordinating with multiple PIs for creation of budgets and research strategies, and administrative sections. POST-AWARD- organize and oversee monthly meetings with PI's and lab members, ensure and track progress of grant and help with annual progress reporting.
  • Assist with manuscript editing and format manuscripts to meet agency publisher guidelines.
  • Prepare tables and illustrations for publication and research proposals.
  • Prepare and distribute manuscripts, lab reports, lab manuals, and other materials.
 (5%) Lab Management
  •  Manages resources/supplies and coordinates research projects to achieve specific goals and timetables.
  • Provides technical expertise, answers research related, operational and Salk procedural questions.
  • Oversees general lab maintenance/organization, upkeep, and compliance with safety/radioactive initiatives.
  • Contributes to and oversees the development of new techniques and standardized operating protocols (SOP), utilizing new tools that lead to the modification of methodology and increased quality and reliability of research.



  • Minimum 5 years of advanced experience in any of the following life sciences: immunology, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, neurosciences, organoid biology, or computational sciences.


  • 3 years of experience with NIH grant writing and submissions including writing, researching, gathering data and organizing information in order to produce clear and concise reports/grants.
  • Experience analyzing and interpreting data. Experience designing new experiments as new techniques are established.
  • Experience training and advising staff on research techniques.
  • Experience with computational platforms such as R, Matlab or equivalent. Comfortable learning new software to analyze mass spectrometry, mass cytometry and single cell RNA-seq data.
  • Experience performing molecular and cellular immunology experiments including: DNA isolation, RNA isolation, ELISA assays, Surface immunophenotyping, Viral vector purifications, isolations and transfections, Western blotting, purifying B & T cells and Western blotting.



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


  •  MS or PhD degree in biological sciences.



  • Theoretical and hands on knowledge of tissue culture and molecular biology techniques.
  • Ability to perform highly complex experiments and techniques with high levels of reliability and accuracy within time constraints.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct and oversee independent research. This includes the ability to (a) develop, maintain, execute, and complete research projects of varying size and scope; (b) critically read, understand, and extract information from published medical, chemical, and biological literature to prepare background information for scientific abstracts, manuscripts, lectures, and grant proposals; (c) perform basic data and statistical analysis; and (d) produce high-quality abstracts, manuscripts, lectures, and grant applications.
  • Ability to independently design experiments and debug protocols.
  • Ability to manage and track large numbers of samples meticulously without mixup or cross contamination.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and work independently.
  • Skill in the operation and maintenance of various lab equipment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, prioritize work and independently manage multiple, diverse and competing priorities while meeting deadlines; plan and develop meaningful objectives; and integrate multiple work initiatives into the overall department goals.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in researching information and analyzing data to arrive at valid conclusions, recommendations, and plans of action.


  •  Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Must be willing to work an adjusted schedule to support research needs.
  • Successful completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Willing to sign an employee confidentiality agreement.


This position requires constant handling, seeing, sitting, touching/feeling, analyzing, calculating, reasoning and working inside. 

Application Details

Apply Here:


 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


When inquiring or applying for positions at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, please also reference

Applicants with dual-career considerations can find university jobs such as professor jobs, dean jobs, chair / department head jobs, and other faculty jobs and employment opportunities at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and at other institutions of higher education in the region on