Research Assistant I, Molecular and Systems Physiology Laboratory & Gene Expression Laboratory Dr. Janelle Ayres

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA, USA
  • May 18, 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 is responsible for providing research support to PI, postdoctoral researchers and other personnel in the laboratory.  This will include aiding in animal experiments including setting up in vivos, clinical monitoring and dissections.  This will also include post dissection molecular, immunological, microbiological and metabolic assays.  This will also include performing experiments with microbial pathogens.  This will also include in vitro molecular, immunological and microbiological assays.

Research Assistant will also provide support for mouse colony maintenance including breeding animals, weaning animals, genotyping animals, daily monitoring of animals including feeding, water checks, health checks and cage changes.  Forecasting researchers' needs for animals and ensuring that the required number of animals and genotypes are readily available.

Position may also assist with responsibilities of grant preparation/reporting and preparation/delivery of oral presentations.


(40%) Laboratory Support

  • Assist with lab's conventional and germ free mouse colonies, which requires setting up breeders, weaning, genotyping, overall organization and general husbandry of colony under the direction of the PI and postdocs.
  • Establish good working relationship with Animal Research Department.
  • Forecast needs of researchers and ensure required numbers and genotypes of animals are readily available at all times.
  • Position may also assist with responsibilities of animal protocol preparation.
  • Help researchers set up in vivo experiments and tend to experimental animals over the course of the experiment for data collection. Dissection of animals.  Post-dissection molecular analyses.  Ability to learn to mouse procedures.
  • Prepare conventional and germ free mouse colonies for IACUC and AAALAC inspections and address inspection findings.
  • Preparation and maintenance of personal protective equipment.
  • Autoclaving, washing glassware, stocking shelves and supplies for lab.

(60%) Research Support

  • Performs various techniques in molecular biology, protein purification, tissue culture, biochemical analysis and in vivo animal infection models and bacterial genetics.
  • Develops and executes experiments for molecular cloning of cDNAs.
  • Develops and executes experiments involving PCR, sequencing and other DNA-based experiments.
  • Studies and analyzes available literature to provide tools and recommendations to reach desired experimental conditions.
  • Collects and analyzes data for accuracy, validity and integrity.
  • Adapts and/or modifies experimental methods based upon interpretation of data.
  • Develops and executes experiments involving in vivo animal infection models under guidance of PI/postdocs.
  • Help researchers set up in vivo experiments and tend to experimental animals over the course of the experiment for data collection. Dissection of animals.  Post-dissection molecular analyses.  Ability to learn to mouse procedures.



  •  No professional experience required with relevant degree


  •  Minimum one year of experience in molecular biology including experience with automated high-throughput genotyping methods, PCR methods and debugging PCR reactions, and automated sequencing methods, mouse husbandry principles.
  • Experience successfully interacting with a variety of people, including academics, staff, high-level executives, and members of the community from diverse cultures and backgrounds.



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



  • Theoretical knowledge in molecular biology, cell biology.
  •  Ability to manage and track large numbers of samples meticulously without mixup or cross contamination.
  •  Demonstrated experience with the use of general laboratory equipment including centrifuges, PCR machine, real time PCR machine, incubators, biosafety cabinets, electrophoration, microscopes, flow cytometry, liquid nitrogen cryostorage tanks, spectrophotometer, plate readers.
  •  Knowledge of standard laboratory management and safety procedures.
  •  Demonstrated ability and knowledge to analyze, interpret, report and record experimental results. Demonstrated ability to organize, interpret, evaluate, and present research findings in a variety of formats including research manuscripts, grant proposals external manuscripts, and oral presentations.
  •  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.


  •  Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Successful completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Willing to work an adjusted schedule when research needs require it.
  • Must be willing to work with microbial pathogens.
  • Must be willing to work holidays and weekends to support research needs.
  • Must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.


This position required constant handling, analyzing, reasoning and exposure to animals and working inside.  

Application Details

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 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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