Research Assistant I - Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Dr. Eiman Azim

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA, USA
  • May 28, 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 I position will support ongoing research projects utilizing molecular and genetic tools to study neural circuits that underlie the acquisition, refinement, and execution of skilled movement. Primary responsibilities will include mouse colony management, conducting sensorimotor behavioral training for mice on assays designed in the lab, and performing stereotaxic mouse surgeries for circuit tracing, optogenetics, electrophysiology, and in vivo imaging. Additional duties will include assisting with histology and fluorescence microscopy.


(30%) Stereotaxic mouse surgeries

  • Perform intracranial and intraspinal injections with high precision and accuracy for delivery of viral vectors into brain and spinal cord regions of study.
  • Perform surgical implantation procedures in preparation for behavioral assays and in vivo recordings.
  • Maintain surgical equipment and supplies for the lab.
  • Maintain detailed surgical records.
  • Maintain high standards of sterility and both pre- and post-operative care.

(30%) Sensorimotor behavioral assays

  • Perform routine handling and operant training of mice on a broad range of sensorimotor tasks using positive reinforcement.
  • Work closely with researchers to train and prepare animals for in vivo electrophysiology and imaging experiments.
  • Perform routine checks to maintain and troubleshoot mechanical and electronic components on behavioral systems.
  • Maintain detailed training and animal care records.

(30%) Mouse colony management

  • Assist the lab manager with breeding, weaning, and general mouse handling.
  • Coordinate with lab members on experimental animal needs.
  • Keep up-to-date records of mouse lines, crosses, and sample collection for genotyping.

(10%) Histology and fluorescence microscopy

  • Perform perfusions, dissections, tissue sectioning, tissue staining (immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization), and fluorescence imaging as needed for different projects.
  • Maintain detailed records of samples, protocols used, and imaging parameters.



  • No professional experience required with relevant Bachelor's degree or above.


  • Prior laboratory experience is strongly preferred.
  • Experience with mice or rats is strongly preferred.



  • Bachelor's degree in biological sciences, neuroscience, cognitive science, or related field.



  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including tact, diplomacy, and flexibility.
  • Ability to learn and carry out new procedures accurately and efficiently.
  • Ability to follow verbal and written protocols, including follow-up on previously begun procedures.
  • Highly organized and meticulous with note taking and record keeping.
  • Proficiency with common office software applications (Microsoft Office, Google Drive).
  • Applicants must demonstrate a keen interest in neuroscience.


  • Prior experience with stereotaxic surgery on mice and/or histology procedures is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability with fine dexterous tasks, such as dissections, thread work, soldering small components.


  • 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.
  • Minimum of 2-3 year commitment is expected for this position


This position requires constant adjusting focus, seeing, sitting, touching/feeling, exposure to animals, exposure to potential allergens, and working inside. 

Application Details

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 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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