Research Assistant I - Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, Dr. Christina Towers

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA, USA
  • Jul 20, 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.


In the Towers lab, we combine basic cell biology techniques and physiologically relevant cancer models to ask how cancer cells adapt when essential cellular recycling processes are blocked.

The Research Assistant I position is responsible for performing various molecular biology, cell and biochemistry techniques in support of the Principal Investigator (PI) and lab research goals. Other duties include assisting with general laboratory maintenance, including equipment maintenance, and ordering of supplies, etc.


(70%) Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Biochemistry Techniques

  • Molecular cloning (Standard methods and Gibson cloning)
  • Western blotting (Southern blotting optional, but desired)
  • Purification and manipulation of nucleic acids (e.g. RT-PCR, plasmid & genomic DNA preparation)
  • Ultracentrifugation
  • Culture of primary cells and cell lines
  • Cryopreservation
  • Transfection
  • Suspension, matrix supported, and organoid culture
  • Lentiviral/Retroviral vector production
  • Flow cytometry
  • Immunofluorescent Microscopy imaging

(30%) Lab Support

  • Assist with cell maintenance.
  • Assist with preparing standard media and solutions.
  • Assist with weekly inventory of lab supplies.
  • Assist with stock and organize incoming lab supplies.
  • Clean glassware and equipment as needed.



  • No professional experience required with relevant degree


  • Demonstrated experience and application of molecular biology knowledge preferably in biochemistry and cell culture.
  • Demonstrated experience with general lab maintenance, including cleaning, stocking supply inventory, and ensuring the maintenance of a sterile environment.



  • Bachelor's degree in biological sciences or equivalent  



  • Theoretical and hands on knowledge of tissue culture and molecular biology techniques.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in researching information and analyzing data to arrive at valid conclusions.
  • Ability to learn and carry out new experimental procedures with accuracy and efficiency. Demonstrated ability to follow verbal and/or written protocols, including follow-up on previously begun procedures.
  • Demonstrated ability to record data accurately and enter into appropriate medium.
  • Skill in the operation and maintenance of various lab equipment.
  • 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.
  • 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 communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including tact, diplomacy, and flexibility.
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with diverse groups. Demonstrated skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with personnel at all levels.


  • 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.
  • Must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.


This position requires constant adjusting focus, seeing, sitting, touching/feeling, and working inside. 

Application Details

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 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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