Research Assistant I - Laboratory of Genetics, Dr. Rusty Gage

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA, USA
  • Aug 23, 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.

Research Assistant I position will focus on research support, maintaining and differentiating cell lines, processing samples, and performing various molecular biology techniques under the direct supervision of a Postdoc. Position will be trained in specific techniques and methods in order to execute experiments designed by Postdocs. Research Assistant will be expected to carry out, document, organize, and present experimental results to research team under close supervision. Candidate must be willing to with bacteria, human cells, stem cells, and lenti virus.

This position supports two projects in the lab: 1) understanding the metabolic changes that occur in human neurons during aging and in Alzheimer's disease and 2) Establishing a direct conversion method for the generation of aged human astrocytes / microglia.


(20%) Molecular Biology, Biochemical and Histology Techniques

  •  Perform various techniques in molecular biology/histology/biochemical such as:
  • Cryo-sectioning and histology procedures of 3D organoid tissue
  • DNA & RNA extraction and analysis
  • Molecular cloning, restriction enzyme digestion, ligation and purification of plasmid DNA vectors
  • PCR and qPCR
  • Mini and Maxi preps
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Recombinant DNA techniques and vector design
  • Protein extraction and purification
  • Analyzing, interpreting data and communicating research results/data

(60%) Cell Culture

  •  Generates novel 3D brain organoid models
  • Regular maintenance of human cell culture lines (embryonic stem cell and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells).
  • Performing immuno-staining and immuno-fluorescence microscopy.
  • Performs tasks associated with the production of viral vectors.
  • Maintaining and organizing liquid nitrogen banks

 (20%) Lab Support

  •  Prepare standard solutions.
  • Stock and organize incoming lab supplies.
  • Attend staff meetings and assist with general problem solving.
  • Assist in hazardous, biohazardous and waste disposal.
  • Assist with maintaining laboratory safety records.



  •  No professional experience required with relevant degree


  • Demonstrated experience in wet bench work.
  • Demonstrated experience in analysis of molecular biology data.
  • Demonstrated experience with differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells in a 2D or 3D context.
  • Demonstrated experience with recombinant DNA technologies.
  • Demonstrated experience with confocal imaging and imaging analysis.
  • 1-2 years of laboratory experience or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Knowledge of histology, microscopy, and molecular biology techniques.
  • Proficient in the operation of standard lab equipment and computer hardware/software.



  •  Bachelor's degree in biological sciences or equivalent    



  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in researching information and analyzing data to arrive at valid conclusions.
  • Ability to manage and track large numbers of samples meticulously without mixup or cross contamination.
  • 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 and able to prioritize.
  • 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 with human cells and complete all appropriate associated training.
  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Must be willing to work independently and must have a flexible schedule to support research needs.
  • Successful completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Must be willing to sign a confidentially agreement


This position will be constantly adjusting focus, seeing and working inside. 


Application Details

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 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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