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

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA 920371002, USA
  • Apr 07, 2022
Full time Biology/Biotechnology/Life Sciences

Job Description

Work closely with postdoctoral researcher to support drug discovery efforts to develop novel anti-inflammatory small molecules that reduce inflammation in the brain. Work with human astrocytes, microglia and neurons in cell culture and test potential drugs in high-throughput anti-inflammatory assays. This position will involve the execution of standard laboratory procedures for human pluripotent stem cell lines, as well as other experimental procedures. Must be able to run routine assays: maintenance, transduction and transfection of cell lines, Western blotting, RNA extraction, qPCR, ELISA assays, molecular cloning, multi-channel pipetting for high-throughput 96-well plate assays. Some experience desired: immunofluorescence microscopy and histology; working with frozen mouse tissues (homogenization, RNA or protein extraction); working with organoids (assembly and compound testing). Keep detailed lab notebook records, collect, analyze, and present data to postdoc supervisor on a weekly basis; maintain stock of routinely used supplies and prepare reagents and medias.


 1) Tissue Culture (25%)

  • Cultures various human cells lines such as embryonic stem cell and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells.
  • Generates novel 3D brain organoid models.
  • Engages in troubleshooting and problem solving.
  • Analyzes, interprets, and communicates results/data.

2) Molecular Biology Techniques (25%)

  • Performs various molecular biology techniques: DNA/RNA/protein extraction from cells and tissues after homogenization, molecular cloning, restriction enzyme digestion, ligation, amplification and purification of plasmid DNA vectors, PCR and qPCR, Mini and Maxi preps, agarose gel electrophoresis, recombinant DNA techniques and vector design.
  • Analyzes, interprets, and communicates results/data

3) Biochemical and Cellular Assays (40%)

  • Perform Western blotting, small molecule screening in cells (96-well assays), qPCR, ELISA assays.
  • Performs immunostaining and immunofluorescence microscopy.

4) General Lab Support (10%)

  • Prepares and maintains stocks of solutions and reagents necessary for cell culture and benchwork uses.
  • Maintains detailed laboratory records of experiments run.
  • Attends lab meetings and assist with general problem solving.



  • Minimum 2 years' experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in molecular biology assays, cell culture and human cells.
  • Demonstrated experience with general lab maintenance, including cleaning, stocking supply inventory, and ensuring the maintenance of a sterile environment, which may be gained in coursework.


  • Minimum 2 years' experience in application of cell culture and biochemical assays.
  • Demonstrated experience with differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells in a 2D or 3D context.
  • Demonstrated experience with standard cell and molecular biology assays.
  • Demonstrated experience with recombinant DNA technologies.
  • Demonstrated experience with making common laboratory solutions and reagents.



  • Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry or related field.



  • Demonstrated knowledge of cell culture and molecular biology techniques.
  • Ability to perform repetitive and specialized laboratory experimental procedures with a high degree of reproducibility.
  • Ability to independently follow detailed experimental protocols.
  • Ability to independently learn, analyze, develop, and refine new procedures, protocols, and workflows.
  • Excellent organization skills with attention to detail.
  • Ability to effectively manage time and conduct a variety of tasks in an extremely fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work as part of a large, diverse group as well as individually
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and flexibility.
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with diverse groups.
  • Demonstrated skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with personnel at all levels.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of basic laboratory safety, rules and regulations, EH&S guidelines, etc.


  •  Must be willing to work with human cells and complete all appropriate associated training.
  • 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 will be constantly adjusting focus, seeing and working inside. 

Application Details

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