Research Assistant II - NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Dr. Susan Kaech

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

Job Description

The Research Assistant II position is responsible for performing various cell and molecular biology and biochemistry techniques under general supervision and limited instructions for routine assignments; mouse handling and colony maintenance, minor mouse surgeries, mouse breeding and weaning, genotyping, flow cytometry and cell sorting, single-cell RNA expression analysis in support of the Principal Investigator (PI) and lab research goals. Range of duties include, but is not limited to, data analysis and data base management, maintenance of tissue, DNA, and other experimental samples, assisting with general laboratory maintenance, including equipment maintenance, and ordering of supplies, and training of new personnel. Exercises judgement within generally defined practices to select methods and techniques for executing work and solutions.


(50%) Molecular, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry Techniques

  • Tumor cell implantation and monitoring of tumor growth.
  • Minor mouse surgeries and treatments including oral gavage, i.p. and i.v. injection and retro-orbital isolation of blood or injection.
  • Perform flow cytometry of isolated single-cells from tumors and tissues
  • Isolate tissues for analysis by mass-spectrometry
  • Perform CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene perturbations (including CRISPR libraries)
  • Perform molecular biology and cell biology techniques, such as DNA purification, PCR and gel electrophoresis.
  • Independently perform molecular cell biology techniques which include, but are not limited to, recombinant protein expression and purification, cell signaling assays and cell behavior assays, fluorescent cytometry.
  • Mammalian cell culture, transfections, infections, lysing, thawing and freezing down cells

(25%) Mouse Colony Handling and Maintenance

  • Applies techniques from a demonstrated high level understanding of mouse genetics, transgenics, congenics and how to set up breeding schemes and analysis of genotyping results.
  • Perform tumor studies in mice which include, but are not limited to, xenograft of tumor cell lines and injection of oncogenic lentivirus
  • Manage and/or perform maintenance of mouse colony including monitoring and measuring of tumors

(15%) Computational analysis

  • Analysis of sc-RNA-seq data
  • Analysis of LC/MS metabolomics data
  • Analysis of multi-parameter flow cytometry data

(10%) Lab Support

  • Assist with cell maintenance.
  • Prepare standard media and solutions.
  • Perform weekly inventory of lab supplies.
  • Stock and organize incoming lab supplies.
  • Assist in Hazardous, Biohazardous, and Radioisotope waste disposal.
  • Assist in maintaining laboratory safety records.
  • Attend staff meetings and assist with general problem solving.



  • A minimum of 2 years of experience as a lab technician or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience and application of flow cytometry or mass spectrometry.
  • Demonstrated experience and application of molecular biology knowledge preferably in biochemistry and cell culture.
  • Mouse handling experience and various in vivo techniques, such as IP and SC injections, tumor measurements and necropsy.
  • Demonstrated experience with general lab maintenance, including cleaning, stocking supply inventory, and ensuring the maintenance of a sterile environment.


  • 4 or more years of related experience as a lab technician or equivalent
  • Demonstrated experience with cellular immunology assays and techniques
  • Demonstrated experience in mass-spectrometry
  • Strong experience in Flow Jo, Prism software analysis
  • Prior experience in liver cancer and disease
  • Knowledge of coding in R



  • Bachelor's degree in biological sciences or related field, or equivalent



  • Highly organized, effective at multitasking, adept at juggling changing priorities.
  • Being a great communicator of responsibilities, action items and then maintaining status on timelines and updates for execution of tasks.
  • Theoretical and hands on knowledge of tissue culture and molecular biology techniques.
  • Possess a high level understanding of mouse genetics, transgenics, congenics and how to set up breeding schemes and analysis of genotyping results
  • Extremely good use of positive and negative controls in experiments. Demonstrate well thought out scientific design.
  • 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 (Flow Jo, Excell, Prism).
  • 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.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Willing to sign a confidentiality agreement


This position requires constant adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading, reasoning, writing, and working inside. 

Application Details

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 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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