Research Assistant I, Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Dr. Nicola Allen

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

Job Description

This position is to join a group investigating the role of non-neuronal cells called astrocytes in brain development and function in health and disease. The goals of the group are to identify factors released by astrocytes that regulate neuronal function, and apply them to disorders where neurons are dysfunctional to rescue the deficit. This Research Assistant I position is responsible for assisting various molecular biology, cell, and biochemistry techniques; animal handling, training, husbandry, injection, surgery and perfusion, tissue slicing, immunostaining, imaging, data processing, preparing buffer solutions, autoclaving, and other general lab duties in support of the Principal Investigator (PI) and lab research goals. Additional responsibilities include assisting with general laboratory maintenance, including equipment maintenance, ordering supplies, etc.  The position will be trained in specific techniques and methods to execute experiments that are broadly designed by postdoc or PI and must be able to carry out and analyze experimental results independently.


(80%) Research Support

  • Independently maintain cultures of human and mouse glial cells and neurons and manage and differentiate cell lines.
  • Assist with and perform animal injections, surgery, and perfusion.
  • Assist with and perform tissue slicing, immunostaining, imaging, data processing, and analysis.
  • Assist with and perform animal handling, training, and husbandry.

  (20%) Laboratory Support

  •  Prepare solutions and media according to established protocols.
  • Autoclave lab materials and solutions.
  • Maintain a clean and orderly work area within the lab.
  • Maintain lab records.
  •  Perform quality control of reagents as needed.
  • Assist and train other lab personnel on research techniques and the use of laboratory equipment.
  • Attend staff meetings and assist with general problem-solving.
  • Assist in hazardous, biohazardous, and waste disposal.
  • Assist with maintaining laboratory safety records.
  • Maintain laboratory supplies and equipment.
  • Specific duties may change to meet changing research needs.



  •  No professional experience required with relevant degree.
  • Demonstrated experience working in a research laboratory setting and knowledge of basic lab techniques.


  • Prior experience with cell culture techniques
  • Prior experience with injection, surgery, perfusion, tissue sectioning, immunostaining, and imaging.
  • Minimum two years of laboratory experience with neurobiology techniques.



  •  Bachelor's degree in biological sciences or related field.  


  •  Bachelor's degree in Neurobiology discipline or related field or equivalent lab and educational experience.



  • Theoretical and hands-on knowledge of histology and molecular biology techniques.
  • Theoretical and hands-on knowledge of cell culture techniques
  • Experience working in an animal research environment
  • Ability to manage and track large numbers of samples meticulously without mix-up or cross-contamination.
  • Skill in the operation and maintenance of various lab equipment.
  • Proficiency with common office software applications and 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 independently and as part of a collaborative team.


  •  Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including tact, diplomacy, and flexibility.
  • Has demonstrated skills 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 with human and mouse cells and complete all associated training.
  • Must be willing to work independently and have a flexible 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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 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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