Director, STEM Core

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

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.

The Stem Cell Core Research Facility (STEM) is focused on providing access for Salk Institute researchers to technologies, training and materials specific to human pluripotent stem cell research. This position will be responsible for overseeing and executing a full range of duties supporting and developing core operations, administration, methods development and outreach to have this shared scientific resource meet the existing and developing research needs in this field. The Director will also be expected to participate in grant writing, preparation of manuscripts, identifying and obtaining funding opportunities in connection with Salk research groups. This position is intended to serve as a technical expert and functional leader, the incumbent will have overall responsibility for the management and formation of the core facility, its programs, and systems. The Director will serve as lead developer, administrator, technical lead and division manager. Incumbent is responsible for planning, design, development, implementation and maintenance of facility. The Director will also be responsible for the supervision of STEM Core staff.

This position will also play a role in overseeing the management of the Media Prep Core (MPRP) to explore roles where STEM and MPRP can work together for the mutual benefit of supporting Salk Institute researchers, and to provide expert-level oversight.


1) (40%) Research Support

  • Work with Salk researchers to achieve targeted research goals utilizing stem cell methodologies and established or emerging technologies in this field.
  • With the support of faculty sponsors, the incumbent evaluates new techniques and technologies as needed or requested by PI or as dictated by advances in the field.
  • Identify/test/compare/optimize new protocols / reagents to support Salk stem cell research.
  • Maintain existing relationships and develop new relationships with external clients from the academic and for-profit sectors.
  • Provide collaborative support to experiment design and implementation for new and existing approaches to using stem cell research techniques.
  • Participate in generation of manuscripts and grant applications at the request of collaborating PI's or Sr. Director.
  • Provide expert consultation on experimental design and use of stem cell technologies.
  • Work with Institute staff on complex research projects, providing research tools, testing, training and other services to the campus.
  • Write relevant technical reports and present research work internally and externally.
  • Keep up to date with the state-of-the-art in stem cell research technologies by review of relevant literature and attendance at scientific meetings.

2) (35%) STEM Core Facility Management

  • Provide leadership and vision to ensure proper scientific procedures and systems are implemented and followed.
  • Oversee all aspects of department management and ensure the coordination and effective operation of the core facility including maintenance of equipment, interactions with core users, and effective use of core resources.
  • Reviews operational needs and develops and implements intermediate and long-term goals. Ensure department timelines are maintained and that benchmarks and milestones are met.
  • Develop laboratory guidelines; maintain procedures & manuals; and oversee the evaluation of new materials and equipment.
  • Serve as liaison with other departments including Accounting, HR, Admin Services, and Facilities Services to ensure core and institutional needs are met.
  • Recruit, screen, interview candidates and select Core personnel in accordance with State and Federal laws, Institute personnel policies and procedures.
  • Train and assign work to new and continuing employees.
  • Independently supervise and conduct performance evaluations, recommend salary increases, merits and reclassifications.
  • Responsible for overseeing the generation of monthly recharge reports and external accounts payable invoices for external customers. Monitors all invoices internal and external to confirm/ensure proper recharge and payments.
  • Responsible for assuring that effective communication with PI's, lab managers and administrative assistants is carried out with respect to core services and recharges. Works with Sr. Dir. to resolve any disputes.
  • Works close with Faculty sponsors and Sr. Dir. to assure optimal reporting and interactions with funding agencies and foundations.
  • Works with Sr. Dir. to assure management practices are consistent with Institutional Core Facilities policies and procedures.

3) (15%) Institutional Support

  • Develop and administer teaching/training seminars on aspects of stem cell research technologies that are pertinent to current or potential Institute research needs.
  • Provide administrative support for CIRM Bridges trainees hosted by Salk labs. Participate in CIRM Bridges advisory committee meetings with Cal State University partners. Represent Salk faculty and researchers at trainee recruitment events. 
  • Take lead on outreach activities including seminar style information course(s), organization of internal and external seminars, office hours and individual consultations on methods related to stem cell research.
  • Work with Sr. Dir. of Scientific Cores and Development Department to give lay audience presentations, small group and individual discussions/tours of the STEM Core, the technology and applications to Salk research.
  • Contribute to grant writing efforts in support of advancing stem cell research capacities at the Institute.
  • Work with the Office of Technology Development at Salk to advance potential intellectual property and discoveries that could be promising candidates for patents and/or licensing for external use.

4) (10%) Media Prep Core Facility Oversight

  • Develop an understanding of the work flow and service requirements for the Media Prep Core Facility.
  • Where possible explore and develop potential for the Media Prep and Stem Cell Core facilities to work together for the mutual benefit of supporting Salk research.
  • Assist the Sr. Dir. with supervision and oversight of media core personnel.
  • Assist the Sr. Dir. with aspects of performance evaluations, merits and reclassifications.
  • Oversee potential STEM Core personnel who might cross-train to provide support for the Media Prep Core.
  • Assist the Sr. Dir. with Media Prep Core communications and liaison activities with Faculty research groups, and departments like Facilities (FS), Human Resources (HR), Finance and Research Accounting (FIN & RACT).



  • 5 or more years of related experience in a Stem Cell Core or related facility, with at least 3 of those years in a lead or management role
  • Experience in the design, execution and analysis of stem cell research projects involving human pluripotent stem cells.
  • Experience with the culture, maintenance and expansion of pluripotent human stem cell lines.
  • Experience with methods for reprogramming human somatic cells to iPSCs, including reprogramming with newer, non-integrating methods.
  • Experience with directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to specific somatic lineages.
  • Demonstrated experience to execute complex experiments and techniques with reliability and accuracy while working within time constraints.
  • Demonstrated experience to lead multidisciplinary teams to complete stem cell projects.
  • Experience drafting and implementing standard operating procedures to achieve reproducible and traceable results for experiments involving human pluripotent stem cells is important for this position.
  • Demonstrated administrative experience in a science department or equivalent experience with proven ability to analyze, interpret and apply management principles, practices and techniques for a large, multi-disciplinary academic/research organization.


  • Experience with current methods to effect gene editing in human stem cell lines.
  • Demonstrated experience establishing and managing efficient, cost-effective laboratory research involving human pluripotent stem cells.



  • Master's in molecular or cellular biology, genetics, physics, chemistry, or biochemistry.


  • PhD in molecular or cellular biology, genetics, physics, chemistry, or biochemistry.



  • Demonstrated ability to develop, execute and optimize stem cell research methods.
  • Well versed in methods for culturing human pluripotent stem cells, and methods for reprogramming to get human iPSCs.
  • Ability to perform highly complex experiments and techniques with high levels of reliability and accuracy within time constraints.
  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills include tact, good judgment, diplomacy and flexibility to relate to a diverse group of scientific research staff, faculty, executive management, administrative staff and external contacts.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, prioritize work and independently manage multiple, diverse and competing priorities while meeting deadlines; plan and develop meaningful objectives; and integrate multiple work initiatives into the overall department goals.
  • Ability to work with autonomy within a controlled environment with shifting priorities and timelines. Ability to work in a collaborative, team environment.
  • Ability to review goals, analyze processes necessary to achieve those goals, and develop techniques and systems required to meet those goals. Often explores new areas and seeks opportunities to apply new knowledge to work.
  • Strong verbal communications skills to effectively understand or interpret technical requests and or/ problems conveyed by others and respond accordingly.
  • Strong written communication skills required for grant writing, progress reports, and documentation of protocols.
  • Proven managerial ability to provide direction to staff in accomplishing goals and objectives, and to maintain core facility activities with respect to established procedures and guidelines. Proven ability to hire, train, supervise, evaluate and discipline staff.
  • In-depth understanding of organizational structure both within and outside the work unit, including the role of each position in the group and in other groups.
  • Able to critically review information and understands new concepts with minimal assistance.
  • Demonstrated experience with budgets and financial functions including accounting and budgeting skills. Knowledge of methods and procedures used in collecting, analyzing, interpreting and reporting data. Ability to develop and monitor budget data.


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Must be willing to work in a Biohazardous environment wearing appropriate PPE and following standard Biosafety level procedures.
  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule to support research needs.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.


This position will require constant adjusting focus, handling, hearing, keying, seeing, communicating, reading, reasoning, writing and working inside. 


Application Details

Apply Here:


 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


When inquiring or applying for positions at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, please also reference

Applicants with dual-career considerations can find university jobs such as professor jobs, dean jobs, chair / department head jobs, and other faculty jobs and employment opportunities at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and at other institutions of higher education in the region on