Research Assistant I - Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, Dr. Julie Law

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

Job Description

The CRoPS project aims to develop crop plants that sequester more carbon via extensive root systems containing recalcitrant carbon polymers to fight climate change. A major component of this research is to conduct genetic and genomic analysis for understanding traits relevant for this.

The Research Assistant I will work closely with a Research Assistant III, and other members of the CRoPS project and the Law laboratory in identifying plants with roots that store more carbon biopolymers while maintaining normal root function and morphology using various molecular biology and microscopy techniques. The RAI will work in a team responsible for (1) phenotyping Arabidopsis thaliana lines of interest (2) screening, genotyping, and maintaining plant lines (3) designing constructs to assess gene function and expression and (4) staining and preparing root samples for various types of microscopy.


(100%) Research and Lab Support

  • Prepare solutions, reagents, and media plates.
  • Genotype reporter and mutant lines.
  • Under RAIII supervision, assist in designing novel constructs and optimize cloning strategies.
  • Assess the expression of reporter lines via staining, imaging, and/or western blotting.
  • Screen mutants and inducible plant lines for tissue-specific staining using microscopy. 
  • Organize plant lines & construct stocks. 
  • Record and analyze all data and observations in appropriate electronic lab notebook.
  • Prepare technical reports, summaries, protocols and quantitative analyses, ensuring experiments are well documented.
  • Collaborate with and discusses results with the rest of the research



  • No professional experience required with relevant degree.


  • 1 or more years of experience in plant research, ideally Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Demonstrated experience and application of molecular biology knowledge, specifically with plant development and genetics.
  • Demonstrated experience with confocal miocroscopy. 
  • Demonstrated experience with plant roots.
  • Demonstrated experience in sample preparation: staining, embedding, slicing
  • Demonstrated experience with routine molecular biology skills: primer design, PCR, qPCR, molecular cloning, DNA/RNA extractions, bacterial transformation, and plasmid DNA extraction.



  • Bachelor degree in Biological Sciences



  • Understands operation of basic lab equipment.
  • Ability to perform routine, repetitive functions. 
  • After initial instruction, ability to follow directions and perform repetitive tasks.
  • Ability to communicate required information and keep accurate records of work performed.
  • 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. 


  • Experience in plant research
  • Computer skills
  • Experience with microscopy


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • 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 is anticipated to be based at the Institute's main campus, but may be required to travel to or work from other local campuses as required.


This position will require constant hearing, seeing, sitting, and talking.

Application Details

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