The Research Assistant II will be responsible for, under the supervision of a postdoctoral associate, research support and some lab management duties in support of the Principal Investigator's (PI) studies. Research duties will involve performing techniques in molecular biology and biochemistry such as production and purification of nucleic acids, proteins, and nucleoprotein complexes. Scientific research duties will also include performing biochemical assays in support of research projects as well as assisting the postdoctoral associates with experimental design and direction of future experiments. This position will also involve assisting in hiring new staff as well as leading and assisting with training of junior lab staff (junior technicians, students and volunteers) as necessary. The position provides opportunities for some independence in defining the directions of the project, under general guidance by a postdoctoral associate and principal investigator. This position will provide in depth knowledge and expertise in biochemical techniques, including routine to moderately advanced methods, and procedures on new assignments in support of research directions. The incumbent is also responsible for assisting with maintaining lab materials including FPLC columns, plasmid DNA, DNA and custom primer data, inventory lists, and freezer/fridge contents, ordering, equipment upkeep and repair, ensuring compliance with all Salk policies, and working with collaborators to achieve specific research goals.
(80%) Research Support
- General protein and nucleic acid production and advanced purification strategies in support of projects aimed at structure determination of nuclear receptors and their assemblies
- Work with different systems for protein production, including mammalian, Insect cell, and E. coli. Utilize different expression protocols, generate recombinant baculovirus, maintain and passage cells in tissue culture environment.
- Perform various techniques in molecular biology such as: DNA extraction and analysis, western blotting, PCR, gel electrophoresis, etc.
- Use of a variety of equipment for protein purification, including the Akta FPLC, a gradient station, and preparatory cell.
- Employ different purification protocols, including for size exclusion chromatography, ion exchange chromatography, affinity purification, gradients, and others as per research demands.
- Perform biochemical binding assays, activity assays, evaluating formation of protein complexes.
- Bacterial and mammalian cell culture maintenance for protein production.
- Extremely good use of positive and negative controls in experiments. Demonstrate well thought out scientific design.
(20%) Lab Support
- Assisting with stocking, ordering, maintaining, and keeping track of resources, chemicals, and supplies, in support of lab manager duties; assists with maintaining inventory.
- Assisting with performing regular maintenance and calibration of equipment; ensuring equipment is operational; assisting with instrument repairs when necessary.
- Assisting with cleanups
- Training of incoming people, as appropriate
- Communication with vendors and Salk personnel, operational and procedural
- Trains staff on specific molecular biology and related techniques. Trains laboratory personnel in proper use of laboratory equipment and equipment maintenance. Assists in hiring process of new staff.
- Maintains logbooks for major equipment (e.g. FPLC)
- Writes laboratory protocols for experiments and ensures their compliance within the laboratory.
- Minimum 2 years of relevant experience in a lab with a biochemistry background
- Demonstrated experience with general lab maintenance, including cleaning, stocking supply inventory, and ensuring the maintenance of lab equipment
- 4 or more years of related experience as a lab technician or equivalent
- Strong experience with protein purification
- Bachelor's degree in biological or chemical sciences, or equivalent
- Specific interests and advanced skills in biochemical methods
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Theoretical and hands on knowledge of molecular biology and biochemistry techniques
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, prioritize experimental and lab management work
- Ability to perform complex experiments and techniques with high levels of reliability and accuracy within time constraints.
- Ability to design experiments and troubleshoot protocols, with help from supervisor.
- Skill in the operation and maintenance of various lab equipment.
- Highly organized, effective at multitasking, adept at juggling changing priorities.
- Demonstrated knowledge and experience in researching information and analyzing data to arrive at valid conclusions.
- Proven ability to work both independently and also as part of a collaborative team.
- Being a great communicator of responsibilities, action items and then maintaining status on timelines and updates for execution of tasks.
- 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.
- 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 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Image Studio, SnapGene, and etc.).
SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
- 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
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS/MENTAL ACTIVITIES/ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
The incumbent will constantly be handling, seeing, sitting, touching/feeling, analyzing, calculating, reasoning, and working indoors.
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