Research Assistant I - Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, Dr. Behrens

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA 920371002, USA
  • Jul 21, 2022
Full time Biology/Biotechnology/Life Sciences

Job Description

The Research Assistant I position, with general instruction on routine work, will carry out a variety of basic and specialized molecular biology techniques in support of the lab goals. Duties include: focus on brain slicing and dissection, nuclei production and sorting for multiomics analysis, protein biochemistry and image analysis.  The successful candidate will work approximately 75% of the time on funded projects and the rest on support postdoctoral researchers in the lab. Additionally, the position will be responsible for establishing conditions for spatial transcriptomics using MERFISH.  The position will require training in brain slicing, nuclei production and sorting, neuonal imaging and analysis, and in specific techniques and methods in order to execute experiments that are broadly designed by the PI or postdoctoral researchers.  Following training, the successful candidate must be able to carry out and analyze experimental results independently with limited instruction for routine work.  The overall goal of the research is to use epigenomics to create an atlas of the human brain at single-cell resolution.


(10%) Tissue Culture

  • Independently maintains cultures of neuronal/glial cells obtained from differentiation of embryonic neural precursors.

(25%) Molecular Biology Techniques

  • Perform various techniques in molecular biology such as: RNA extraction and analysis.
  • DNA extraction and analysis.
  • PCR and rtPCR.
  • Maxi preps.
  • Gel Electrophoresis.
  • Recombinant DNA techniques.
  • lmmunoprecipitation for mass spectrometry

(15%) Histology

  • Perform various immunofluorescence protocols on fixed brain tissue.
  • Analyze cells/spines using various fluorescent and confocal microscopes for high power imaging.

(40%) Tissue dissection and nuclei preparation

  • Independently slices and dissects brain tissue.
  • Independently prepares cellular nuclei from brain tissue

(10%) Lab Support

  • Performs quality control of reagents as needed.
  • Trains and assists other lab personnel on research techniques and use of laboratory equipment.
  • Attends staff meetings and assist with general problem solving.
  • Assists in Hazardous, Biohazardous and waste disposal.
  • Assists with maintaining laboratory safety records.
  • Maintains laboratory supplies and equipment.



  • No professional experience required with relevant Bachelor's degree or above.


  • Additional years of relevant professional experience in a lab setting.
  • Fundamental skills and experience in neuroscience, molecular biology, cell culture, and image analysis.
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge of protein- and biochemistry techniques, image analysis and brain handling.
  • Proficient in the operation of standard lab equipment and computer hardware/software.



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


  • Neuroscience specialization.



  • Theoretical and hands on knowledge of histology and molecular biology techniques.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in researching information and analyzing data to arrive at valid conclusions.
  • Ability to manage and track large numbers of samples meticulously.
  • 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.
  • Highly organized, effective at multitasking, adept at juggling changing priorities and able to prioritize.
  • 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.


  • Subcellular fractionation and cell cytometry.


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Must be willing to work with primary cultures obtained from mouse embryos and complete all appropriate associated training.
  • Must be willing to work independently and must have a flexible schedule to support research needs.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement


The incumbent in this position will be constantly adjusting focus, seeing, sitting, touching/feeling, and working indoors.

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