Science Writer - Peptide Biology Laboratory, Dr. Alan Saghatelian

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Apr 20, 2020
Full time   Biology/Biotechnology/Life Sciences

Job Description


Job #: G988

Posted Date: April 10, 2020

Closes On: Open Until Filled

Job Title: Science Writer - Peptide Biology Laboratory, Dr. Alan Saghatelian

Status: Regular Full Time

Benefits Eligible: Yes

Position Description: Writes and/or edits complex content for grant proposals, peer-reviewed publications, patents and communications. In collaboration with faculty and lab members, prepares grant applications and papers pertaining to new frontiers in cancer, virology, structural biology, synthetic biology, imaging, molecular biology and biotechnology. Ideal person is responsible for editing and coordinating the written content-technical and stylistic-together with associated figures for papers and grant proposals with the lab members and faculty. He or she must be able to meet proposal submission deadlines and funding goals, relate scientific and strategic goals to individual grant opportunities, and remain informed about information technologies, research trends, and research development within the PIs as well as other research institutions, universities and government entities within the field.

The Opportunity:

Melding the principles of directed evolution and engineering to rationally design novel biological devices —macromolecules, viruses, and cells — that transform the detection and treatment of diseases ranging from genetic syndromes to cancer, inflammation and infectious disease.

The Need:

We now know the underlying genetic and molecular targets that cause many devastating diseases, such as, cancer, inflammation and infection. Yet we grapple with a frustrating challenge: for most of these diseases, there are no effective treatments, much less cures. We desperately need new therapies that overcome the limitations of traditional small molecule drugs. To conquer disease, we need medicines that are as biologically sophisticated as the diseases themselves.

Our Approach:

Design is the ultimate test of understanding; to engineer new life, the defining act of creativity. The aspirations of the Redesigning Biology and Medicine Initiative are to explore new frontiers by combining Big Data, engineering and synthetic biology to create transformative medicines. We are developing therapeutic processing units (TPUs) that are assembled from libraries of DNA modules and synthetic gene circuits into viral, cellular and microbial medicines that sense and target disease with unprecedented selectivity and potency. Our initial focus is on cancer, inflammation, vaccines and gene therapy.

Why you?

We are looking for a singular individual who can work together as part of an interdisciplinary team in translating foundational discoveries and transformative therapies into landmark papers and multi-million-dollar research funding. This will require an ability to understand, synthesize and simplify complex ideas into foundational principles described in technically correct but memorable and compelling prose. The ideal individual will be a world class scientist and master storyteller who can convey verbally and visually science at the frontiers between fields and translating these discoveries into text-book contributions and transformative therapies.

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."

--Benjamin Franklin

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."

--Albert Camus

"Words are a lens to focus one's mind."

- Ayn Rand



  • M.S. in biological sciences.


  • Ph.D. in biological sciences.



  • Writes stylistically compelling and grammatically correct documents.
  • Excellent written and verbal English.
  • Adept communicator -capable of working with diverse personalities and translating world beating science into elegant prose and landmark papers.
  • Ability to communicate and translate the scientific question and significance to both a technical and lay audience is critical.
  • A minimum of three years of experience in successful writing of published papers and funded grant proposals.
  • Experience managing multiple projects, priorities, and deadlines.
  • Experience writing and coordinating interdisciplinary research proposals and papers with multiple collaborators.
  • Demonstrated experience in researching, writing and submitting grant applications.
  • Demonstrated experience reading and interpreting funding agency program announcements or requests for applications and development of proposals that are in compliance with agency requirements.
  • Strong interest in and ability to quickly comprehend faculty scientific programs.
  • Advanced analytical skills in researching and analyzing scientific research issues. Sound knowledge of scientific research design and methods, and strong ability to interpret and evaluate research results (i.e. data analysis, statistics, etc.). Ability to codify ideas into coherently written manuscript and/or proposal.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills to manage the writing process (research, draft preparation, review, and revision) of complex grant proposals and deliver fundable proposals in a timely manner to meet both interim and final deadlines.
  • Ability and specialized skills to take initiative and independently plan, organize, coordinate, and perform work in various situations where numerous and diverse demands are involved.


  • Expertise with Papers and software for managing references/bibliographies.
  • Expertise with Adobe software suite (Photoshop, Illustrator) and PowerPoint to facilitate the preparation of figures.
  • Ability to organize data, references, and text into easily accessible and shared folders for grants and papers.

Special Requirements:

  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Physical Requirements:

This position requires constant adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading, reasoning, writing and working inside.


Application Details

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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 within the Dallas County Community College District and at other institutions of higher education in the region on

Application Deadline

Open Until Filled