The Research Assistant III is responsible for research support duties in support of the Principal Investigator’s (PI) studies in collaboration with the Biophotonics Core at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. This specific position is a joint position between the laboratories of Dr. Dmitry Lyumkis and Dr. Uri Manor, bridging structural virology and microscopy / imaging, in order to visualize and structurally define the dynamics of viral infections in cells. The primary work broadly involves mammalian tissue culture, virology, and imaging. Duties include general mammalian cell culture, maintaining and passaging cells in tissue culture environment, growing and harvesting fluorescently labeled lentivirus, optimizing viral infections, and using different imaging techniques in conjunction with the Biophotonics Core facility to examine different stages of infection, all in support of multiple research projects. The ultimate goal is to use cryo-correlative techniques coupled to focused ion beam milling and cryo-electron tomography to structurally characterize viral infections. Auxiliary duties will include supervising lab staff (junior technicians, students and volunteers) and training staff in molecular biology and cell biology techniques as necessary. Incumbent will be part of a broader research team and is also responsible for working with collaborators to achieve specific research goals.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY
This job position focuses on establishing tools and workflows for fluorescence and cryo-EM based imaging, and ultimately structural characterization of the distinct events in the early stages of the lentiviral lifecycle. The incumbent works on problems in which analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth evaluation of various factors. Exercises judgement within broadly defined practices and policies in selecting methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria for obtaining results. May determine methods and procedures on new assignments. May provide supervision, training and guidance to lower level personnel. Work is done under periodic supervision.
(90%) Research Support
Maintains mammalian cell culture in tissue culture environment. Cell types may include HeLa, 293, CHO, and variants thereof.
Perform various techniques in molecular biology such as: DNA extraction and analysis, western blotting, PCR, gel electrophoresis, etc.
Performs viral infections of mammalian cells using lentivirus or other viruses
Incorporates novel cell culture techniques, for example for genome editing and/or genetic manipulation
Uses a variety of fluorescence microscopes for imaging and detection of viral particles, including confocal and super-resolution instruments for live cell imaging, as well as cryo-fluorescence microscopes for imaging of vitrified samples.
Uses image processing procedures to process fluorescence data and to localize distinct events in the viral lifecycle.
Coordinates with lab personnel for downstream cryo-EM work.
(10%) Lab Support
Stocking, ordering, maintaining, and keeping track of resources, chemicals, and supplies; assists with maintaining inventory as it pertains to cell culture.
Assisting with performing regular maintenance and calibration of equipment; ensuring equipment is operational; assisting with instrument repairs when necessary.
Training of incoming people, as appropriate
Communication with vendors and Salk personnel, operational and procedural
Trains staff on specific molecular and cellular 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 4 years of experience in a lab with a cell biology background or equivalent
Live cell imaging experience
Bachelor’s degree in biological/biochemical sciences or related field or its equivalent
Specific interests and advanced skills in molecular and cell biology methods
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Theoretical and hands on knowledge of molecular and cellular biology techniques
Theoretical and hands on knowledge of tissue culture 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 debug 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 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.
Skill in the operation and maintenance of various lab equipment.
Theoretical and hands on experience with virology and viral infections
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 confidentially agreement.
This position requires constant handling, seeing, sitting, touching/feeling, analyzing, calculating, reasoning and working inside.
Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities
The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
Salk scientists are dedicated to innovative biological research. The Salk Institute consistently ranks among the leading research institutions in the world for its faculty's contributions and the impact of their findings. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer's, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines. "We lead biological research. We prize discovery. Salk is where cures begin."Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, the Salk Institute offers a warm, collegial and collaborative work environment, where employees enjoy a generous benefits program. Social activities on campus encourage interaction as a community.
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