Research Assistant in Molecular and Cellular Biology

California, United States
29 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
29 Dec 2018
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Full Time

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

We are seeking a highly motivated and dependable individual to join David Van Valen’s lab, an integrative computational and experimental team, to help characterize host-virus interactions in bacterial and mammalian viruses. Specifically, this person will help to develop and optimize methods and generate data for understanding host-virus interactions between bacterial and mammalian viruses. This work will include experiments and method optimization in the areas of whole virus genome assembly, genomic engineering by CRISPR targeting, imaging of fixed and live-cells, and high-throughput sequencing. Training in established techniques will be provided, but the work will require significant independence of day-to-day operations to achieve the overall goals of the project.

Job Duties

  • Design and independently perform bench level experiments and small projects.
  • Design and construct expression vectors using recombinant DNA technology and current cloning methods.
  • Maintain and transfect cell lines in our tissue culture facility.
  • Adapt and optimize methods for assaying interactions between RNA and proteins.
  • Execute established biochemistry protocols, including but not limited to RAP-MS, CLIP, RNA-seq, immunoprecipitation, Western blotting.
  • Prepare stocks of media, buffers, and reagents.
  • Analyze experiments, summarize results, and prepare progress reports to ensure proper experimental design, execution, and analysis.
  • Adjust easily to changing needs and priorities to facilitate project completion and to address technical problems.
  • Work collaboratively with others to dynamically synthesize strategies, results, and future directions for single projects or multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology or another related field.
  • Must possess at least 2 years of experience in a research laboratory.
  • Hands-on experience with molecular cloning, cell biology techniques, and mammalian tissue culture.
  • Solid technical knowledge of protein biochemistry techniques.
  • Excellent organization, time management, and project management skills.
  • Ability to record and report results with clarity.
  • Must be detail-oriented and perform precise work in the laboratory.
  • Ability to handle a variety of tasks simultaneously.
  • Familiarity and hands-on experience with basic biochemistry and molecular biology methods and the operation of standard lab equipment.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to interact professionally with all levels of staff and with external contacts in a fast-paced environment.
  • Must possess a high level of initiative and the ability to work with little supervision.
  • Persistence and willingness to troubleshoot technical challenges.
  • Motivation to learn and master new methods and techniques.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Broad knowledge of cell biology, molecular biology, gene targeting approaches, and high throughput sequencing.
  • Basic knowledge of sequence analysis tools such as BLAST, primer3, UCSC genome browser, and other applications.
  • 2 years of experience in a research laboratory conducting an independent project(s).

Required Documents

  • Resume