Research Lab Technician

California, United States
03 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
03 Mar 2021
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

The Ismagilov Lab at Caltech is hiring a full-time lab technician for a 1-year term position with possibility of extension to 2 years, subject to funding. Reporting to Professor Rustem Ismagilov, the successful candidate will begin their term by joining a small team of researchers who are logging, processing, and analyzing saliva and nasal-swab samples as part of the lab’s community-based COVID-19 research study. More about the COVID-19 study can be found at: The successful candidate will also participate in ongoing projects of high priority in the lab, including those focused on the microbiome and those on rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing. More details about the Ismagilov lab and these research projects can be found at

Job Duties

  • Perform DNA and RNA extractions from many different sample types
  • Perform nucleic acid amplification analyses using standard techniques such as qPCR, ddPCR, q-RT-PCR, dd-RT-PCR, and LAMP
  • Maintain the lab’s high standards for biosafety
  • Assist graduate students and postdocs in validating their research findings by reproducing their experiments with additional samples
  • Follow lab procedures for maintaining a neat, detailed electronic lab notebook
  • Maintain the organization of lab workspaces.
  • Analyze raw data and generate figures using software provided by the laboratory
  • A highly motivated and qualified candidate may additionally develop independent aspects of ongoing projects, while continuing to provide research support

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in science with educational emphasis in chemistry, biology, microbiology, or a related field required by date of hire
  • Lab experience in microbiology, molecular biology, and/or biochemistry
  • Prior experience performing qPCR and nucleic-acid extractions
  • Highly detail-oriented; must have prior experience performing sensitive experiments and using laboratory techniques
  • Must be able to use sound judgment to handle a variety of tasks simultaneously and to shift priorities, as well as effectively solve problems
  • Must be able to work independently as well as part of a team in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to interact professionally with all levels of staff
  • Strong organizational, time-management, and project-management skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ambition to enter a top medical or graduate school
  • Prior experience with working at BSL-2 level or BSL-3 level 
  • Prior experience handling and processing hundreds of laboratory samples 
  • Prior experience using automated-extraction equipment (e.g. KingFisher or similar)
  • Comfort using a multi-channel pipette 
  • Co-authorship on a scientific publication
  • Prior experience or undergraduate-level coursework with a basic programming language for data analysis (Python, MATLAB, R, etc.)

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover letter

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