Senior Research Scientist

California University of Technology
Pasadena, California,United States
06 Nov 2016
End of advertisement period
04 Dec 2016
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Summary

The Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology seeks a highly qualified and motivated senior research scientist for a project focused on the discovery of novel adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) for gene therapy applications in the Beckman Institute Resource Center for CLARITY, Optogenetics and Vector Engineering (CLOVER Center:

This funded project will use and adapt the CREATE methodology our group recently developed (Deverman et al. Nature Biotechnology 2016) for custom AAV capsid engineering. The work will be fast-paced, challenging and collaborative, and therefore requires that the candidate is well organized and has strong problem-solving, interpersonal and communication skills. It is essential that the applicant has hands on experience with molecular cloning, cell culture, and animal models.

The ideal candidate would also have experience with recombinant virus production, fluorescence microscopy, directed evolution, computational biology and analysis of large datasets. Candidates should have, or be working toward, a doctoral degree in a biological science and a strong record of productivity. The position is available immediately and the candidate should be available to start in fall-winter 2016.

Job Duties

The research involves the discovery and evaluation of new AAV vectors and will require the researcher to perform:

  • Molecular cloning, DNA and virus library preparation, quantification and functional evaluation of vectors in vitro and in vivo
  • Cell culture for recombinant virus production and validation
  • In vivo vector administration, tissue processing, DNA/RNA isolation, immunohistochemistry and microscopy

The researcher will also be expected to:

  • Present findings at group meetings and participate in lab discussions
  • Work closely with the PI, director and other laboratory personnel to adapt methodology to fit research requirements and ensure that research timelines are kept on track
  • Keep careful records
  • Travel occasionally
  • Document research progress and prepare publications
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Basic Qualifications

  • Doctoral degree in biology, biological engineering, or a related field
  • Prior hands-on experience with molecular cloning, DNA/RNA isolation, cell culture, qPCR, transfections
  • Must have prior experience with mouse models
  • Must be self-motivated and organized
  • Must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both written and verbal) – the project requires a coordinated effort within and across laboratories

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working with recombinant viral vectors under BSL2 conditions
  • Hands on experience with fluorescence and confocal microscopy
  • Stereotaxic injections
  • Experience with computational biology and analysis of next generation sequencing datasets
  • Familiarity with high throughput screens/selections, DNA library design, and directed evolution

Supervisory position?


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Open Until Filled


EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. For more information about “EEO is the Law” click here: EEO is the Law

Special Instructions to Applicants