Job Description

Payroll Title:
Salary Range
Commensurate with Experience
Moores Cancer Center
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
RX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Monday - Friday

As a federally-funded institution, UC San Diego Health maintains a marijuana and drug free campus. New employees are subject to drug screening.

#109494 Research Associate

Extended Deadline: Wed 9/29/2021

For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the University of California requires, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office. For more information visit:

This position will remain open until a successful candidate has been identified.

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 06/04/21 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 06/15/21. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.


The Moores Cancer Center is one of just 51 in the United States to hold a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. As such, it ranks among the top centers in the nation conducting basic and clinical cancer research, providing advanced patient care and serving the community through outreach and education programs.

The Cancer Center's mission is to translate promising scientific discoveries into new and better options for the care of patients with cancer. The Center supports one of the broadest ranges of cancer activities in the nation - from fundamental and translational cancer research in molecular genetics and advanced molecular therapeutics, and from population studies of cancer incidence to community education about cancer prevention and risk reduction.

Under supervision, independently performs research duties in a Hematology/Oncology research lab, specializing in myeloid malignancy and skin cancer research. Perform experiments, make observations, and record experimental data related to research projects. Use molecular biology techniques to analyze patient samples and tumor tissue, genotype cell lines, and quantify protein expression. Perform cell-based assays and examine function, growth, motility, and apoptosis phenotypes based on in-depth review of literature and knowledge of orthogonal assays to validate findings in the context of mutations that model somatic lesions identified in patients. With appropriate training, perform spatial molecular imaging to understand tumor heterogeneity.

Additional responsibilities in the lab include maintaining the Blood Cancer Patient Sample Bank and collecting and processing samples. Ensure samples are stored with appropriate labeling and location tracking information entered into FileMaker database. Incumbent will also prepare complex reagents and media for other lab member projects. Maintain laboratory equipment, order supplies, and create accurate records of all experiments. Train new research personnel and/or volunteers in the lab as needed.


  • Theoretical knowledge of microbiology, immunology, cellular, molecular and/or cancer biology as typically attained by a Bachelor's degree, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience working with human tissues and histology analysis. Knowledge of myeloid malignancy disease models and understanding of clinical features of blood cancer and skin cancers and their treatments is preferred.

  • Theoretical knowledge of normal and malignant blood cells, stem and progenitor cell biology, solid tumor biology, and tumor microenvironment biology sufficient to aid in the design and interpretation of experiments on those topics.

  • Knowledge of and experience with pc software applications such as FlowJo, Excel, PowerPoint and Photoshop. Experience in maintaining databases such as FileMaker. Experience using patient databases, such as EPIC.

  • Experience preparing media for tissue culture including establishing and maintaining tissue culture, preparing complex reagents and media, processing patient blood and bone marrow samples, processing FFPE tissue curl samples. Experience with tissue culture including freezing, thawing, counting cells and splitting cultures.

  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge of flow cytometry.

  • Proven experience applying DNA/RNA purification in order to devise primers for successful application to meet protocol requirements and obtain results.

  • Strong communication skills (verbal and written) needed to interact professionally and effectively in the work environment, as well as to effectively and accurately document research procedures. Ability to read, comprehend, and discuss research materials. Excellent interpersonal skills in order to interact and communicate with physicians, nurses, and patients in clinic.

  • Experience conducting library research. Skill to critically analyze data, read protocols and apply new research techniques. Experience in following written protocols.

  • Experience with molecular biology techniques including RNA, PCR, DNA, CDNA, ELISA, Western Blots, SDS and agarose gel electrophoresis.

  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail in order to accurately record, analyze and interpret data and patient samples. Experience researching and gathering data and organizing information in order to produce clear and concise reports.

  • Familiarity with the writing of sample acquisition protocols and patient consent documents for IRB review.

  • Experience with laboratory equipment including centrifuges, spectrophotometers, balances, pH meters, and electrophoresis equipment. Experience to operate and maintain various lab equipment such as microscopes, centrifuges, sonicators, thermocyclers, and more.

  • Demonstrated experience working with restriction digest procedures, cloning, ligation, transformation, HiSpeed plasmid purification, calcium phosphate transfection, Western Blot, and Human Cytogenetics.

  • Experience collecting and processing primary patient samples including blood, bone marrow aspirate, tumor tissue, saliva, and buccal swabs. Samples must then be processed into various fractions and analytes such as plasma, mononuclear cells, neutrophils, DNA, and/or RNA. Some samples must be viably frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen.


  • Experience with peripheral blood and bone marrow mononuclear cell preparation and cryopreservation from consenting participants.
  • Knowledge of and experience with bioinformatics analysis of next-generation sequencing data.


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.
  • Willing and able to work with hazardous materials.

Job offer is contingent on successful engagement in the UC COVID-19 Vaccination program (fully vaccinated with documented proof or approved exception/deferral).

UC San Diego Health is the only academic health system in the San Diego region, providing leading-edge care in patient care, biomedical research, education, and community service. Our facilities include two university hospitals, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Institute, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, and several outpatient clinics. UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is a designated Level I Trauma Center and has the only Burn Center in the county. We invite you to join our dynamic team!

Applications/Resumes are accepted for current job openings only. For full consideration on any job, applications must be received prior to the initial closing date. If a job has an extended deadline, applications/resumes will be considered during the extension period; however, a job may be filled before the extended date is reached.

UC San Diego Health is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

Application Instructions

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