Job Description

Payroll Title:
Salary Range
Commensurate with Experience
La Jolla
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.

#114557 Lab Research Associate 3

Extended Review Date: Tue 7/5/2022

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 and influenza before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office. For more information visit: Flu Vaccine Mandate / COVID Vaccine Policy

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 02/17/2022 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 03/01/2022. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.


The Department of Ophthalmology is comprised of 30 faculty physicians and scientists, 10 resident physicians, and 13 (include clinical and research) post-doctoral physicians and scientists and over 150 staff with 6 divisions - Glaucoma, Retina, Cornea & Refractive Surgery, Pediatrics, Oculoplastics, and Neuro-ophthalmology. Clinical services are provided at the Shiley Eye Center, Ratner Eye Center, UCSD Health Sciences (UCSDHS) Hillcrest ambulatory center and the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital. The Department of Ophthalmology has the largest single outpatient clinic at the University of California, San Diego with over 110,000 visits annually. Additionally, over 5400 surgical cases are performed.

The Department of Ophthalmology is also a world-wide leader in Vision research with significant funding from industry partners and federal sources (NIH, NASA, etc...). The vibrant research environment is exemplified by collaboration, growth, innovation, and collegiality.

Under the general supervision of academic supervisor, the incumbent will conduct research projects based on current scientific literature and recent advances in the field, organizing and executing all techniques involved. The incumbent is expected to make significant innovative contributions pertaining to the design and overall direction of research projects and propose possible changes or new directions when appropriate. Provide primary work in the laboratory under the direction of the academic supervisor/PI. Teach laboratory procedures to and assist in performing experiments with graduate students, fellows, and postdoctoral scholars. Direct and supervise the work of laboratory technicians if so directed by the PI. Perform general laboratory maintenance and assist with equipment maintenance. Read and abstract relevant scientific articles, finding new sources of information. Participate in the preparation of manuscripts and scientific articles suitable for publication in scientific journals, including editing technical sections of manuscripts. Analyze and interpret experimental methods and results for discussion and presentations at lab and professional meetings and conferences, as well as for reports and scientific publications. Perform data analysis, including statistical analysis, using computerized methods. The incumbent will also oversee ledgers, income and expenditures, and monitor lab safety issues.

Specifically, Dr. Alex Huang is a glaucoma clinician-scientist in the department. His NIH-funded basic science research focuses on eye pressure and fluid flow in the eye. The research is aimed at evaluating fluid flow physiology in the eye using perfusion systems and testing the impact of pharmacological and surgical maneuvers. Models include enucleated post-mortem mammalian and human eyes as well as rodent work. Dr. Huang is also NASA funded to evaluate Space-flight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS). This is an eye problem seen in American astronauts on the International Space Station that is also due to disturbed fluid flow. This project is more clinically orientated. Therefore, the key for this position is the ability to perform basic science lab research but then also to be familiar with data organization and analysis on a clinical side.


  • Theoretical knowledge of chemistry, biochemistry, genetics immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, signal transduction, and animal physiology at a college level.

  • In depth experience and knowledge animal surgery, handling, anesthesia, injection, isolation of ocular tissue or other relevant cell types for culture as well as the ability to learn novel perfusion and fluorescent imaging applications.

  • Experience with the following: cell purification and organ culture, transfection, nucleic acid and protein electrophoresis and immunoblotting techniques, signaling assays, reporter assays and real-time RT-PCR.

  • Extensive experience in tissue sectioning (including preparation of), immunofluorescent staining, apoptosis assays, protein purification from mammalian cells or tissue slides.

  • Experience using Excel spreadsheets and other relevant software to analyze and present data from experimental results.

  • Ability to present data in a clear and concise manner. Excellent written (using correct English grammar, spelling, and punctuation), verbal and interpersonal communication skills including tact, diplomacy, and flexibility in order to work effectively with staff, study participants, and community agencies in person and on the phone.

  • Experience with animal procedures, breeding, and colony maintenance.

  • Experience with the use of general and special laboratory equipment such as centrifuges and ultracentrifuge, microscopes, cell culture incubator, water bath, sterile biosafety hoods, autoclaves, fume hoods, pH meter, nano drop and spectrophotometers, balances, pipetters, beta and gamma counter, thermal cycler, homogenizer, photo imager, film developer, gel electrophoresis system, western blot equipment, power supplies, hybridization oven, gel dryer and vacuum system, UV Transilluminator, and Shaker and Rocker.

  • Experience in designing, performing and analyzing research projects under minimal supervision. Experience in recognizing problems during a research project and quickly solving these problems with minimal input from PI. Ability to follow protocols, learn new techniques and interact with others.

  • Demonstrated ability to integrate data from multiple sources to synthesize conclusions. Experience in reading and abstracting scientific articles and applying to the design of experiments. Proven ability to read, comprehend, and discuss research materials.

  • Patience, knowledge and experience to teach principal laboratory operations, theories, molecular biology techniques, tissue culture operations and techniques, and laboratory safety procedures and policies to students and new lab members.


  • Knowledge of UCSD purchasing system.
  • Knowledge of UC regulation of biohazard facilities and chemical and radioactive material handling. Ability to adhere to established UCSD guidelines for safety and environmental issues.
  • Experience with physiological study of intact tissues, also preferably ocular tissue.
  • Experience with clinical studies as well and familiarity with protocol development and study organization.


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.
  • Must be willing to work occasional evenings and weekend days, as required.
  • Must be willing to work with animals.
  • Must be willing to work with human and animal tissues.
  • Must be willing to work with and around hazardous chemicals and biohazards (e.g. viruses and bacteria).
  • Must be willing to work with and sacrifice mice.
  • Must be willing to work with and organize large datasets.

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

If applicable, life-support certifications (BLS, NRP, ACLS, etc.) must include hands-on practice and in-person skills assessment; online-only certification is not acceptable.

UC San Diego Health Sciences is comprised of our School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, The Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, and our Student Health and Well-Being Department. We have long been at the forefront of translational - or "bench-to-bedside" - research, transforming patient care through discovery and innovation leading to new drugs and technologies. Translational research is carried out every day in the hundreds of clinical trials of promising new therapies offered through UC San Diego Health, and in the drive of our researchers and clinician-scientists who are committed to having a significant impact on patient care. We invite you to join our 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.

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, UC San Diego strives to cultivate a rich and diverse environment, inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. For more information, please visit UC San Diego Principles of Community.

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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