Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Salary Range
$62,324.27- $100,219.50 / Year
La Jolla Medical Center
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
RX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, M-F

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

#119672 Staff Research Associate

Extended Deadline: Tue 12/6/2022

UC San Diego values equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are interested in being part of our team, possess the needed licensure and certifications, and feel that you have most of the qualifications and/or transferable skills for a job opening, we strongly encourage you to apply.

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 10/24/22 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 11/3/22. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.


Under supervision of the PI, the incumbent will participate in managing our research laboratory and conduct independent research projects. The research functions involve independent performance of a wide variety of specialized laboratory procedures in molecular, cellular and behavioral biology. These require proficiency in basic cell biology lab techniques including tissue isolation from mice, OCT embedding, experience with a cryostat, frozen tissue sectioning, immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. Skills in sterile mammalian cell culture (particularly primary cell culture) flow cytometry and RNA isolation and qPCR are preferred. These assays will require the incumbent to utilize sophisticated equipment and software to perform fluorescence microscopy, image acquisition, image analysis and statistical analysis methods. The incumbent will also participate in animal studies including surgeries and injections and assists in maintaining mouse colonies (genotyping). Experience with animal behavior models is preferred. Skills in data interpretation and study design based on current scientific literature and recent advances in the field are essential. The incumbent will make significant innovative contributions pertaining to design and overall direction of research projects, proposing possible changes in new directions when appropriate and trouble shooting. The position will read and extract relevant scientific articles, finding new sources of information for novel experimental design and execution. The incumbent will participate in the preparation of manuscripts and scientific articles suitable for publication in scientific journals, including editing technical sections of the manuscript and helping in preparing figures. The incumbent will independently perform data analyses, including statistical analysis, using computerized methods.

The candidate will oversee lab responsibilities include coordinating with EH&S to maintain a safe work environment. The candidate will work collaboratively to oversee order ledgers, income and expenditures and monitor lab safety issues. The position includes overseeing inventory, equipment upkeep, interfacing with neighbor laboratories and collaborators. The incumbent will provide work direction and teach laboratory procedures to lower levels staff research associates, undergraduates, graduate students and visiting scholars in technical studies.


  • Advanced theoretical knowledge of a life science as typically acquired by a Bachelor’s degree in the field of molecular biology, biochemistry, or genetics or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience preparing and maintaining tissue cultures. Knowledge of sterile techniques and culture media/reagents. Demonstrated ability to perform routine RNA isolation and analysis. Experience with basic protein chemistry techniques.

  • Ability to maintain supplies and consumables for medium size laboratory and its core facilities including meticulous record keeping of ordered and received materials.

  • Experience in maintaining general laboratory equipment (e.g. centrifuges, Milliq water systems, etc.

  • Knowledge of EH&S procedures for laboratory safety.

  • Intermediate to advance computer skills using MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PhotoShop, email system and a variety of web based programs (Genbank).

  • Ability to efficiently manage time and organizational skills. Ability to establish priorities, meet multiple and frequently changing deadlines with flexibility. Detail oriented.

  • Experience and willingness to work with animals.

  • Strong communication skills (both verbal and written) needed to interact professionally and effectively in the work environment.

  • Ability to assist lab personnel, maintain and order supplies, coordinate research projects, train personnel on research techniques and use laboratory equipment.

  • Knowledge of surgical techniques to aid in the study of nerve regeneration and neuropathic pain in vitro and in vivo.

  • Demonstrated ability to research information and analyze data to arrive at valid conclusions, theoretical determinations and recommendations, and plans of action, strong process orientation.

  • Ability to provide quick and flexible leadership around shifts in project needs that occur based on the ground realities.

  • Demonstrated excellent communication and interpersonal skills over a wide range of situations and individuals needed to interact professionally and effectively in the work environment in person, on the phone and in writing to a diverse population; including persons from foreign countries, the business community, academicians, students and staff with a high degree of diplomacy, mature judgment, tact and flexibility, Knowledge of proper formats, grammar, spelling in English and proofreading ability sufficient to compose, edit and publish professional correspondence as well as effectively and accurately document research procedures. Ability to read, comprehend, discuss and present research materials.

  • Willingness to learn new theory, techniques and tasks and share knowledge.


  • Masters degree in related field.

  • Previous experience working in a neurosciences lab.

  • Knowledge of assessing behaviors in animals.

  • Previous experience in calcium imaging.


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.

  • Must be willing to work with animals.

  • Must be willing to work with bio-hazardous materials.

  • Must be willing to work occasional weekends or extended hours to meet project deadlines and experiments.

  • Must be willing to work with Visiting scholars with minimal English proficiency.

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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