Job Description

Payroll Title:
OPHTHALMOLOGY/Research Glaucom
Hiring Salary Range
$24.88 - $29.68 / Hour
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
RX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hour shifts, 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.

#119855 Staff Research Associate

Filing Deadline: Wed 12/7/2022

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

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 11/23/2022. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.


Optic neuropathies, including glaucoma, are defined by the axonal injury and subsequent cell death of projection neurons in the retina called retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). The Welsbie Lab in the Department of Ophthalmology uses high-throughput RNAi- and CRISPR-based functional genomic screening in primary mouse RGCs and stem cell-derived human RGCs to elucidate and characterize the injury signal triggered by axon injury. The goal is to identify druggable signaling molecules that could serve as the target for a neuroprotective therapy.

The Lab Research Associate's role would be two-fold: 1. Assist with conducting wet lab and animal-based research, focusing on cell and molecular biology, under close technical supervision and guidance of the PI and; 2. Assist with the organization and maintenance of the laboratory. The incumbent will assist in providing work direction and teaching laboratory procedures to undergraduate and graduate students, assist postdoctoral fellows and the work of laboratory technicians and students. In addition, the incumbent will provide the PI with support on personnel matters, audits, monitor lab budgets, monitor/coordinate lab safety issues (in collaboration with the UCSD Environmental Health and Safety Department and other governing safety agencies), assist with grant and publication preparation, ensure grant reporting progress is met, coordinate the organization and maintenance of lab equipment and supplies and interface with neighboring labs and collaborators. The incumbent will assist with the maintenance and organization of animals and the disposal of waste (nonhazardous, chemical and biological). As an active member of the research, the incumbent will assist in performing experiments and presenting at meetings/conferences.

Incumbent will perform primary retinal ganglion cell dissection and isolation from mice, perform work with viral vectors (i.e. AAV and Lentivirus), and cloning among other duties.


  • Theoretical knowledge of molecular biology, cell biology, ophthalmology, biology or related field; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience with PC and MAC, Microsoft Office Suite, scientific and research and database software.

  • Analytical and critical thinking skills. Demonstrated ability to maintain quality control in research projects. Skill and ability to keep accurate records.

  • Experience in accurate record keeping and ability to organize, analyze, and calculate data.

  • Excellent communication skills, verbal and written, to interact professionally and effectively in the work environment; and, to effectively and accurately document research procedures.

  • Experience or familiarity in the technologies required for analysis of tissues by histology, immunohistochemistry, and histochemistry.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills including tact, diplomacy and flexibility with the ability to work in a team framework in conjunction with principles of community with staff, professionals, study participants/patients.

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and cooperatively. Excellent organizational skills with demonstrated ability to prioritize assignments, maintain workflow, and work productively in meeting critical deadlines.

  • Knowledge of basic lab safety requirements/procedures; EH&S regulations and methods for handling, clean-up, and waste disposal for biohazardous materials with the ability to train others in proper procedures. .

  • Experience handling animals and animal tissue. Ability to follow appropriate protocols for animal research.

  • Ability to uphold the UCSD Principles of Community and establish and maintain good working relationships at Shiley Eye Center, departments, and outside agencies.

  • Knowledge of and experience with laboratory equipment including centrifuges, PCR machines, microscopes, tissue culture cabinets, incubators, flow cytometers, plate readers and gel electrophoresis equipment, operating thermocyclers.

  • Demonstrated experience with general lab maintenance including cleaning, stocking supplies.

  • Experience operating High-concent, high-throughput imaging system, operating Acoustic transfer device, Fluorescent and bright-field microscope, Flow cytometer, Capillary immunoblotting, Centrifuges, Cryostats, Spectrophotometer.

  • Experience with High-throughput screening and imaging, CRISPR gene editing, Cell culture and transfection,Adeno-associated virus production and purification, Lentivirus production and purification.

  • Experience with Plasmid construction and sub-cloning (e.g. DNA purification, ligation, Gibson reactions, enzyme digestions, gel electrophoresis, transformation).

  • Experience with DNA and RNA sequencing.

  • Experience with Histology, retinal flatmounts and immunofluorescent staining.

  • Experience with working with rodents, including genotyping, anesthesia, handling and colony maintenance.

  • Experience with Quantitative PCR.

  • Experience with Fluorescent-activated cell sorting.

  • Experience with Primary retinal ganglion cell isolation and culture.

  • Experience with Immunoblotting.


  • Familiarity with optic nerve crush procedures, intravitreal injections, retinal flatmount preparation, retinal ganglion cell isolation and/or viral production is desirable.

  • Demonstrated experience processing tissues and cells, cut sections, and performing histological staining procedures.

  • Experience with UCSD business offices, HR, EH&S, OPAFS, OCGA, procurement as well as working with online systems.


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.

  • Must be able to work various hours and weekends based on business needs.

  • Must be willing to work with biohazardous material, viral vectors, human stem cells and rodents including mice and rats.

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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