Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$56,526 /year
Appointment Type:
Limited Appointment
Appointment Percent:
RX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
8 hrs/day, Mon - Fri, occasional overtime as needed

#122090 Staff Research Associate

Filing Deadline: Wed 3/29/2023

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

This is a 100% Limited position for seven (7) months. This appointment may be extended or converted to career status based on the needs of the department.


Chemistry and Biochemistry is one of the largest and most complex departments on campus. The department’s organization is divided among three major research themes each with its own department leadership representation under the Department Chair: Biochemistry & Biophysics; Synthesis, Materials and Chemical Biology; and Physical, Analytical and Environmental Chemistry. The department is comprised of 75 ladder rank faculty, and additional 10 in various instructional titles and ~150 in academic research titles and postdoctoral scholars.

The above academic community presents a plethora of diverse complex issues from Health Sciences Compensation Program agreements to adjuncts from national laboratories sharing negotiated employee patent agreements. The department is also comprised of 90 career staff; ~60 temporary or student staff, and 350 Master’s and Ph.D. students. Undergraduate students majoring in chemistry number greater than 1,700, and total undergraduate and graduate annual course enrollments exceed 23,000. The department currently has more than 120 awards from federal, state and private sources for approximately $20 million per annum in extramural funding and $46 million in total annual expenditures.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry manages eight recharge facilities supporting national as well as UCSD-wide research endeavors in academe and industry: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Molecular Mass Spectrometry, Biomolecular and Proteomics Mass Spectroscopy, Inorganic Characterization Instrumentation, Protein Crystallography, Small Molecule X-Ray Crystallography, Fabrication Facility plus the on campus Chemistry Storehouse. In addition, we are home to two national research center grants. The department also manages three major NIH training grants, and one Department of Education training grant, which fund graduate and postdoctoral students across UCSD departments/disciplines as well as off campus research organizations.

Incumbent will assist the Principal Investigator, postdoctoral researchers, and/or graduate students in conducting research and experiments focused on mechanisms by which virulence factors produced by pathogenic microbes interact with host cell targets and thereby modulate host cell behavior during infection. Specifically, the focus will be on devising mechanisms for broad recognition of Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep A) M protein by antibodies. The work will build on the recognition that although M proteins are antigenically sequence variable, many M protein types have a conserved three-dimensional motif for binding human C4BP.

Under general supervision, independently conduct research in biochemistry and molecular biology using a wide variety of non-standard procedures procedures such as PCR, cloning, bacterial cultivation, binding assays, and crystallization techniques. Must be able to analyze results and adapt protocols accordingly. Interact professionally with faculty, postdoctoral scholars, students, collaborators, visiting scholars, and research technicians in laboratory. Assist with lab maintenance and ordering as needed.

  • Must be willing to work with hazardous materials.


  • Theoretical knowledge of Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, or related field generally acquired through a Bachelor’s degree; or an equivalent combination of education and relevant lab experience.

  • Demonstrated experimental experience with PCR, cloning, and transformation techniques.

  • Thorough knowledge of and practice with protein expression using bacterial systems, and analytical methods for assessing protein expression (e.g., SDS-PAGE and Westerns).

  • Demonstrated experience with protein purification, and analytical methods for assessing protein purification.

  • Proven knowledge of and practice with protein-protein interaction assays.

  • Independent research skills with experience in project planning, execution, and analysis, troubleshooting and optimizing computational procedures, and preparing figures and presentations.

  • Proven ability to independently prioritize, follow through on tasks, handle multiple tasks simultaneously and meet deadlines despite frequent interruptions. Excellent organizational skills including ability to keep clear and accurate records, follow written and oral protocols, and give oral presentations on the progress of research.

  • Successful, positive interpersonal oral and written communication skills using tact, diplomacy, discretion, and flexibility with diverse personalities and situations. Ability to communicate effectively one-on-one or in group settings, taking into account differences in social, cultural, professional, and educational backgrounds.

  • Skill to operate a personal computer and demonstrated knowledge of databases, general computer applications, and programs including word processing and spreadsheets. Willingness and ability to update and increase computer skills and knowledge as needed.

  • Knowledge/understanding and at least some experience with Safety Data Sheets, hazard communication and Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Familiarity with a Chemical Hygiene Plan addressing safety precautions including appropriate clothing and shoes, safe handling of chemicals, use of protective items. Willingness and ability to keep safety training current and consistent with research involvement.

  • Ability to record scientific data in a well-organized laboratory notebook. Ability to keep accurate records of experimental procedures and results, to discuss and interpret them, and to prepare relevant oral and written presentations.


  • Background Check is required.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $56,527 - $90,930 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $27.07 - $43.55

Factors in determining the appropriate compensation for a role include experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. The Hiring Pay Scale referenced in the job posting is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position. The Annual Full Pay Range may be broader than what the University anticipates to pay for this position, based on internal equity, budget, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

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

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.

The University of California 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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