Senior Flow Cytometry Specialist

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
La Jolla, CA

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Position serves as the senior flow cytometry specialist, and provides core/lab management support. With guidance and support from the Director of the FCCF core, this position has a primary role as senior specialist for flow cytometry services and related research activities within the core. This position also involves providing assistance with the management of core resources and employees to assure best practices are carried out with respect to core operations, use of sophisticated core equipment and execution of core services. The position provides advanced level support for training and execution of flow cytometry, FACS and cell analysis experiments within the core. Responsibilities include but not limited to: oversight of flow cytometry equipment usage, providing flow cytometry equipment related trainings, providing services and consultations related to flow cytometry projects, consultation with clients on flow cytometry sample prep and custom experimental acquisition protocols, cell sorting and analysis project trouble-shooting, and providing hands-on service to FACS core users. Provides teaching, training and instruction to a broad spectrum of researchers and core users over a wide range of flow cytometry techniques for sample preparation, instrumentation and advanced instrumentation utilization, and data analysis and evaluations. Provides mentorship and guidance to other core staff. This position also has a primary role in flow cytometry equipment maintenance and scheduling repairs, oversight of inventory and ordering, overseeing lab safety protocols and practices, assisting with generation of recharges, and providing relevant support for grant applications, progress reports, and support for the development and design of training programs, workshops, and seminar series when appropriate.


Senior flow cytometry specialist 90%

  • Provides a support role in conjunction with the core director for training and oversight of junior core staff on the proper use of core equipment and resources related to cell sorting and cell analysis on BD FACS platforms. Provides consultation to core clients on sample preparation for all experiments that require either cell sorting or analysis. Supervises and oversees design and preparation, performs the experimental analysis and collaborated with clients on the analysis and preparation of data reports for specialist cell sorting on the cores BD influx and BD Aria fusion cell sorters. Supervises the training and autonomous use of the cores FACS analyzers (BD LSRII, BD Symphony A3, and BD FACS Canto) by core clients, and the execution and analysis of other FACS-based modalities within the core.
  • Provides advanced level instruction and work direction to Institute laboratory staff on FCCF Core Facility instrumentation and procedures used in the all of the FACS methods supported by FCCF Core Facility.
  • Provides support for post acquisition FACS data analysis using FloJo or other analysis software for computational processing of FACS data.
  • Assists where appropriate with the training of facility users in the appropriate use of data analysis packages and methods, data presentation, quantification of data, and experimental techniques used in FCCF Core Facility.
  • Works with the FCCF Core Director in the design, evaluation, and procurement of specialized FACS equipment or related equipment to be used as a shared resource for the FCCF Core Facility.
  • Performs general maintenance of facilities cell sorters and cell analyzers and related support equipment . Coordinates equipment servicing, repairs and preventative maintenance when required. Along with other team members, contributes to general lab duties (e.g. restocking, data back up, scheduling etc.).
  • Develops reference documentation for Core staff and for core clients including equipment usage guides, sample preparation handouts and data analysis guides.
  • Provides expert consultation to core users for the processing of biological specimens and experimental design for downstream cell sorting and/or cell analysis experiments on core instruments, including but not limited to: single cell sorting, single nuclei sorting, multi-parametric cell sorting and analysis, cell sorting into 96-well, 384-well and 1536-well collection plates, sorting and/or analysis of BSL2/BSL2+ cell or tissue samples.
  • Provides consultation to core users on immunocytochemical labeling of tissues and cell cultures using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies for downstream compatibility with the cores instrument portfolio and the experimental goals of the core users.
  • Works with the FCCF Core Director, assists with development of seminars, programs, and training workshops.
  • Provides relevant support for grant applications, progress reports, publications and presentations. Assists Core Director in generating technical content for web or intranet.

Core Manager 10%

  • Supports the FCCF Core Director by providing management and support for operations with the core by maintaining inventory and implementing proper safety protocols, works with Facilities, EH&S, Procurement, Office of Technical Development, and other related departments that work with the FCCF Core Facility.
  • Ensures core facility is in compliance with EH&S protocols and procedures. Ensures safety information is disseminated promptly to all laboratory personnel. Maintains log sheet for controlled substances, checks usage of controlled substances regularly and order supplies as needed.
  • Works with the FCCF Core Director to facilitate access and training to FCCF Core Facility for both internal and external users of the FCCF Core Facility.
  • Provides support for the preparation of monthly invoices for facility user recharges. Provides support to make necessary updates to core data management software system for scheduling and tracking of equipment usage to prepare monthly status reports for Core Director.
  • Provides support and oversight of junior core staff to manage inventory and stock of reagents for methods involving FACS reagents, tissue culture, antibody reagents, buffers, research chemicals, compressed gases, and consumables.



  • BS degree in chemical, biological, biophysical sciences or biomedical engineering.


  • PhD degree or equivalent skill level in computer science, physics, engineering, chemistry or biological sciences.



  • 5 or more years of Flow Cytometry experience, including advanced experience in the operation, troubleshooting and the execution of advanced techniques utilizing a wide range of flow cytometry instrumentation.
  • Experience operating BD Biosciences Diva platforms (e.g. LSRII, X-20, Canto II), Aria platform sorter.
  • Experience with Flow Cytometry analysis software analysis (eg: Flojo, FCS Express)
  • Experience operating Influx cell sorter.
  • Demonstrated experience with general lab maintenance, including cleaning, stocking supply inventory, and ensuring the maintenance of a sterile environment.
  • Experience analyzing and interpreting data. Experience designing new experiments as new techniques are established.
  • Minimum 2 years hands on practical lab experience with flow cytometry sample preparation methods.


  • Experience training and advising staff on research techniques, including writing and editing detailed protocols.
  • Experience operating influx cell sorter
  • Experience in a Core Facility environment.



  • Theoretical knowledge of physics, fluidics, optics, biology, molecular biology, immunochemistry, and
    information technology at the bachelors/masters level, with demonstrated ability to apply theoretical knowledge to practical analysis.
  • Ability to utilize multiple computer/instrument software interfaces, cytometric software and basic computer software. Experience handling and analyzing large complex datasets.
  • Proficiency with operation and maintenance of BD Biosciences Diva platforms (e.g. LSRII, X-20, Canto II), proficiency at operation and maintenance of BD Biosciences Aria platform sorters. Experience running BD Biosciences Influx cell sorter.
  • Ability to design technical and analytic approaches to cytometry based experiments.
  • Demonstrated expertise in flow cytometry data analysis strategies, and strong working knowledge of common flow cytometry data analysis software such as Flow Jo.
  • Familiarity and expertise with antibody staining for cell identity, cell sorting, cell cycle profiling and apoptotic assays
  • Experience in performing experimental protocols unsupervised and in recommending modifications to procedures and protocols to meet the needs of research projects.
  • Ability to contribute to experimental design and assist with the analysis and interpretation of result; experience conducting research studies and performing associated management tasks with minimal supervision.
  • Proven organizational and time management skills to successfully set priorities, meet established deadlines and recognize new problems with constantly changing priorities and frequent interruptions.
  • Strong communication skills (both verbal and written) needed to interact professionally and effectively in the work environment. Ability to read, comprehend, and discuss research materials. Proven ability to write, edit and proofread research results.
  • Skilled at explaining difficult concepts and training users.
  • Ability to diplomatically and professionally communicate with faculty, researchers, institute leadership, industry representatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a rapidly changing environment with continuously evolving priorities and under tight deadlines; ability to quickly assess, direct and implement strategy to produce results.
  • Skill in managing time and fluctuating workloads with a minimum of direction, establishing priorities that accurately reflect the relative importance of varying position responsibilities.
  • Knowledge of standard laboratory management and safety procedures.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with MAC and PC operating systems, standard business office equipment and commonly used software and tools, such as Microsoft Office, electronic mail, and the internet.
  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills include tact, good judgment, diplomacy and flexibility to relate to a diverse group of scientific research staff, faculty, executive management, administrative staff and external contacts.


  • Must be willing to work an adjusted schedule when necessary to support research needs.
  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Successful completion of the Institute’s background investigation.


This position will be constantly reaching, touching/feeling, handling, reading, writing, calculating, reasoning, analyzing, communicating and working inside. 


Working at Salk Institute for Biological Studies

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world's preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused on both discovery and mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

Salk Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is committed to providing equal access to opportunities for students, employees, applicants for employment and other persons.

Our policies prohibit harassment or unlawful discrimination against individuals on the basis of sex, gender, marital or parental status, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, medical conditions/disabilities related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation age, ancestry, color, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), family and/or medical care leave status, disability (mental or physical), registered domestic partner status, legally protected medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status (disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era, other covered veteran status), national origin (including language use restrictions and possession of a driver’s license), race, religion or any other classification protected by local, state or federal laws.

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Reasonable accommodation is available for qualified individuals with disabilities and for individuals with religious restrictions.

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