Research Assistant I, Molecular and Cell Biology, Dr. O'Shea

Job Details


We are seeking a highly motivated Research Assistant (early or established stage) with a strong interest in one or more of the following: 1) development of oncolytic viruses using an adenovirus-based platform, 2) research in DNA damage response pathway upon viral infection, and 3) developing human organoids derived from induced-human pluripotent stem cell (iPSC).

Our group develops and applies state-of-the-art viral genome engineering and editing tools, and deep microscopy studies to address fundamental unanswered biological questions with therapeutic relevance at the forefront of virology and molecular biology research. Our laboratory is equipped to conduct virology experiments at BioSafety Level (BSL) 1 and 2. The Research Assistant will assist a senior lab member in the development of novel tools designed to facilitate novel therapeutic applications. The Research Assistant will perform molecular and cellular biology and virology experiments including cell culture, DNA transfection, virus transduction, protein, DNA and RNA expression studies, cloning, flow cytometry, and microscopy. Additional data analysis tasks will include quantification of imaging, validation of flow cytometry data, DNA sequencing and interpretation of protein expression data. Prior experience with wet lab techniques is highly preferred. The Research Assistant will be trained to design and conduct molecular and cellular biology, and virology studies.


  • Lab Support (5%)
    1. Preparation of reagents and research chemicals
    2. Stocking and organizing incoming lab supplies
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology and Virology (75%)
    1. Mammalian cell culture
    2. DNA, RNA, and protein isolation
    3. Plasmid generation by DNA cloning
    4. Protein analysis by Western Blot
    5. Microscopy
    6. Infecting cells with adenovirus (BSL1/2)
  • Data processing (20%)
    1. Quantification of microscopy images
    2. Quantification of flow cytometry data
    3. Validation of sequence data
    4. Statistical analyses of experimental results
    5. Data presentation


Prior experience in a laboratory setting required

Required techniques

  • Agarose gel electrophoresis
  • Western blot
  • PCR
  • Mammalian cell culture
  • Cloning

Preferred techniques

  • Flow Cytometry
  • Microscopy



  • Bachelor or Master degree in Biology, Chemistry or Virology


  • Undergraduate coursework in biology, virology, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, or chemistry



  • Punctual, meticulous and rigorous in completing assigned tasks
  • Records all details of the work accurately
  • Driven to learn new techniques (dry lab and wet lab)
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams across the department
  • Knowledge and experience with PC and Mac operating systems, standard business office equipment and commonly used software and tools, such as Microsoft Office, electronic mail, and the internet


  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in researching information and analyzing data to arrive at valid conclusions
  • Ability to learn and carry out new experimental procedures with accuracy and efficiency
  • Demonstrated ability to follow verbal and/or written protocols
  • Skilled in the operation and maintenance of various lab equipment
  • Proven organizational and time management skills to successfully set priorities, meet established deadlines and recognize new problems with changing priorities and interruptions
  • Highly organized, effective at multitasking and adept at juggling changing priorities
  • Proven ability to work both independently and as part of a collaborative team
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with diverse groups
  • Demonstrated skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships


  • Must be willing to work in a virus-related research environment
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation
  • Must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement


The position will requires constantly grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, reading, communicating, reasoning, writing, and working indoors.


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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