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Research Assistant I - Plant Biology Laboratory, Dr. Julie Law

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
La Jolla, CA
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Job Details

The Law lab focused on chromatin and gene regulation and the CRoPS project aims to leverage these processes to develop crop plants that sequester more carbon via extensive root systems containing recalcitrant carbon polymers to fight climate change. A major component of this research is to conduct genetic and genomic analysis for understanding traits relevant for plant improvements.

The Research Asst I will work closely with a Research Asst III or Post Doctoral fellow, and other members of the CRoPS project and the Law laboratory to preform various molecular biology and microscopy techniques in support of research projects aimed and understanding gene regulation at the genetic and epigenetic levels. The RAI will work in a team responsible for (1) phenotyping Arabidopsis thaliana lines of interest (2) screening, genotyping, and maintaining plant lines (3) designing constructs to assess gene function and expression and (4) staining and preparing plant samples for various types of microscopy.


 (100%) Research and Lab Support

  • Prepare solutions, reagents, and media plates.
  • Grow and maintain plant lines.
  • Genotype reporter and mutant lines.
  • Under supervision, assist in designing novel constructs and optimize cloning strategies.
  • Assess the expression of reporter lines via staining, imaging, and/or western blotting.
  • Screen mutants and inducible plant lines for desired traits.
  • Organize plant lines & construct
  • Record and analyze all data and observations in appropriate electronic lab notebook
  • Prepare technical reports, summaries, protocols and quantitative analyses, ensuring experiments are well documented.
  • Collaborate with and discusses results with the rest of the research
  •  No professional experience required with relevant degree


  • Previous experience in biological research, ideally with Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Demonstrated experience and application of molecular biology knowledge, specifically with plant development and molecular genetics.
  • Demonstrated experience with confocal
  • Demonstrated experience with plant
  • Demonstrated experience in sample preparation: staining, embedding, slicing
  • Demonstrated experience with routine molecular biology skills: primer design, PCR, qPCR, molecular cloning, DNA/RNA extractions, bacterial transformation, and plasmid DNA extraction.
  • Demonstrated experience in basic coding


  •  Bachelor degree in Biological Sciences


  •  Understands operation of basic lab
  • Ability to perform routine, repetitive
  • After initial instruction, ability to follow directions and perform repetitive
  • Ability to communicate required information and keep accurate records of work performed.
  • Proven ability to work both independently and also as part of a collaborative
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including tact, diplomacy, and
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with diverse groups. Demonstrated skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with personnel at all
  •  Experience in plant research
  • Computer skills
  • Experience with microscopy
  •  Must be willing to work an adjusted schedule to support research.
  • Successful completion of the Institute's background.
  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.


This position requires constant handling, seeing, sitting and talking. 


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.

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

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

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