Skip to main content

Mills Lab Junior Specialist

Recruitment Period

Open date: January 24th, 2019
Last review date: Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: Friday, May 31, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Professor David A. Mills, at the University of California, Davis, Department of Food Science and Technology, is seeking to fill a 100% time, Step 1 Junior Specialist to join our research team studying the gut microbiome. Our team is interested in understanding the relationship between gut health and diet. Specifically, our research focuses on the fundamental biology of keystone bacteria that colonize animal gastrointestinal tracts. Outcomes of our research includes translatable therapies, diagnostics and tools that maintain and promote gut health and prevent microbial imbalances associated with disease.

As part of our team, the successful candidate will contribute to scholarly manuscripts by being involved in several projects that use in-vitro gut fermentation models to understand the interaction between novel fibers and gut microbes. This work is expected to result in a number of manuscripts related to the research topic. He/she will be trained to use the following techniques to address our research questions: sample organization, anaerobic culture techniques, DNA extractions from feces and other environmental samples, qPCR, PCR, PCR product purification, in vitro digestion assays, assembly and operation of bioreactors. As the junior specialist will be consulted during study design, candidates are expected to have previous experience in biotechnology, microbiology and molecular biology. Specifically plating methods for bacterial propagation, enumeration and isolation of bacterial species, in-vitro fermentations, DNA extractions, PCR and bacterial cloning. Significant experience in microbiological sterile technique with a preference for experience with anaerobic bacterial work is expected. The successful candidate needs to have excellent communication and organizational skills, learn quickly, work independently after initial training, be meticulous and alert, and be comfortable with automatic, repetitive tasks. The successful candidate must also be comfortable with working with human and animal fecal samples. In addition to research, the junior specialist will mentor undergraduate volunteers, training them in basic laboratory tasks related to the research projects they are working on. The junior specialist will present results at the weekly Mills Lab meeting and if the results warrant, the junior specialist may have the opportunity to attend and present research they were involved in at the Host-Microbe Interactions Annual Retreat at Granlibakken. In regards to manuscript preparation, the junior specialist will provide input on methodology and any data analysis they contributed to.

• B.S. in microbiology, molecular biology, food science or other related fields.
• Thorough experience in basic laboratory practices including sterile technique, serial dilutions, plating, pipetting, etc.
• Experience in environmental DNA extractions and PCR.

• Comfortable working extensively with biological human and animal samples.
• Comfortable communicating with a diverse group of collaborators, including professors, staff researchers, and graduate students.
• Be able to lift 30 pounds to chest height.

• Thorough experience in in-vitro fermentations, including experimental design, assembly and operation of bioreactors.
• Plating methods for propagation, enumeration and isolation of bacterial species
• Ideally, anaerobic bacteriological techniques
• Bacterial cloning
• Good communication orally and in writing
• Standard/safe laboratory practices

• Punctual and open to flexible schedules
• Concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted
• Maintain organized and detailed lab notebook
• Create and maintain organized spreadsheets
• Work with a diverse group of scientists

• Ergonomic hazards including repetitive motions, crushing or pinching injuries, standing for long periods.
• Exposure to hazardous laboratory chemicals.
• Exposure to handling live animals.

Job location

Davis, Ca


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

How to apply

  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information
Get started: press Apply Now