Skip to main content

Jr. Specialist, La Merrill Lab , Dept of ETOX, UC Davis

Recruitment Period

Open date: July 22nd, 2019

Last review date: Friday, Jan 24, 2020 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: Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020 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.


The La Merrill Lab (PI - Dr. Michele A. La Merrill) in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at the University of California, Davis is currently seeking a Junior Specialist, 100% time for duration of 6 months with the potential to extend up to an additional 12 months upon satisfactory progress.
Upon approval of the Search Plan in UC-Recruit, the position will be opened for 15-days and screening of applicants is will start thereafter.


We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to assist in laboratory and husbandry work within the La Merrill Lab (

Under the direction and advisement of the Dr. Michele A. La Merrill (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Phum Tachachartvanich (member) the candidate will:


I. Research in specialized areas (90%)
The Junior Specialist will work with Drs. La Merrill and Tachachartvanich to design, conduct and interpret research experiments evaluating the role of environmental chemical exposure in risk of metabolic and endocrine diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and breast cancer. This effort will include the following activities:

• Develop experimental designs and protocols to successful implement them while following strict quality assurance and safety guidelines
• Critically read scientific literature to inform cutting-edge and best practice research protocols
• Calibrate and use thermometers, scales, and MRI and infrared imagers to evaluate toxicity
• Assist with purchasing and inventory of equipment and supplies for experiments
• Gather, prepare, and label supplies, datasheets, and reagents for experiments including stock solutions and dilutions of hazardous chemicals
• Record data clearly and completely on paper datasheets and Excel spreadsheets
• Perform cell culture and immunoprecipitation experiments while maintaining records of these activities
• Collect biological material and evaluate metabolic and endocrine toxicity (e.g. blood lipid and insulin assays, obesity and energy expenditure, and mammary gland and tumor morphology)
• Properly dispose of hazardous substances used in experiments
• Clean and sterilize supplies used in experiments
• Keep management appraised of problems encountered including failed tests, testing delays and substandard calibrations
• Test hypotheses using statistical techniques including the use of ANOVAs and t-tests
• Generate graphs and summary tables for presentations and publications
• Present data generated in ongoing experiments at weekly lab meetings
• Assist in the maintenance of safe laboratory working conditions by following all laboratory safety procedures, wearing all necessary protective clothing, identifying potential hazards and bringing them to the attention of the laboratory supervisor

II. Professional Competence (5%)
The Junior Specialist will participate in the development of scientific products for dissemination. This includes contributions to conference posters (e.g. Gordon Research Conference), attendance at local conferences and meetings (such as those hosted by the CaliforniaEPA), and publication of peer reviewed journal articles (e.g. those in toxicology and public health areas).

III. University and Public Service (5%)
• Provide mentorship for undergraduate students and scientists working in the La Merrill laboratory and collaborators laboratories on techniques and procedures above

• Participate in the development of written reports and oral presentations to the CalEPA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment for their evaluation of risk of exposures in California.


• Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology
• Must be able to see and identify reagents and live animals
• Must be able to lift 5-10 pounds at length
• Knowledge of biology and animal science
• Skills to carry out repetitive laboratory experiments with close attention to detail and limited supervision
• Skills to pipette small volumes and perform serial dilutions
• Ability to calculate chemical concentrations and dilutions
• Record keeping skills to accurately record detailed research data collected throughout studies.

• Skills to work with numerous chemicals having varying degrees of toxicity
• Experience using software such as Word, Excel, Graphpad Prism, and other computer programs
• Experience in cell culture and western blotting


• Prior experience with rodent research
• Experience working with research collaborators
• Interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
• Overall university GPA of at least 3.25

SALARY RANGE: Step I - $39,500 annually

TERM OF APPOINTMENT: 100% for 6 months (starting latest October 1, 2019) with the potential for extension up to 12 months upon satisfactory progress.
TO APPLY: To apply, please go to the following link: Applicants should submit the following:

  1. Cover letter indicating how you meet the minimum and desirable qualifications
  2. Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  3. Transcripts and
  4. References: contact information for 2-3 recent references. All letters of recommendation, if requested, will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files.

QUESTIONS: Please direct questions to Rachel Geier via email to

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, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available

UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.

2019 Forbes Award: Best Employers for Diversity 2019 Forbes Award: America

Job location

Davis, CA


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

  • Cover Letter

  • Transcripts

Reference requirements
  • 2-3 required (contact information only)