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Junior Specialist - Dr. Fink

Recruitment Period

Open date: August 30th, 2019
Last review date: Saturday, Sep 14, 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: 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 Department of Neurology at the University of California, Davis, is seeking a full-time Junior Specialist. The purpose of this position is to provide support, coordination and leadership for research studies of Dr. Kyle Fink. In direct collaboration with the Principle Investigator(s), this position will be involved in interdisciplinary studies focusing on questions in neuroscience and the translation of gene editing/modifying tools for genetically-linked neurological disorders at the Institute for Regenerative Cures at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

Under general supervision, the incumbent will provide assistance in research evaluating gene editing/modifying tools for neurological disorders. This is a critical position that will become integral to the success of the Stem Cell Program and the targeted gene modification studies moving forward. Junior Specialists that are able to assist in the greater research goals and that are capable in assisting our research teams will be critical as our projects advance.
Successful candidates will also participate in the development and testing of novel molecular constructs based on zinc fingers, TALEs, or CRISPR/Cas9 to cause persistent epigenetic changes in gene expression. The constructs will be tested in cell and animal models recapitulating Jordan’s Syndrome. As a member of the research team, work will include construction of molecular clones, RT-qPCR, Westerns, DNA Sequencing (Sanger and next-generation sequencing), cell culture including but not limited to patient-derived iPSC, iPSC-induced neurons, and other neuronal lineages such as cells obtained from Cellular Dynamics, Luhmes, and SH-SY5Y. The candidate will contribute to ongoing in vivo studies involving the testing of behavioral phenotypes and in stereotaxic surgeries.
General responsibilities include: maintenance of patient-derived pluripotent stem cells, differentiation of these cells into neuronal models of the disease, evaluation of disease-related phenotypes in vitro, and assistance in stereotaxic interventions in mouse models of disease. Molecular biological studies needed to design, create, and assess gene modifying tools and techniques. Daily checks of cell culture, maintain human cell cultures (including HEK293, primary human fibroblasts, SHSY-5Y, and other neuronal lineages),plasmid preparation using Qiagen mini, midi, maxi kits, basic cloning protocols, preparation of proteins for Western Blot analysis using ThermoFisher mini gels. Washes, cleans, and sterilizes equipment and supplies, performs facility/lab quality assurance and generally assists grad students, technicians, and investigators in the lab.

The candidate will prepare manuscripts for publications, in collaboration with her/his direct supervisor. Manuscript preparation by the candidate will include reviewing the relevant literature and summarizing these reviews in the introduction, describing results and methods used to acquire the results, presenting and analyzing data obtained by the candidate, constructing clear and informative figures, interpreting the results and discussing how they fit in the current understanding of the field. Depending on whether the candidate is first or middle author of the manuscript in preparation, she/he will contribute these items for most of the manuscript or only the part contributed. The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills; as well as the ability to work well independently and as part of a team.

The purpose of the junior specialist’s involvement in the research project will be to better understand the genetically-linked neurological disorders through the study of cell and animal models . The junior specialist will contribute to the design of the experiments and to creative approaches of troubleshooting scientific challenges as they arise. Through consulting with the PI, the junior specialist’s creativity and scientific curiosity will be strengthened. This experience will bolster the junior specialist's skills and prepare them for entry to a graduate program.

The Junior Specialist will mentor undergraduate students from UC Davis. He/She will actively contribute to lab activities through staff meetings and presentations to colleagues and researchers from various scientific communities.

The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in Cellular & Molecular Biology or a related field with at least 1 year of an internship in a stem cell or related lab, a demonstrated ability to work independently, take initiative, make critical decisions and communicate ideas, in addition to the ability to work occasional weekend hours for management of experiments. Preferred qualifications include Training from the CIRM Stem Cell Bridges Program, hPSC culture training certificate.

For full consideration, applications must be received by September 15, 2019; however, the position will remain open until filled through June 30, 2020. Qualified applicants should apply online at Applicants should submit cover letter, curriculum vitae and contact information 2 references. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files. Please direct questions to Joe Valadez @

UC Davis commits to inclusion excellence by advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see If you need an accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.

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 UCD 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.

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Job location

Sacramento, CA


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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 2 required (contact information only)