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Specialist - Li Lab

Position overview

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $83,100 - $173,900.

Application Window

Open date: May 19, 2023

Most recent review date: Friday, Jun 30, 2023 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, Apr 30, 2024 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.

Position description

The Department of Biochemistry and Biomolecular Medicine at the University of California Davis, School of Medicine is recruiting for a Specialist at the Full rank in peptide nucleic acid (PNA)-based drug delivery for cancer immunotherapy.

The position of Specialist has a narrow focus in a specialized area and provides technical or specialized expertise in the planning and execution of a research project. The Specialist stays apprised of emerging issues and problems and maintains technical competence in the designated area(s) of specialization. Within this defined area and when appropriate, the Specialist is expected to provide leadership, facilitate teamwork, and develop collaborative relationships with colleagues and to supply input into the planning of research and educational programs. Normally, Specialists do not have Principal Investigator (PI) status but may obtain permission by exception and/or collaborate with a PI in preparing research proposals for extramural funding. The Specialist is evaluated for merit and promotion using three basic criteria outlined below.

The incumbent will work under the supervision of Dr. Yuanpei Li and the ability to work cooperatively and collegially in a diverse environment.

1) RESEARCH (90%)
A. This position requires creative scientific contributions to an ongoing research program in cancer immunotherapeutics and drug discovery by using nanotechnology. The position will be required to assist PI in designing and conducting experiments to fabricate multifunctional PNA nanoscaffolds for cancer therapy and imaging in animal models. In many cases, the appointee will be required to provide technical support for either investigators or students within Dr. Li’s lab regarding the technical aspects of the research including method development, troubleshooting problems, interpreting results, and planning follow-up experiments.
Evaluation of the appointee’s performance in research activities or in outreach activities as deemed applicable to the individual project in specialized areas, as documented by any of the following:
i. Publications that acknowledge the Specialist’s significant and meaningful contribution to the work.
ii. Publications on which Specialist is a co-author
iii. Other evidence (e.g. letters from collaborators or principal investigators) that work done by the Specialist contributed to publishable research.
iv. Active dissemination of information (beyond the boundaries of the campus through informal instruction, presentations, or other means stemming from the Specialist’s research accomplishments.
v. Other evidence of recognized expertise may include formal documentation of intellectual effort and participation in publishable research activities, first authorship on publications/patents, presentation of research at regional/national meetings, invitations to review grant proposals, and/or service on advisory panels.
B. Serve as a research coordinator for the immuno-nanotherapeutic project. Responsible for ensuring uninterrupted communication between individual laboratories, data management, and preparation of reports tailored to meet the needs of individual collaborators.


A. Participate in appropriate professional/technical societies or groups and other educational and research organizations.
B. Review research proposals, journal manuscripts, and publications related to area of expertise.


A. May maintain liaison and respond to the needs of various industry organizations, state and federal agencies, and other external groups on issues related to area of expertise.
B. Participate in activities of committees within the department, college, campus, and other University entities, as appropriate.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• A Ph.D. in cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry or related fields, or a Master’s degree plus five years’ experience in the area of specialization.
• At least 5 years of experience in peptide and peptide nucleic acid synthesis, nanotechnology, live-cell/small animal imaging, and animal study.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

• Experience with the solid-phase synthesis of PNA and peptides.
• Experience with the chemical characterization of PNA and peptides.
• Experience in animal studies related to cancer immunotherapy.
• Experience in live-cell imaging and small animal imaging, especially NIR imaging and MR imaging.
• Experience in the studies of signaling transduction pathways.

Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)
  • Demonstrated strong organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, take initiative, make critical decisions, communicate, and work cooperatively with colleagues.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Curriculum vitae with bibliogrpahy

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research Experience and Academic Trajectory - Please upload 2-4 pages.

  • 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
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)
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Campus Information

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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:

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 UC Davis positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available at:

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