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Assistant/Associate Project Scientist – Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology and Division of Cardiology

Position overview

Salary range: Salary range for this position is: $71,500 – $82,900 - Assistant Rank
$87,000 - $95,600 - Associate Rank

Application Window

Open date: May 16, 2024

Most recent review date: Friday, May 31, 2024 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: Wednesday, Jul 31, 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 Internal Medicine, Divisions of Cardiology and Gastroenterology & Hepatology, at the University of California Davis, School of Medicine is recruiting for a full-time Project Scientist at the Assistant/Associate rank in molecular biology as it relates to the fields of Cardiology, Gastroenterology & Hepatology. This is joint position with 50% commitment each to the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Dr. Vikrant Rachakonda) and the Division of Cardiology (Dr. Padmini Sirish).

The Project Scientist makes significant and creative contributions to a research or creative project in his/her academic discipline. The appointee possesses the subject matter expertise and the creative energy necessary to function at a high level of competence. The appointee will participate in activities to increase, improve, or upgrade competency in Cardiology and Gastroenterology & Hepatology. Appointees with Project Scientist series may engage in University and public service. They do not have teaching responsibilities. Although the Project Scientist is expected to work independently under the general guidance of an academic member with an independent research program (i.e., Professor, Professional Researcher, etc.), they are not required to develop an independent research program or reputation. The Project Scientist will carry out research or creative programs with supervision by an individual in an academic title that carries with it automatic Principal status. The Project Scientist does not usually serve as a Principal Investigator but may do so by exception.

The incumbent will work under the supervision of Drs. Rachakonda and Sirish and possess the ability to work cooperatively and collegially in a diverse environment.


1) RESEARCH (90% Effort)

Research activity (75%)
The appointee’s primary duties will be split evenly between the labs of Dr. Rachakonda (Gastroenterology & Hepatology) and Dr. Sirish (Cardiology). In Dr. Rachakonda’s lab, the primary duties are to collect and analyze data assessing the role of interleukin-6 trans signaling in alcohol-associated liver disease using in vitro and in vivo approaches from both murine and human samples. The appointee should be able to coordinate clinical and research synergy for this collaborative research, prioritizing lab progress. In the Rachakonda lab, he or she will design and lead innovative research lines centered on interleukin-6 trans signaling in alcohol-related hepatitis. This will involve not only working with murine samples but also interfacing with the UC Davis liver transplant program to collect human transplant samples in real time for hepatocyte and nonparenchymal cell isolation.
In Dr. Sirish’s lab, the primary duties are to perform experiments using human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and generate mouse myocardial infarction models. Duties also include assessing in vivo functional analyses of systolic and diastolic function using echocardiography to determine the fractional shortening, left ventricular wall thickness, dimension and volume and conduct hemodynamic analysis using a four-electrode PV catheter to record chamber volume by impedance and pressure by micromanometry. The candidate will be expected to perform cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) to quantify LV mass and myocardial fibrosis by delayed enhancement (DE) cMRI. She/he will be expected to perform biochemical analyses to examine the effects of the treatment on the plasma brain natriuretic peptide, circulating catecholamine, and angiotensin II levels and perform immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and histological analyses to assess the degree of cardiac inflammation. She/he will be expected to use single cell-based flow cytometric assays to quantify cardiac fibrosis, cell cycle kinetics, and oxidative stress, assess inflammatory cytokines, and chemokines using cytometric bead array assay.

The appointee will help to determine research goals in consultation with the Principal Investigators. The Project Scientist will design specific projects, including the selection of appropriate methods and techniques. In some cases, the appointee may supervise students or technicians regarding the technical aspects of the research, including methods development, trouble-shooting problems, interpreting results and planning follow-up experiments. The appointee collaborates with scientific colleagues in multi-disciplinary projects that include components falling within the appointee’s area of expertise.

Publication (10%)
The appointee will publish research in peer-reviewed journals either independently or in collaboration with the PI or other members of the research team.

Grant Acquisition (5%)
The appointee will assist in writing proposals for funding from federal and state agencies and other funding organizations. The appointee will prepare and assist in the preparation of reports as required by granting agencies and prepare modifications of budgets and other grant components as needed.


The candidate will participate in professional societies and conferences appropriate to his/her specific field of Cardiology and/or Gastroenterology & Hepatology instrumentation and applications and will serve as a reviewer of research proposals and scientific publications as appropriate. The candidate will attend seminars to present research results and may give oral presentations to public and professional interest groups. When appropriate, the candidate may coordinate and/or give presentations at seminars, laboratory meetings or educational functions.


The candidate may give oral presentations to public and professional interest groups. When appropriate, the candidate may coordinate and/or give presentations at community educational events, research seminars, laboratory meetings or other educational functions. Occasional lectures at UC Davis classes related to alcohol-related liver disease and molecular regulation of IL-6 trans signaling.

This recruitment is being conducted at the assistant/associate rank. The resulting hire will be at the assistant/associate rank, regardless of the proposed appointee’s qualifications.

For the full position description and to apply, visit


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• Ph.D. or equivalent degree in Biology
• At least 3-5 years of experience in biology post terminal degree.
• Research experience in Gastroenterology & Hepatology and/or Cardiology
• Evidence of academic accomplishment such as refereed journal papers and conference presentations

Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)

• Experience working with murine samples
• Experience working with single cell-based cytometric assays
• Demonstrated skill in statistical analysis
• Demonstrated strong organizational skills
• Excellent written and oral communication skills

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research

  • 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.

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