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Junior Specialist in Uterine & Pregnancy Biology-Zhang Lab

Position overview

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $51,300 at step 1, or $54,600 at step 2.

Application Window

Open date: April 29, 2024

Most recent review date: Wednesday, May 29, 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: Tuesday, Dec 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 Physiology & Membrane Biology at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, seeks to hire a Junior Specialist in Dr. Elisa Zhang’s lab. This position will be involved in interdisciplinary studies focusing on questions in reproductive, gynecologic, and stem cell and developmental biology.

The Junior Specialist has the general duties of working closely with the Principal Investigator (PI) in the planning and execution of research projects. The junior specialist may assist in data collection, entry and quality control, study design and implementation, literature reviews and data analysis for preparation of manuscripts or conference presentations, and writing conference abstracts and manuscripts (e.g., methods and results sections, table, and figure generation) for a particular project.

The incumbent will work under the supervision of Dr. Elisa Zhang and work cooperatively and collegially in a diverse environment.

Successful candidates are expected to participate in three major categories of activities listed below:

The incumbent will collaborate with other research personnel affiliated with research activities investigating stem cells and development, with a focus on the uterus and pregnancy as models of tissue physiology and organogenesis. The overarching goal of the Zhang Lab is to improve the basic science understanding of topics relevant to gynecologic and reproductive health. These topics include embryo implantation and placental development, stem cell-driven regeneration of the uterus during the menstrual/estrous cycle and following injury (e.g. C-section), and systemic physiological changes during and following pregnancy.

Experimental procedures performed by the Junior Specialist will include mouse colony management (incl. tagging and genotyping), tissue sectioning and immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence, confocal and light sheet imaging and quantitative image analysis, single-cell RNA-seq, as well as 2D cell line and 3D organoid culture (incl. maintaining stocks of lines). Other techniques that may be carried out by the Junior Specialist include spatial transcriptomics, in situ hybridization (RNAScope), PCR and gel electrophoresis, immunoprecipitation, Western blot, and plasmid DNA cloning and purification. The Specialist with work with the PI on experimental design but will be expected to carry out research projects independently with the expectation that their results will lead to publication. As such, the Specialist is required to have the skills needed to lead projects that will produce rigorously acquired, high-quality data. The position also includes contributions to general lab duties.

This position also involves presenting and participating in group meetings, reviewing journal articles, engaging in scholarly discussions of research, critical and creative thinking, and providing mentorship to more junior colleagues. Additionally, the position also requires careful attention to detail, including accurate and reproducible data analysis and faithful documentation of results. The ideal candidate will be highly motivated, eager to learn, and adaptable. In addition, the ideal candidate will have strong logistical and time-management skills, be able to prioritize projects, exhibit perseverance and self-improvement through challenges, and be willing to work collaboratively with other team members and with outside laboratories.

The Junior Specialist will have the opportunity to attend conferences, participate in departmental and other relevant seminar series, journal clubs, and other pertinent activities.

The Junior Specialist may be expected to provide mentorship to undergraduate research assistants that rotate through the lab. They will be expected to participate and contribute to laboratory and group meetings, and other activities, as applicable.

*This recruitment is conducted at the junior rank. The resulting hire will be at the junior rank regardless of the proposed appointee’s qualifications.

To apply, please go to the following link: JPF06457. This position will remain open until filled.

Qualified applicants should submit:
• 1-page cover letter detailing reasons why the candidate would be a strong fit for this position
• CV
• Unofficial Transcripts
• Contact information for 3 references


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• Bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences (e.g. Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Immunology, or a related discipline). Degree must be awarded before start date.
• Outstanding organizational skills and accurate record keeping capabilities
• Strong interpersonal and decision-making skills
• Strong quantitative skills required for accurate mathematical calculations and for data analysis
• Excellent written and oral communication skills
• Experience with laboratory safety and willingness to adhere to EH&S hazardous biological and chemical safety requirements
• A commitment to follow all laboratory standard operating procedures, proactively identify and address issues and/or troubleshoot with other laboratory personnel when necessary

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

• >2 years of part- and/or full-time experience in laboratory research
• Experience with 2D mammalian cell culture or 3D organoid culture
• Experience with mammalian tissue processing, i.e., cryopreservation, sectioning, and imaging
• Experience with rodent handling, including injections
• Ability to perform transcardial perfursions
• Experience with coding in R
• Experience serving as a mentor or teaching assistant to undergraduates

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • Unofficial Transcripts

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

Davis, Ca