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Research associate (Junior Specialist) position available in cancer research at the University of California, San Francisco

Recruitment Period

Open date: February 22nd, 2019

Last review date: Wednesday, May 1, 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: Saturday, Aug 22, 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.


Research associate (Junior Specialist) position available in cancer research at the University of California, San Francisco

Availability: Summer/Fall 2019

Description: We are currently seeking two highly qualified candidates as research associates (Junior Specialists) in the Dept. of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. The positions will be under the direction of Arun Wiita, MD, PhD. Our lab focuses on both quantitative proteomics and studying bench to bedside applications in multiple myeloma, the second most common blood cancer in the United States.

The first role will focus on conducting preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies of therapeutic small molecules and immunotherapies in myeloma as well as basic molecular biology relating to studies in this disease. Techniques to be used include basic molecular and cell biology (cloning, Westerns, qPCR, etc.), cell culture, microscopy, and drug screening. Additional techniques to be applied include RNA-seq and mass spectrometry-based proteomics, in which the Wiita lab has significant expertise. This role will work in close collaboration with the clinical myeloma service at UCSF, one of the largest such programs in the country.

The second role will focus on two major goals: 1) assisting in protein and antibody engineering efforts within the lab, with the goal of developing novel immunotherapies for preclinical studies; 2) managing proteomic collaborations with our groups at UCSF. Techniques to be used include standard molecular biology, protein expression/purification, mass spectrometry-based proteomics, and bioinformatics/computational biology.

The ideal candidate for both positions will be proficient in a highly collaborative environment, working with academic research groups and myeloma clinicians as well as with biotech industry partners. Additional responsibilities will include some lab managerial duties such as order tracking, laboratory organization, etc. These positions are optimal for talented recent college graduates with the goal of attending medical or graduate school in two years. Extensive opportunities are available for participating in abstracts and publications. Prior post-undergraduate trainees in our group have published first-author papers and moved on to top-tier graduate schools. Candidates should have a strong interest in directly improving patient care through their research, broadening their biology training with expertise in cutting-edge “omics” methodologies, and gaining experience in preclinical therapeutic development in cancer.

Qualifications: Qualified applicants will hold a BA, BS, or equivalent from a Dept. of Biology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, or similar by the time of appointment. Strong prior laboratory research experience as an undergraduate is required. For both positions, experience in standard molecular biology techniques as listed above is preferred but not required. For position 1, experience with mammalian cell culture and/or in vitro drug screening is preferred, though not required. Experience with “omics” techniques and associated data analysis are preferred for the both position, though not required. Experience with protein expression/purification and computational analysis and associated bioinformatics is preferred but not required for the second position. A two-year commitment is required for both positions.

Environment: The University of California, San Francisco is a premier academic medical center excelling in both clinical care and basic science research. The first position is affiliated with the UCSF Stephen and Nancy Grand Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative, a collaborative network of research labs and clinicians at UCSF. The Wiita lab in the Dept. of Laboratory Medicine is a multidisciplinary research group offering extensive opportunities for training. Our interests span mechanistic biology in genetic disease and cancer, translational research and drug development in hematologic malignancies, and new technology development combining mass spectrometry-based proteomics, chemical biology, and genome engineering.

Funding: The Wiita lab is currently funded by a New Innovator Award from the NIH, a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the National Cancer Institute, a translational research grant from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and philanthropic funds from the UCSF Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative. Two years of salary and benefit funding associated with this position is guaranteed.

Applicant Instructions:
Well-qualified applicants must send a CV and two references (contact information only) to:

For more information, contact:
Arun Wiita, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
UCSF Dept. of Laboratory Medicine

UC San Francisco seeks candidates whose experience, teaching, research, or community service that has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. 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.

Job location

San Francisco, CA


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

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity (Optional)

  • Misc / Additional (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 2 required (contact information only)