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Junior Research Specialist - Nayak Lab

Application Window

Open date: September 8, 2023

Most recent review date: Monday, Feb 26, 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: Saturday, Mar 8, 2025 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

Junior Research Specialist
Microbiome of Rheumatic Diseases

The Nayak Lab ( has an opening for a junior research specialist who is interested in advancing our knowledge of the gut microbiome and its impact on rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. We use multiple state-of-the-art technologies, including bacterial genomics, metabolomics, anaerobic microbiology, bacterial genetics, gnotobiotic animal models, and studies of patient cohorts to elucidate the mechanisms by which gut microbiota impact patient response to treatment of rheumatic disease. A major driving force of the lab is the advancement of precision medicine for patients with rheumatic disease.

The candidate will contribute to new and ongoing projects in the lab. The candidate will use or learn a variety of techniques in anaerobic microbiology, microbial genomics, analytical chemistry, molecular biology, cell culture, mouse work, computational analysis, and immunology. Additionally, the specialist will be expected to assist with managing day-to-day lab operations, perform general lab duties, and be a positive lab citizen. Candidates will be expected to work independently and be active contributors to the collaborative multidisciplinary team of microbiologists, immunologists, and computational biologists. The successful candidate will report directly to Dr. Renuka Nayak, MD, PhD but will work closely with collaborators within and outside of the group. An exceptional candidate will lead their own independent project, develop new ideas, be familiar with the literature, and participate in procurement of funds, where appropriate. Candidates interested in pursuing MD, PhD, or MD/PhD. training will benefit most from this laboratory experience.

Required Qualifications:
• Excellent organizational and interpersonal communication skills (verbal and written).
• Willingness and ability to learn new methods and skills for changing research priorities.
• Ability to work independently and as a member of a research team.
• Ability to prioritize tasks, coordinate work tasks with others, and meet multiple deadlines.
• Familiarity with standard wet lab techniques (e.g. preparation of reagents/chemicals, basic microbiology, tissue culture, PCR, western blot, DNA/RNA purification) and/or computational analysis of large datasets.
• Must have (or be in process of obtaining) a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent degree) or four years of research experience.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Prior experience with handling pathogenic microbes, aseptic techniques
• Prior experience in high throughput sequencing and analysis
• Prior experience in mass spectrometry or other analytical chemistry approaches
• Prior experience in flow cytometry or other immune profiling methods
• Prior experience in the design and assembly of DNA constructs
• Prior experience in bacterial genome manipulation
• Prior experience working with mice

We are seeking at least a 2-year commitment. Depending on performance and workload, opportunities for independent research, mentorship of other trainees, and scientific writing will be available. Applicants must meet requirements by the time of appointment.

The Nayak Lab is located at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, perched atop Land’s End and overlooking the San Francisco Bay. We are a part of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Center for Microbiome Medicine (BCMM), enabling engagement with a rich community of investigators and access to cutting-edge resources for promoting microbiome research.

Please apply online at Applicants’ materials must list current and/or pending qualifications upon submission.

See Table 24B for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $51,300-$54,600.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - CV must clearly list current and/or pending qualifications (e.g. board eligibility/certification, medical licensure, etc.).

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Please see the following page for more details:

  • Misc / Additional (Optional)

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

About UC San Francisco

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

UC San Francisco seeks candidates whose experience, teaching, research, or community service 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