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CDI Junior or Assistant Specialist

Application Window

Open date: December 15, 2023

Most recent review date: Monday, Apr 15, 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: Sunday, Jun 15, 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

CDI Junior or Assistant Specialist

We are seeking an enthusiastic Junior/Assistant Specialist interested in gaining experience in synthetic biology and cell engineering. Under the direction of Professor Wendell Lim, the specialist will apply cutting-edge approaches to develop next generation cell therapies, including smart immune cells designed to recognize and kill cancer cells or to treat other challenging diseases. The selected candidate will contribute to a team in the performance of laboratory and investigative procedures by conducting a variety of experimental techniques such as molecular cloning, cell culture (cell lines and primary cells), flow cytometry, and ELISA-like assays. The successful candidate will receive detailed technical training and will execute cellular assays to collect, analyze and compile data in support of our research. 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. This is an outstanding opportunity for a highly motivated candidate seeking in-depth experience in cutting-edge biomedical research.

Our mission is to support the development of the next generation of cellular therapies. We engage in translational research in partnership with research groups at UCSF to develop cutting-edge engineered immune cell therapeutics and prepare them for the clinic, as well as develop novel cell technologies for future therapeutic solutions for disorders such as cancer and autoimmunity.

Learn more about our research here:

Representative Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Assist scientists by performing various investigative procedures and operating a variety of instruments and other scientific equipment. Examples of equipment routinely used are: a. Plate readers for absorbance or luminescence-based assays, b. microscopes for live cell functional studies, c. PCR machines for gene amplification and cloning d. Flow cytometers and cell sorters for single cell analysis and isolation
  2. Collect, record, organize and verify the accuracy of data; perform calculations and prepare charts, graphs, and reports. May use software applications to assemble, manipulate and/or format data and test reports.
  3. Configure and operate laboratory apparatus and instruments; read and record instrument data; tabulate data; keep laboratory records.
  4. May order chemicals, reagents, and other laboratory supplies.
  5. Participate in laboratory meetings and planning sessions.
  6. May maintain bacterial and tissue cultures for experimental purposes.
  7. Read literature applicable to research areas as required.
  8. Perform the duties of a Laboratory Assistant as required.

Organizational Scope and Impact of Position
Contributes to research results on an on-going basis. Usually conducts routine aspects of research projects. Influences short range and limited scope activities. Errors, though potentially significant, are usually limited in scope due to close supervision of individual.

Interactions with Others
Organizes projects within workload to ensure goals are met. Meets routinely with
supervisor. Contributes to common laboratory tasks and maintenance of shared reagents and materials. Able to train others in specialized tasks within their own area of expertise.


  • 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.
  • Must have (or be in process of obtaining) a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent degree) or four years of research experience to be appointed at the Junior rank.
  • Must have (or be in process of obtaining) a master’s degree (or equivalent degree) or a bachelor’s degree with three or more years of research experience to be appointed at the Assistant rank.


  • Experience in the design and assembly of DNA constructs (including modern molecular cloning techniques like Golden Gate or Gibson Assembly).
  • Experience with viral vectors, transposon vectors and/or CRISPR genome integration techniques for genetic engineering.
  • Experience with culture of mammalian cells, including tumor cell lines, primary immune cells (e.g., T cells) and/or stem cells.
  • Experience in flow cytometry and cell sorting.
  • Experience with animal experiments, including mouse tumor models (subcutaneous and intravenous injection).
  • Experience in immunology assays, such as cytotoxicity, cytokine secretion and general in vitro functional measurements of T cells.
  • Experience in fluorescence microscopy and imaging data analysis.

Knowledge/Understanding/Skills & Abilities:

  • Generally experienced in laboratory duties, including both principles and practices associated with these duties and an understanding of the underlying scientific principles.
  • Ability to draft routine reports and keep accurate records of work performed.
  • Actively seeks opportunities to increase skills and expertise.
  • Able to learn complex tasks with general instruction. Able to use experience to perform a variety of new techniques.
  • Candidates must meet the qualifications at the time of hire. Candidate’s CV and/or cover letter must state basic qualification (or if pending) upon submission.

Physical Requirements:

  • Occasionally lifts and/or carries objects weighing up to 20 pounds.
  • Occasionally stoops and bends.
  • Occasionally reaches and grasps with arms and hands.
  • Work involves possible exposure to malodorous vapors, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of carcinogenic substances.
  • Long periods of standing and/or sitting.

Please apply online at, with a CV, cover letter, and three references.

See Table 24B for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $51,300-$65,900.

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

  • Misc / Additional (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 3 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