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Junior Specialist - The Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine

20 Jun 2018 9:33 PM | Anonymous

The Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, seeks to hire a full-time employee as a Junior Specialist to perform research functions in the laboratory of Professor Henry Ho to investigate noncanonical Wnt signaling during embryonic tissue development.

The Junior Specialist hired for this position will be involved in interdisciplinary studies focusing on questions in vertebrate embryonic development, tissue formation, and human structural birth defects. The candidate must have a Bachelor degree in Cell Biology or related fields with a minimum of two years of research experience in a laboratory setting (must have a degree by June 30, 2018). The Junior Specialist will collaboratively and creatively conduct experiments using genetics, molecular biology, protein biochemistry, mammalian cell cultures and mouse models. Other general responsibilities include: reviewing journal articles and engaging in discussions on research and the interpretation of research results; participating and presenting in department- and campus-wide seminars, as well as at national and international research conferences; reviewing research proposals, journal manuscripts, and publications related to areas of Wnt signaling, mammalian tissue morphogenesis, and human structural birth defects. The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills, as well as the ability to work well independently and as part of a team.

Research (80% EFFORT)

The Junior Specialist is expected to work closely with the Principle Investigator (PI) to carry out experiments to investigate the role of Kif26a and Kif26b proteins in the Wnt5a-Ror signaling pathway during mammalian tissue morphogenesis. The specific roles and duties include the generation of Kif26a and Kif26b mutant mice, the analysis and characterization of the Kif26a and Kif26b mutant mouse phenotypes, the analysis of Kif26a and Kif26b gene expression patterns during mouse embryonic development, and the generation and characterization of novel Kif26a polyclonal antibodies. All of the findings from these experiments will be presented in national and international conferences and published as peer-reviewed research article(s) in internationally recognized scientific journals.

The Junior Specialist is expected to study the current literature and attend scientific conferences, think critically and creatively, and meet with the PI on a regular basis (at least twice a week) to formulate research hypothesis and design experiments. The Junior Specialist will be responsible for executing experiments, collecting and interpreting the results first independently, and then meeting with the PI to discuss the results and conclusions. The Junior Specialist will formulate future hypotheses based on the obtained data, and design/revise future experimental plans in consultation with the PI.

The Junior Specialist is expected to gain a strong knowledge base on Wnt-Ror signaling, Kif26a and Kif26b proteins, and mammalian tissue morphogenesis through independent study and literature reading. Through these exercises, the Junior Specialist will identify the caps in knowledge in the field, generate new hypotheses, and collaboratively design the most informative and creative experiments to test the hypotheses. The Junior Specialist will study and understand the rationales behind experimental procedures, creatively tailor the protocols to our specific experimental conditions. The Junior Specialist will also independently and creatively troubleshoot any technical hurdles that may be encountered during the experiments. In many cases, the Junior Specialists will also be expected to design and carry out completely new experimental procedures.

The Junior Specialist will outline and write the manuscript with supervision from the PI. The Junior Specialist will also prepare figures and tables for the manuscript. The Junior Specialist will meet with the PI to discuss any necessary revisions and then modify the manuscripts accordingly.

The Junior Specialist will write the majority of the manuscript and critically and creatively interpret and discuss the findings in the context of the current literature in the field. In the manuscript, the Junior Specialist will articulate the significance of the work and describe logically how the work helps move the field forward. Scientific and scholarly review of the literature will be performed through public databases, such as PubMed.

The Junior Specialist will present research results in formal lab meetings, in departmental seminars including Research in Progress and iBIO: Integrated Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series, other relevant campus-wide research seminars, and at international scientific conferences.

PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE AND ACTIVITY (10% EFFORT) The Junior Specialist will give oral or poster presentations at international scientific conferences, such as the annual Wnt meetings and the Santa Cruz Developmental Biology Conference. They will also participate in all other associated activities at the conference, such as career workshops. The Junior Specialist will be a member of the Wnt society and/or the American Society for Cell Biology.

UNIVERSITY AND PUBLIC SERVICE (10% EFFORT) The Ho lab has an undergraduate researcher and will recruit additional ones in the coming year. The Junior Specialist is expected t undergraduate students. The Junior Specialist will also share expertise in mouse genetics and protein biochemistry with other research groups in the department and/or university.


  • Bachelor degree in Biology or a related field with a minimum of two years of research experience in a laboratory setting is required. Must have bachelor degree by June 30, 2018.
  • Experience in working with genetically modified mice: construction of gene targeting constructs, PCR and Southern blotting genotyping analysis of recombinant embryonic stem (ES) cells, breeding of mutant mice, LacZ analysis of gene expression patterns in mouse embryos, and characterization of morphogenetic phenotypes in mice.
  • Experience in generating polyclonal antibodies: design and preparation of peptide and/or protein antigens, affinity purification and characterization of antibodies from crude sera.
  • Experience in advanced molecular biology: restriction enzyme-based ligation, Gibson assembly-based ligation, site-directed mutagenesis.
  • Experience in mammalian cell culture: transfection of plasmid DNA, generation and transduction of recombinant lentiviruses, generation of stable cell lines using the Flp-In method.

SALARY RANGE: Step 1 - $38,112/annually, $3,176/monthly

TERM OF APPOINTMENT: Fulltime 100%, 12 months (initial). Expected start date is July 1, 2018

To Apply:

To apply, please go to the following link: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/apply/JPF02221. For full consideration applications must be received by June 13, 2018 however, the position will remain open until filled through June 30, 2019. Qualified applicants should submit a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and contact information for 1-2 references. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law.

UC Davis commits to inclusion excellence by advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct. If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify.

UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (http://breathefree.ucdavis.edu/).

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