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Research Lab Specialist

Research Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. USC is consistently ranked among the nation’s most prestigious universities, and the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology features one of the world’s best degree and research programs in gerontology. The USC Davis School has an international reputation as a hub of aging research and, with additional strong programs throughout the university, leads the way in defining and advancing the field of gerontology.

The laboratory of Dr. Bérénice Benayoun is looking for a highly experienced Research Lab Specialist, to support its efforts in understanding the molecular basis of sex differences in aging. The Benayoun laboratory (http://gero.usc.edu/labs/benayounlab/) at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology focuses on the study of how aging influences gene regulation, and in return, how modulation of the genomic regulation can influence the aging process. To study this question, we use a unique combination of high-throughput ‘omics’ approaches and experimental validation in primary cultures and vertebrate aging models (e.g. mouse, African turquoise killifish, etc.). The goal of the lab is to discover novel target genes and pathways playing a fundamental role in healthy and pathological aging while leveraging the power of big data to direct novel experimental interventions. The research environment in the Benayoun laboratory is extremely collaborative, provides a broad platform for development and encompasses numerous biological disciplines. A desire to learn, good communication skills, and a willingness to work with others are thus essential character traits to be successful in this research environment.

The Research Lab Specialist collaborates with the principal investigator and other researchers to plan, design and conduct highly technical and complex research projects. Analyzes research data and provides interpretations. Contributes to the development of research documentation for publication. May supervise other employees engaged in laboratory technical services on a regular or project basis. This person will join a lab working on the molecular basis of aging and age-related diseases. This is an opportunity for a reliable and self-motivated person to participate in cutting-edge aging research. They will be working mainly with mouse cells and tissues and will make original, scientific contributions to projects in the laboratory. Primary responsibilities are to design and conduct experiments and developing protocols, procedures and analyzing results. Specifically, a key direction in the laboratory is in the study of age-related sex differences in innate immune cells (e.g. macrophages, neutrophils) and inflammation, using the mouse as a model. The laboratory has identified a signature of female-specific changes in aged macrophages and is dissecting potential upstream regulators responsible for female-specific changes. The successful applicant would be helping decipher the mechanisms behind female-specific changes with aging in the immune system. Experience with mice or immunology is thus highly desirable.

Job responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  • Perform complex experiments for the research project, and maintain detailed records of experiments and outcomes.
  • Collaborate with the principal investigator and other research personnel to plan and design experiments for specialized projects and research needs.
  • Interpret and analyze results, often where few guidelines exist. Based on prior results, contribute to the development of new research protocols and procedures or adaptation of existing protocols.
  • Advise the principal investigator and other research personnel on methods for improving experiment results and review both progress and roadblocks with the principal investigator.
  • Make recommendations on plan design and/or research direction to the principal investigator.
  • Perform ongoing literature review to remain current with new procedures and related research on sex-differences and aging; present findings for the lab workgroup.
  • Contribute substantively to the preparation of papers for publication, especially in the results section. May contribute to the publication of findings and present ongoing work and findings to colleagues at academic conferences.
  • Supervise (either formally or informally) staff or students as needed, including oversight and instruction on techniques, as well as consultation on project work. Serve as the technical resource for other research personnel.

Our ideal candidate will have extensive prior training in experimental biology, with an emphasis on mouse knowledge. Previous experience in experimental genomics (e.g. ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, ATAC-seq), steroid hormone biology, and/or immunology are highly desirable. Candidates should have an M.Sc., Ph.D. or equivalent diploma in molecular and cellular biology, immunology, genetics, or a relevant subject area. The successful candidate will work closely with the PI. Extensive training will be available in all areas of highly impactful projects.

This position is funded by a research grant. Accordingly, this position is contingent upon receipt of the necessary funding from this or any subsequent grant to continue employment.  ​This role will require a flexible work schedule, with potential overtime or weekend work.

Benefits include a competitive salary, a rich array of USC benefits including healthcare (including dental and vision), 403(b), tuition reimbursement, national holidays, paid vacation, sick time and more.

USC 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, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law or USC policy. USC will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring ordinance.

If you are interested, please submit a fully completed application. Include a cover letter and resume with references. Thank you for your interest!


Minimum Education: Related graduate study, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 5 years Minimum Field of Expertise: Directly related education and experience in research specialization with advanced knowledge of equipment, procedures and analysis methods and ability to supervise on a regular or project basis


REQ20078917 Posted Date: 08/15/2019
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