Scientific Research Associate

  • UCLA Health
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Aug 02, 2020
Education Research

Job Description


UCLA's Jonssson Comprehensive Cancer Center is a multidisciplinary matrix organization at UCLA and an integral member of a network of 69 comprehensive cancer centers through the United States that are mandated by federal legislation and supported by the National Cancer Institute. The UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has been designated “comprehensive” by the National Cancer Institute since 1976. The NCI granted UCLA gold-star comprehensive status for maintaining the highest standards of excellence in research, education and patient care.

The newly formed Cancer Data Sciences group at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Jonsson Cancer Centre is seeking a Scientific Research Associate. The successful candidate will have at least 15 years experience as a senior scientific research associate or laboratory manager, or equivalent, focused on cancer genomics and functional biology. They will have experience setting up new research laboratories, including coordinating initial health & safety and procurement, as well as hiring and training of new staff. They will be working with a broad team of quantitative analysts, including Statisticians, Data Scientists, Clinical and Basic trainees, and other bioinformaticians. They will drive the generation of large molecular and imaging datasets of very high quality and using a mixture of established and novel strategies. They will also coordinate the molecular and functional validation of key results from large-scale data science studies, providing key links to support deeper insight into function and mechanism.  They will be passionate about generating high-quality results, with a careful approach that identifies potential confounders and sources of error, and a track record of reproducible results and scientific publication. This will entail working with closely and collaboratively with many others, ranging from trainees to technical staff to local and international collaborating faculty to vendors. In this internal- and external-facing role, it will be key that the successful candidate has a clear focus on training the next-generation of talented scientists at all levels, and serves as a role model for professional scientific interactions. In addition to strong laboratory experience, this role requires a strong background in biology (PhD anticipated) to help ensure the right questions are asked, but linked to strong technical and personal communication skills, to help ensure insights are broadly adopted and appropriate experiments are performed. The successful candidate will be helping us perform research that will transform the lives of cancer patients.

Your responsibilities will be to use your biological and laboratory skills to establish the wet-lab component of UCLA's new Cancer Data Sciences group, building out the physical space, equipment, procurement, protocols, sample banking, driver studies and training. This work will focus across a range of cancer types and experimental data-types, ranging from cell culture models to primary patient samples. You will typically have several different projects or components thereof underway at the same time, and will work closely with our colleagues in the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Centre Genomics Core, the UCLA Institute for Precision Health and the UCLA Institute for Urologic Oncology, amongst many others. The successful candidate will be integrally involved in the hiring of new team members, and directly supporting their training and on-boarding. The successful candidate will also serve as a key external-facing voice with vendors, including negotiating contracts and interacting with the appropriate groups throughout UCLA to ensure timely project completion and meeting of all local, national and international guidelines and procedures. Prior experience working in the wet-lab component of a large cancer data science group would be considered a key asset.Qualifications

Required: Working knowledge of R, Perl or Python programming. Understanding of molecular biology.   Strong verbal, interpersonal, and written communication skills.  Basic univariate and probabilistic statistical understanding.  Knowledge of LINUX/Unix operating system, and source-code versioning systems.  Applied experience with NGS, proteomics or radiomic data (>1 year). 
Preferred:  Experience with applied machine-learning (e.g. hyperparameter optimization).  Working knowledge of containerization (e.g. Docker, Singularity).  Data Visualization experience.  Computer science knowledge, including software design patterns.  Knowledge of relational database software (e.g. Oracle, Postgres).  Master’s or PhD Training in Computational Biology, Computer Science, Biostatistics or a related discipline.  Skill in keeping accurate and organized experimental records.  Skill in analyzing, developing and adapting established experimental methods to specific research needs.  Knowledge of basic statistical methods to be able to compute ratios, percentages and to summarize data using graphs.  Working knowledge of experimental designs.  Proficiency in maintaining a lab notebook.  Skill in analyzing scientific data.  Skill in developing and conducting scientific studies.  Ability to coordinate and negotiate contracts for the purchase, maintenance and repair of laboratory equipment.  Ability to maintain inventory of chemicals and laboratory equipment.  Knowledge of and ability to control safe and efficient use of laboratory equipment, supplies and space.  Skill in maintaining laboratory equipment and in seeking qualified assistance when necessary.  Ability to instruct new and continuing laboratory personnel in experimental procedures and in the use of facilities and equipment.  Ability to search relevant publications and information.  Ability to develop or learn new techniques.  Abilities to resolve complex experimental issues to implement long range plans.  Skill in setting priorities when there are deadline pressures, competing requirements, and heavy workloads.  Skill in performing a variety of duties, changing from a duty/task to another of a different nature.  Skill in managing research lab staff.  Ability to follow instructions.  Ability to give a presentation in Lab. Ability to maintain confidentiality of records and information.   Ability to detect and correct grammatical and spelling errors in written correspondence.  Ability to maintain files accurately, in paper and in software programs.  Ability to effectively supervise personnel and complete all associated personnel actions in a timely and accurate manner.  Ability to assist students/ technicians in the use of laboratory instruments and equipment.  Ability to effectively operate a chemistry laboratory and direct student employees.  Ability to interact professionally with individuals of diverse backgrounds and educational levels.  Ability to work cooperatively with other personnel.  Preparation of manuscripts for publication into scientific journals.  Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing.  Ability to interact in an effective and appropriate manner with diverse populations, the University community and the public.

UCLA 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, or protected Veteran status.




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