Project Scientist University of California Los Angeles
Requisition Number: JPF05867
The recently established BioPolymers, Automated Cellular Infrastructure, Flow, and Integrated Chemistry: Materials Innovation Platform (BioPACIFIC MIP), supported by the National Science Foundation and located in the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) will create and operate a collection of state-of-the-art user facilities dedicated to biomaterials discovery and development. The BioPACIFIC MIP is seeking to fill a Living Biofoundry Project Scientist position to support research efforts at the forefront of synthetic biology and microbial engineering as part of a diverse and dynamic team within the BioPACIFIC MIP at its UCLA site. The successful candidate will establish a world-class resource for high-throughput synthetic biology and take a lead role in the development and application next-generation methods for production of new bio-derived, functional monomers from living organisms in support of a diverse and vibrant user community.
The Living Biofoundry Project Scientist will spend 50% time, in tandem with the BioPACIFIC in-house research team, on making significant and creative contributions to in-house research, including developing methods for process automation and synthetic biology that further existing projects; developing and carrying out relevant experiments; publishing scientific papers; presenting at technical conferences; and filing IP disclosures. The Living Biofoundry Project Scientist will collaborate with in-house members of the BioPACIFIC research community to continually build expertise and develop new methods to engineer model microbial systems for production of molecules that are of interest to the BioPacific community. Building community expertise will include attending and presenting at a bi-monthly technical research meeting with affiliate researchers to provide consultation on tool usage, experimental design, and data interpretation.
To support the BioPACIFIC MIP mission, the Living Biofoundry Project Scientist will devote 50% time to oversee operation of the spinnaker-based automation system, develop new process protocols to maximize the usage of the system, train new users in the operation of the system, and work with users to design experiments and test hypothesis. Users will consult with the Living Biofoundry Project Scientist as the primary technical point-of-contact to develop Project Feasibility and Research plans that maximize the likelihood of success. Twice per year the candidate will participate in an open house that will highlight the facilities and research capabilities to promote use by internal and external users.
The Living Biofoundry Project Scientist will interface directly with and report to the BioPACIFIC directors and will successfully carry out experiments and analyze the data generated with minimal to no supervision. The successful candidate will directly manage a state-of-the-art spinnaker-based automation system configured specifically for applications in synthetic biology in a dedicated laboratory space.
Requirements: Ph.D. in Engineering, Chemistry, or related fields 3+ years of experience, either industrial or academic, in automation and high throughput screening Knowledge of scientific principles in synthetic biology and chemistry Experience in complex integrated systems (fluidic, mechanical, and optical) that require cross-functional solutions and collaboration Experience in designing and building custom laboratory automation, experiences with Thermo automation systems/software and Tecan are particularly applicable Strong understanding of the fundamentals of design controls and engineering principles Proficient or basic knowledge of C#/++, LabVIEW, Python, or java Ability to work with and train scientists at all levels in an academic research setting Ability to communicate effectively in both written and oral formats
Service Duties and Responsibilities:
Design automation workflow that fit BioPACIFIC users' needs in microbial engineering
Maintain the spinnaker hardware and related software. Work with supplier for repairs and updates.
Train BioPACIFIC users from collaborating laboratories
Coordinate user requests and services
Develop, maintain and disseminate updated versions of policies and standard operating procedures
Maintain financial records of expenditures and billing; prepare budget summaries and projections used in facility review; and assist in the preparation/submission of reports
Develop and administrate chemical and biosafety protocols
Participate in events that highlight facilities and research capabilities to promote use by internal and external users
Research Duties and Responsibilities:
Fully explore the capability of the spinnaker system in synthetic biology applications using model organisms.
Design and develop software and methods that can be suitable for different users of the system.
Design experiments to perform large scale, high through plasmid design, construction, transformation and recovery.
Design experiments for microbial growth and metabolite extraction and detection.
Additional Duties and Responsibilities:
Serve as a liaison between BioPACIFIC users, faculty, committee members, administration and other external institutions/companies
Oversee activities of BioPACIFIC undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral trainees
Support the BioPACIFIC Directors with service/material transfer agreements, with particular focus on export control and intellectual property considerations
Cultivate an inclusive, collegial environment with strong inter-personal communication skills
Work on multiple projects efficiently and effectively
Work independently on scientific projects and develop scientific ideas
Assist with preparation of grant proposals
Prepare operational reports for use in periodic reviews by the NSF
Prepare manuscripts for publication in scientific journals
Complete all appropriate safety training as mandated by UCLA Environmental Health & Safety
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We highly encourage all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: UC Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy. University policy is intended to be consistent with the provisions of applicable State and Federal laws. BioPACIFIC is especially interested in candidates who have a demonstrated commitment to diversity and experience working with students from a diverse background in addition to a demonstrated commitment to improving access to higher education for disadvantaged students.
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. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy, https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/DiscHarassAffirmAction
UCLA is known worldwide for the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. UCLA offers undergraduate degrees in more than 127 majors and graduate degrees in 198 program areas. UCLA has 11 highly regarded professional schools. Eight are ranked among the nation's top 15 in their field by U.S. News & World Report. UCLA is consistently among the most popular campus in the nation for undergraduate applicants. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. Benefits:UCLA offers a comprehensive benefits package, including an average of three weeks' vacation per year; an average of 12 days per year sick leave; 13 paid holidays per year; health, dental and optical benefits; life insurance; disability insurance; the University of California Retirement Plan with 5 year vesting and various voluntary UC Savings Plans. There are also special programs and privileges available, such as accessibility to cultural and recreational programs, athletic events, and the University Credit Union.