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Research Specialist III, Quantitative Tissue Histology Imaging and Image Analysis- Sternson Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
United States, La Jolla
June 24, 2023
Primary Work Address: Leichtag Biomedical Research Building, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0646 Current HHMI Employees, click here to apply via your Workday account.

We are currently seeking a Research Specialist III to join the lab of Dr. Scott Sternson at The University of California, San Diego. The Sternson lab's research investigates how the brain controls appetite. They study multiple circuits throughout the brain as well as the interactions between neural systems that mediate hunger, thirst, and stress. Critical to this effort, the lab uses quantitative imaging methods on brain tissue, such as spatial transcriptomic techniques that require extensive fluorescence imaging, including light sheet imaging methods. These studies are directed towards building a rigorous, systematic framework for the cellular and molecular components of brain function that contribute to fundamental motivated behaviors. More information can be found on their .

The ideal candidate is an organized, proactive professional who will support a team of postdoctoral fellows with their research projects by performing imaging work as well as image analysis using our image processing pipeline in support of the lab's science. Each position within the lab makes valued contributions that drive the science forward. We are ideally targeting someone who is enthusiastic and passionate about research and would take pride in the work they do within a cutting-edge scientific lab. This is an opportunity for someone looking to build their career or to a longer tenured person interested in moving to the next step in their career.

What We Provide:

  • A competitive compensation package, with comprehensive health and welfare benefits.
  • An opportunity to broaden research experience in a collaborative environment.
  • A team that believes in continuous learning and cultivates an environment of collaboration.
  • Professional development opportunities.

What You'll Do:

  • Perform selective plane illumination microscopy ("light sheet" imaging)
  • Collect multi-terabyte image data sets and conduct analysis
  • Prepare and present written or oral progress reports concerning studies, including assembly, organization, and interpretation of data.
  • Present data to the entire lab (lab meetings ~1-2 times a year).
  • Train others in technical protocols.
  • Assist scientists and technicians by performing variousinvestigative procedures and operatingscientific equipment.
    • Potential for contributions to scientific publications.
  • Eventually take on protocol design and other strategic experimental work within the lab
  • Attend laboratory meetings and planning sessions
  • Read literature applicable to research areas as required.

Skills and Experience You Bring:

  • Ph.D. degree in an appropriate field of science or technology; or an equivalent combination of education and related work experience.
  • At least one year of prior experience working in a hands-on research lab
  • Prior experience with any type of histology work (RNA-FISH or in brain preferred, but not required)
  • Extensive experience with confocal imaging or selective plane illumination microscopy ("light-sheet" imaging)
  • Ability to 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.
  • Must possess strong computer skills. Experience with ImageJ and Python are a plus.

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet). Work may involve possible exposure to malodorous vapors and handling of potentially carcinogenic substances.

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job's principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word "may," the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are "essential functions" of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our site to learn more.

Compensation Range

$84,700.00 (minimum) - $105,900.00 (midpoint) - $137,610.00 (maximum)

Pay Type:


HHMI's salary structure is developed based on relevant job market data. HHMI considers a candidate's education, previous experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity when making job offers. Typically, a new hire for this position in this location is compensated between the minimum and the midpoint of the salary range.