Research Associate I

August 15 2018
Life Sciences
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
About City of Hope

City of Hope, an innovative biomedical research, treatment and educational institution with over 5,000 employees, is dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer and other life-threatening diseases and guided by a compassionate, patient-centered philosophy.

Founded in 1913 and headquartered in Duarte, California, City of Hope is a remarkable non-profit institution, where compassion and advanced care go hand-in-hand with excellence in clinical and scientific research. City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation's 20 leading cancer centers that develops and institutes standards of care for cancer treatment.


Research Associate I - Ke Ma Laboratory

Position Summary:

A Research Associate I position is immediately available in the laboratory of Dr. Ke Ma at the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute within Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope. We are looking for highly motivated candidate with strong enthusiasm and prior expertise for stem cell or metabolic disease research to discover novel signaling mechanisms mediating circadian clock functions in stem cell behavior and metabolic regulations. The Ma Lab has established a unique program in deciphering circadian clock control in metabolic tissue development, growth and functional capacity, through application of state-of-the-art circadian biology, molecular and cellular biology approaches to diabetes, obesity and stem cell research. Specific research directions in the lab are to dissect, 1) circadian clock regulation of stem cell behavior in skeletal muscle development, growth, and regeneration; 2) epigenetic networks mediating clock nutrient-sensing function in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle; and 3) novel roles of circadian regulators in cancer development and metabolism.

For a list of lab publications, please see:

PI Webpage at the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope:

Under general supervision of the Principal Investigator, or designee, the Research Associate II (RAII) directs the work of a laboratory or undertakes research projects in collaboration with academic supervisor, making innovative contributions pertaining to laboratory procedures which may not change the course of an investigation but do indicate significant independent contribution beyond the RA I level. RAII typically consults with the academic supervisor on the scope and plan of approach to a research project; reads abstracts and articles; organize and plan techniques; plan and assign the work of at least one lab staff advising on problems they are unable to solve; contribute original ideas to the laboratory research; standardize new techniques and train staff on these techniques; perform specialized procedures and prepare written reports of laboratory experimental methods.

Essential Functions:

  • Performs a variety of routine and non-routine laboratory research experiments. Records and validates results for accuracy and completeness.
  • Troubleshoots procedures if experiment results are unexpected or unsatisfactory. Recommends alternative procedures.
  • Responsible for accurately recording work performed including results and methodology. Calculates, compiles and analyzes data obtained from work performed.
  • Independently evaluates research data and initiates alternative approaches to improve the quality of results by providing input to overall research design. Trains lab staff in specialized procedures, equipment and theoretical concepts behind unique tests.
  • May contribute to the preparation of manuscripts by describing methods and specialized techniques. Keeps abreast of new and improved techniques.May contribute to the preparation of manuscripts by describing methods and specialized techniques. Keeps abreast of new and improved techniques.
  • Ensures that all laboratory activities are carried out in compliance with each procedure(s) by utilizing safety procedures and guidelines in handling, storage and disposal of bio-hazardous, infectious and toxic material.

Follows established City of Hope and department policies, procedures, objectives, performance improvement, attendance, safety, environmental, and infection control guidelines, includingadherence to theworkplaceCode of Conduct and Compliance Plan. Practices a high level of integrity and honesty in maintaining confidentiality.

Performs other related duties as assigned or requested.

The following shared, organization-wide competencies describe the desired behaviors that will facilitate success at City of Hope:

  1. Communication - Expresses ideas clearly and constructively (written and spoken, upward and downward, one-on-one and with groups).
  2. Customer Service - Seeks to understand customer needs and works to exceed customer expectations (internal and external).
  3. Initiative - Looks for opportunities to improve performance; manages time, work, and relationships effectively and efficiently.
  4. Professionalism - Treats others with respect; abides by the institutional values; displays a positive and cooperative attitude; adheres to the workplace Code of Conduct and compliance policies.
  5. Stewardship - Identifies efficiencies to reduce redundancy and/or elimination of tasks resulting in savings of cost, resources, and or/time.
  6. Teamwork - Works proactively and collaboratively with others to streamline work and achieve mutual goals.

Position Qualifications:

The candidate should be self-motivated and have strong interest in stem cell or metabolic disease research. Expertise in stem cell techniques, animal physiology and metabolic studies is preferred, and technical skill in cell biology and epigenetics is a plus. Minimum Education and Skills Required for Consideration:

  • BS in Molecular, Cellular or Developmental Biology.
  • Proficiency with basic biochemical techniques, cell biology skills, and cell culture systems, preferred.
  • Experience with stem cell research and in vivo animal model, preferred.
  • Experience with epigenetics research, a plus.
  • Highly motivated with strong interest in metabolic disease research.
  • Strong work ethic and ability to work effectively in a team.

Minimum Education

  • Bachelor's degree. Masters degree preferred..

Skills: Other

  • Excellent computer skills

Aptitude: Req./Pref.

  • Ability to delegate when needed


Machines/Equip: Req./Pref.

  • Laboratory equipment such as
  • Centrifuge
  • Microscopes

Working / Environmental Conditions

  • Smoke free environment
  • May be exposed to toxic chemicals

Protective Equip: Required

  • Must use PPE as required

Physical Demands


  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with other departments.

City of Hope is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

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