Research Specialist - Kingsley Lab

Stanford, CA
April 01 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is an independent, ever-evolving philanthropy that supports basic biomedical scientists and educators with the potential for transformative impact. We make long-term investments in people, not just projects, because we believe in the power of individuals to make breakthroughs over time. HHMI scientists have radically advanced the understanding of cells, the brain, the immune system, the development of organs, and how to treat many diseases. Founded in 1953 by aviator and industrialist Howard R. Hughes, HHMI is headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and employs more than 2,500 people across the U.S.

At HHMI, you are not just an employee – you are a part of a creative and talented team with colleagues whose expertise ranges from biomedical research to investment management, from information technology to law. We encourage collaborative and results-driven working styles and offer an adaptable environment where employees can do their best work. As HHMI scientists continue to push boundaries in laboratories and classrooms, you can be sure that your contributions while working at HHMI are making a difference.

We are currently looking for a highly talented, resourceful Research Specialist to join the laboratory of Dr. David Kingsley at Stanford University. The Kingsley lab uses a combination of genetic and genomic approaches to identify the detailed molecular mechanisms that control evolutionary change in vertebrates, with a focus on five fundamental questions:
1. Are key evolutionary traits controlled by countless genetic differences of small effect, or by a few genetic changes with large effects?
2. What specific genes have changed to produce interesting evolutionary differences seen in nature?
3. What kinds of mutations have occurred in these genes (e.g., dominant or recessive, coding or regulatory, preexisting or de novo)?
4. How predictable is evolution? If you know how evolution has occurred in one population, is it possible to predict the types of genes and mutations that also underlie the same trait in different populations or species?
5. How has evolution produced the unique characteristics, and the common traits and diseases, found in humans?
The lab studies these questions using a variety of genetic and genomic methods in mice, stickleback fish, and human beings. More information about the Kingsley lab can be found here:

This is a dynamic position that will contribute broadly to the Kingsley lab’s goals while also managing one’s own independent research projects. The ideal candidate enjoys bench research, has strong interpersonal skills, and has the ability to serve as a trusted resource and mentor for more junior lab team members in a highly interactive and supportive lab environment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• Manages one or more independent research projects studying the genetic basis of complex traits and diseases using mice.
• Manages and oversees multiple strains in the lab’s mouse research colony, including multiple mouse models of genomic changes in humans.
• Coordinates with and trains lab members on specialized research techniques involving mouse prenatal and postnatal development.
• Reviews research activities to determine where new information, methods, or collaborations could positively impact projects and improve efficiency of processes.
• Routinely develops innovative techniques and systems needed to meet the lab’s research goals.
• Writes and edits research publications, manuscripts, and other scientific papers describing original research.
• Presents own research updates with other team members on a weekly basis.
• Trains new lab members in basic techniques of mouse genetics and molecular biology.
• Serve as point person and schedule coordinator for specialized pieces of scientific equipment such as cryostat microtome and microCT X-ray scanner.
• Depending on chosen candidate’s research interests and capabilities, there is flexibility to work with cultured cells and stickleback fish as additional research models.

A bachelor’s degree in genetics, genomics, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, or a closely related discipline is required. An advanced degree (master’s, Ph.D., etc.) is preferred.

Hands-on experience with mouse colony work and management is required.
Hands-on experience with genetics, genomics, and molecular biology techniques is required.
Experience with cloning and building constructs is required.
Previous experience with genomic data analysis would be a plus.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Passion for both collaborative research and independent project work.
Ability to read literature, think creatively, and plan effective experiments.
Strong mentoring, teaching, and interpersonal skills with lab members at all career levels.
Strong verbal and written communication skills.
Strong attention to detail and high degree of accuracy in research and writing.
Ability to troubleshoot and problem solve while working on interesting research problems at the
frontiers of current knowledge.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer