Research Specialist - Scientific Software Programming

Los Angeles, California
June 12 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

We are currently looking for a highly skilled Research Specialist – Scientific Software Programming to develop software for computational biological image analysis and work as a team member in Dr. Tamir Gonen’s lab in UCLA’s Department of Biological Chemistry. The Gonen lab works toward understanding how membrane proteins help cells maintain homeostasis. To that end, they study channels, transporters, and receptors structurally and functionally. More information about the lab can be found by visiting

The chosen candidate will work with a multidisciplinary team which includes computational scientists, biophysicists, biochemists, and cryo-EM specialists to develop a software package for biological structure determination using image analysis of biological electron diffraction patterns. The chosen candidate will work with co-investigators to tailor analyses for their individual manuscripts for peer-review submission, including electronic literature review. This software will become a part of MicroED technique developed by the Gonen laboratory.

Essential Duties:

  • Develop a software package for image analysis of biological diffraction patterns.
    • Prototype modules of the system using Python and numpy.
    • Implement and optimize the code using C++.
    • Integrate developed modules with the software package.
    • Develop conda installer for the software package.
  • Write code documentation.
    • Write in-line documentation for each software module specifying input, output, and function performed.
    • Develop web-based documentation for the package that will contain list of modules, description of their respective functionalities, and specified relation between them.
  • Write software package user manual.
    • Develop interactive web-based manual for the software package.
    • Consult with the members of the group as for the expectations and requirements.
    • Provide test data sets to accompany the manual.
    • Publish results in peer reviewed journals and online depositories.


Education and Experience

  • PhD is physics, computational biology, chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics or a related field is required.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of multivariate statistics, diffraction theory and imaging issues, research design, and survey/questionnaire development is required.
  • Strong proficiency in Python, C, C++, image analysis, and format conversions is required.
  • Ability to work well both independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to remain technologically current within the scope of the role.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organizational, time management, and prioritization skills.
  • Strong attention to detail with a high degree of accuracy.

The Gonen lab is also open to considering recent PhD graduates at the Postdoctoral Associate level.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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