Laboratory Manager - Meyerowitz Lab

Salary based on experience
September 28 2021
Organization Type

We are currently seeking a congenial, self-motivated Lab Manager to manage the day-to-day operations of Dr. Elliot Meyerowitz’s lab on-site at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Meyerowitz lab has the goal of understanding the mechanisms of plant development, using both experimental and computational methods to test hypotheses. They concentrate on the shoot apical meristem and its derivative structures (primarily flowers), because this meristem is responsible for the development of the entire above-ground part of the mature plant and utilizes a number of different pattern-forming processes that are as yet poorly understood. More information about Dr. Meyerowitz and his lab can be found here:




This Lab Manager role will be a key part of the lab – serving as a lynchpin to keep the lab running efficiently and effectively. Ideal candidates will be incredibly organized, have previous laboratory experience, have a genuine interest in science administration, and have a strong desire to support the Meyerowitz’s lab’s goals. This role will focus mainly on operational and administrative management, but will also manage some experimental support tasks periodically as project needs arise.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Handle purchase orders on Ariba, TechMart, and/or through credit card for lab supplies and for individual requests.
  • Maintain stocks of commonly used items required by the lab (enzymes, molecular biology kits, dyes, plasticware, soil pots and trays for plants, etc.).
  • Maintain the water purification system and keep lab water carboys filled.
  • Call for replacement N2 cylinders and specialty gas cylinders.
  • Troubleshoot for any equipment that needs servicing and/or repairs. Make appointments for certifying biosafety cabinets.
  • Get quotes for and purchase new equipment as per the needs of the lab.
  • Maintain a seed stock and plasmid stock and send them out by request to labs in other institutions.
  • Keep freezers and refrigerators organized with contents labeled and catalogued.
  • Monitor backup liquid nitrogen and temperatures of freezers.
  • Maintain general housekeeping practices to keep the lab in order, including autoclaving lab microbiological waste and all waste plant material.
  • Serve as the lab’s biosafety officer.
  • Maintain and organize the lab’s group meeting schedule.
  • Monitor lab supplies and equipment budget and expenditures.
  • Interface with Biology Division staff regarding laboratory maintenance, infrastructure repairs, and fire safety.
  • Prepare and pour growth media (liquid and agar media) by request from lab members.
  • Make stock solutions (buffers, gel running solutions, etc.) for general lab use.
  • With additional time, aid lab members with experiments including plant transformations, seed harvesting, soil preparation, plant growth, and general plant care.


Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field is preferred.
  • A minimum of three years of experience working in a laboratory environment is required.
  • Experience with Ariba, TechMart, or other purchasing software is preferred.
  • Previous experience as a lab manager would be a plus.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, etc.) and general proficiency with computers is required.
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to plan effectively.
  • General laboratory skills, including working with various chemicals and measurements.
  • Strong communication skills, record keeping skills, and inventory management skills.
  • Ability to work well with a wide variety of people at all levels and from all backgrounds.
  • Ability to train staff on lab safety, conduct, policies, standards, and practices.
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure, be responsive, and make strategic decisions.

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, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of 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.
    HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer