Post-Doctoral Fellow 

La Jolla, California
Salary commensurate with experience.
October 29 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

FLSA Status:                                     Exempt           

Position Summary

The Cheng lab at the JCVI is looking for a highly motivated post-doctoral fellow. Projects will focus on generation and development of 3D brain organoid system for modeling neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. We will apply single cell RNA-seq, single cell ATAC-seq and CRISPR perturbations to identify new molecular pathways involved in neurodegeneration. We are looking for highly self-motivated applicants with a strong interest in stem cell and neurodegeneration research. 

Post-Doctoral Fellows are expected to help develop new scientific projects by assisting with the preparation of proposals that seek resources to support new or ongoing projects.  Trains and supervises staff in the lab.  Publishes results of work in peer-reviewed journals.  Attends and makes presentations at scientific meetings. Participates in JCVI laboratory meetings and serves on JCVI scientific working groups.  

About the Cheng lab

Dr. Cheng’s lab is interested in the development of a comprehensive understanding of the gene regulatory network and how aberrant gene regulatory circuits contribute to human disease. Her group carries out both wet-lab (experimental) and dry-lab (computational) research and utilize single cell transcriptomics and epigenetics to understand dysregulated gene regulatory circuitry in Alzheimer’s disease and substance use disorder.  

Essential Functions 

  • Develop and optimize differentiation protocols for iPSC derived 3D organoid cultures
  • Establish imaging assay and phenotypic assays for 3D co-culture models
  • Perform single cell transcriptomics and single cell ATAC-seq assays on 3D co-culture models
  • Designs and executes scientific experiments; analyzes and interprets experimental results/data
  • Trains and supervises research associates and/or students and/or data specialists 
  • Publishes results of scientific work in peer-reviewed journals
  • Keeps current with knowledge in relevant scientific discipline through continued reading of the literature
  • Attends and participates in national and international scientific meetings
  • Participates in JCVI laboratory meetings and scientific working groups
  • Abides by environmental, health and safety policies and procedures. This includes reporting potential hazards and when necessary helping to implement solutions to ensure safety and respect for the environment
  • Strictly adheres to all documented JCVI policies and procedures to include carrying out all functions required of Institute employees (i.e. completion of timesheets in an accurate and timely manner)


  • Ph.D. in relevant scientific discipline such as Stem Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Molecular Biology required.  Hands-on laboratory experience preferably in an independent project preferred.   Supervisory experience preferred.  
  • Experience with human mammalian  cell culture is required
  • Experience with directed differentiation towards neuronal and glial lineages is a plus
  • Experience with CRISPR based gene editing is a plus
  • Experience with imaging techniques is a plus
  • Experience with assays for neuronal and glial cell functions is a plus
  • Experience with next generation sequencing based assays is a plus
  • Ability to conduct investigations in relevant scientific areas 
  • Must be able to formulate experimental hypotheses and analyze and interpret scientific data
  • Familiarity with standard laboratory safety procedures
  • Excellent organization and time management skills
  • Flexibility to handle a variety of tasks and shift priorities simultaneously
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to effectively interact with all levels of staff and external contacts; ability to work as an effective team member
  • Cooperative and service-oriented attitude; must be able to work under pressure and maintain a professional demeanor
  • Ability to use sound judgment to effectively solve problems within the scope of the position
  • High level of initiative and ability to work with minimum supervision
  • Superior verbal and written communications skills

Work Environment
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those a teammate encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Moderate noise (i.e. business office with computers, phone, and printers, light traffic)
  • Ability to work in a confined area
  • Ability to sit at a computer terminal for an extended period of time
  • Ability to stand and/or sit for an extended period of time while working in the lab

Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to, stand, sit; talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone keyboard reach, stoop kneel to install computer equipment
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision requirements due to computer and lab work
  • Light to moderate lifting is required

J. Craig Venter Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic or status.

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