Postdoctoral Positions

Part of the mission of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies is to train individuals for careers in scientific research. The expectation is that trainees will study in the many new fields developed by Institute faculty, learn the research techniques they have created, and go on to positions of leadership in other prominent scientific institutions. Postdoctoral training opportunities at the Institute are posted below.

If you are interested in working with a faculty member who does not have a posting below, you should correspond directly with that faculty member.

If you have recently accepted a postdoctoral position at the Institute, please contact Academic Services.

The Salk Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Job #: G133
Posted Date: August 16, 2018
Closes On: Open Until Filled
Job Title: Research Assistant II/III- Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, Dr. Patrick Hsu
Status: Regular Full Time
Benefits Eligible: Yes
Laboratory/Department: Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory
Laboratory research takes place at the intersection of bioengineering, genomics, and neuroscience to develop novel genome engineering technologies and uncover biological mechanisms behind neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.
Position Description:

Are you passionate about engineering and repairing life? Studying the underpinnings of neurodegeneration? The Hsu Lab at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA ( has been pioneering CRISPR-Cas9 and CRISPR-Cas13 technologies at the intersection of bioengineering, genomics, and neuroscience to develop precision genetic therapies (Hsu Cell 2014, Konermann Cell 2018). Join an interdisciplinary team of scientists developing and applying technologies for genome and transcriptional engineering in neuroscience and other complex genetic diseases!

This exciting position is part of an NIH-funded team to establish and characterize stem cell-derived models of neurodegenerative disease (i.e. Alzheimer’s disease) and contribute to genetic engineering experiments designed to identify new candidate genes relevant in disease pathology. You will primarily work with human embryonic stem cells and hESC-derived neurons, astrocytes, and microglia, including both monolayer and organoid co-culture. In addition, you will learn CRISPR-based genetic engineering, viral production, RNA-seq and ATAC-seq, and other next-generation sequencing assays.

Responsibilities include: cell line, primary cell, and stem cell culture; molecular biology and genomic library prep; next-generation sequencing and data analysis.

We are looking for a passionate and scientifically motivated person with the ability to learn new skills and concepts quickly under personal guidance, and then execute experiments independently. Critical analysis of your research and strong communication skills are vital. Come join a fun, motivated research group that enjoys doing science and making discoveries!



  • Bachelor’s degree in a life science related field.


  • 2+ years of research experience.
  • Significant experience with mammalian tissue culture.
  • Manage quantitative aspects of cell-based experiments. Examples: accurate cell plating, growth rate tracking, calculation of transduction efficiencies.
  • Willingness and ability to work with sensitive cells requiring keen attention to detail and care, including human embryonic stem cells, neurons, astrocytes, and microglia.


  • Prior experience with sensitive mammalian cells including stem cells, neurons, or other primary cell types.
  • Experience with molecular biology. Examples: PCR, plasmid purification, genomic DNA purification, RNA purification and qPCR.
  • Prior experience with production, titration, and application of lentiviral vectors.
  • Prior experience with organoid culture.
  • Neuroscience and/or genetics background.
  • Interest in computational biology.
Special Requirements:
  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
Physical Requirements:

This position requires constant adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading, reasoning, writing, working in confined areas and working inside.

Application Instructions:

Please include a cover letter that responds to the following inquiries:

  • Describe any experience you have doing cell or tissue culture. Include the types of cells you have worked with and a brief description of experiments you performed with them?
  • Describe what you have found to be important for good cell culture experiments?
  • What aspect of our lab or research is particularly appealing to you? Why are you interested in joining our lab? You can learn more from our lab website (